“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”~ Theodore Roosevelt
I found myself in a really unusual position the other day. Well, it was unusual for me anyway. I was in a meeting with some people and I found myself getting intimidated by this one man. Not only was he physically big (being 5’2 most people are physically bigger than I am) but also his posture was very defensive. He had his arms crossed over his chest, like he was keeping me at a distance. And, when he spoke, he didn’t really speak to me, he kind of barked at me. It really caught me off guard since I’m one of those people who never really care what other people think, and I am really comfortable in my own skin. When I spoke, all of my words became jumbled, and really, just a big ole mess. It was totally awkward, and just left me feeling terribly yucky.
I came home and told my husband all about it, I told my children, I told my friends….you know how it goes! Girls, we can talk about a subject until it dies, can’t we? But, I was just so frustrated about the whole thing. Even when I would think about the situation it got my heart rate up a bit! The anxiety crept in, I mean, really! This type of behavior was not like me at all. This was not my character. I’m used to getting along with most people. And, to top it off, I was going to have to see this person again sometime, and I needed to figure this out…and soon.
So, I was talking to another friend about the situation, and he made a really good point. He asked what made this man so grouchy to begin with? How rude is it to make someone feel so uncomfortable like he made me feel? Instead of being intimidated, I should pray for him and feel sorry that he feels the need to be cold and standoffish. Wow! For me, that was the perspective change I needed. It wasn’t about me like I was making it out to be. It was about him.
Why is it that we feel the need to make life about us? I don’t really know why we do that, but I found myself in a situation where not only was I feeling judged by someone else, I also allowed his judgment to cloud my own thoughts about myself. I wasn’t being my authentic self. Have you ever done that? We may allow our parents, friends, even our children or spouses to pressure us into being something that we are not. That’s never a safe place to be because it means we are looking for acceptance in the world, and not from the Lord. In the words of the famous cartoon character Popeye, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.” And, to add to that, that’s all I need to be!!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2