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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Something happens to a person when they grow up with inconsistent love - they learn to doubt sincere love in others.

My husband grew up in a home with inconsistent love at best and conditional love most of the time.  Both his parents struggled with addiction, and his mother with depression.  My heart breaks for the little boy whose parents didn't show up for sporting events and the teenager who was awarded "Outstanding Freshman" and went to the banquet alone. 

This upbringing has affected Tod is many ways.  He has overcome a lot, but still struggles with one significant thing:  thinking the best of others.   It's a deeply ingrained habit of protection to put up a wall at the slightest hint of rejection.  Even when it's not there.  

This happens when he is offended at something I've done ... when I had absolutely no negative intent.    We've come a long way, but I still see the hurt in him.

I see this same pained response in many women as well.   They read things into other's responses or lack of responses.  They harbor hurt when none was intended.  They read negative intent into the motives of others, and are offended.

Can you just see how this spirals downward in a woman's mind?  

Thankfully I had a different upbringing.  But I also work hard at a different response:  I choose to believe the best, unless proven otherwise.

If something potentially hurtful happens, I make a choice:
  • I assume people are busy.
  • I assume they forgot.
  • I assume they have something else on their mind.
  • I assume they didn't see me.
  • I assume something else has hurt their feelings.
I extend grace, and pray that it is returned should I get busy ... forget ... have something on my mind ... don't see a friend across the room ... or am wounded by something else.  Because I will do all those things ... hopefully not at the same time.

Today, I'm reminding myself to think the best about others.  I'm convinced it makes me a better person.  It's a discipline that takes practice, and it sometimes requires I pull my thoughts back to a lovely place.  Do I always succeed?  To be honest, no.  Sometimes I get caught in the cycle too.  But I'm committed to thinking positively about the motives of others.

I hope this makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. 

That's on my mind today.  Now to get back to writing my book which is due in two weeks ... Lord, I need inspiration and mercy!  And if I forget your birthday, don't say thank you, take  longer to reply to an e-mail or Facebook comment, please forgive me.   It's truly not personal.

Grace & Peace,



Trish Preston said...

How did you know I needed to hear this today?
That's me. To a T. I sense rejection where there is none. I feel unloved and unwanted most of the time. My feelings get all hurt and tangled up over the smallest thing. Holidays are the worst, with no family to celebrate with.
Thank you for the encouragement you offer with your blogs. :)

Anonymous said...

Mercy. You are talking about my family today, too. I could insert my husband's name for Tod. Thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to me through you. Love you sweetie! M

Jennifer Renee said...

Glynnis, thank you friend. This post has hit home for me. I always try to think the best of others. When I don't hear from my spiritual mom or close friends for several days I tell myself they're busy. Many times i tell myself that people don't call or email because they don't want to be bothered with me. I'll show others grace but I haven't learnd to sho much grace to myself. My sister has always told me that I'm too trusting of others which is true. Often trusting people too much, especially men, has caused me to be put in cituations I shouldn't have been in or to be hurt.

I'm praying and I know that God will help you finish your book.

Wander said...

Wow....this is profound!
And so very true!

My husband and I have struggled many times over this very issue.
He's extremely insecure and doubts anyone loves him, often.

Makes for very tough relationships!

Tasha said...

Thank you for this reminder Glynnis! I needed this today as well. I will be praying for you as you finish up your book. Have a great week!

Cynthia said...

I have the same problem of thinking that noone is interested in anything I have to say or do or anything else for that matter. I'm working on thinking the best of everyone. I know it will come in time if I trust in God.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post today. Sometimes we just let our little minds wonder down the wrong path of negative thinking. I want to look at others the way Christ does.