Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Honor Yourself

My tolerance is typically high. Even when I think someone is being intentionally insensitive, I try not to hoard or internalize that insensitivity. Most of the time I am successful, but I received a message recently that pushed me off center. Instead of ushering in calm, I willingly and joyfully entertained clever responses with the purpose of making that person aware that his/her attempt to insert more significance in my life than s/he had was futile. I had to consider, though, if that was true, why was I exerting energy trying to prove it? Most importantly, would my fiesty and venomous retort honor me?

Most people treat us according to their perception of what we can do for them or whether they feel threatened by our behavior. Our perceptions and life choices can reveal similarities or differences in others that they admire or despise. In many cases, we impact others in ways that we are unaware of and would be surprised to discover. What happens, though, when we are treated with less than kindness? How do we remain committed to our peace of mind when others threaten it for reasons we are not fully aware?

I read that message repeatedly. I sent it to a few friends to compare their reactions so that I could determine if I interpreted it appropriately. They confirmed my suspicion—the message was not well-intentioned. Yet I still had a decision to make. Would I let his/her intentions, even if they were purely evil and I don't believe they were that far down the spectrum, change me by changing the way I normally deal with insensitivity? Would I let this one message push me from my center?

There may be occasions when you are the recipient of insensitivity and intentional rudeness. Someone may treat you in a way that is unjustified. Someone may displace negative feelings on you because you are a safe target. Someone may intentionally try to hurt you for no other reason than s/he is unhappy. It is not up to you to figure it out, diagnose it, or get even. What you are responsible for is honoring yourself. Honor yourself when others don't. Honor yourself when others don't try. Honor yourself when others don't understand. Honor yourself even when others don't care enough to honor themselves.

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