When People Show You Who They Are

“When people show you who they are, believe them.” … When a person let’s you know … they say, “I told you I was unkind. So now why are you angry?”

I suppose Maya Angelo’s question is a rhetorical once, but I’m going to answer it anyway, because God knows I’ve spent countless hours over decades trying to understand how twisted relationships happen.

“Why don’t you believe them the first time they show you, or tell you, who they are?”

Because…

  • You very much want them to be better than they are at any given point in time.
  • You are optimistic they can be.
  • You are committed to the relationship, and don’t give up on your commitments that easily.
  • You aren’t ready to give up on what COULD be, if only some crucial corrections are made.
  • You know this person CAN be good, you’ve seen them act the part with ease when they’re around people they want to impress.
  • You hold onto hope that they may one day choose to be that good person behind closed doors too, they may never again turn cruel or abusive when alone with you.
  • You think of a particular type of “subtle diminisher”: if only they choose to be decent, instead of provoking under the radar; if only they stop slandering or mocking or shaming you in front of people, giving you no chance to react. If only they stopped playing innocent while leaving you with two crappy options: take it in order to be polite, or object and appear the b—, or fool.
  • You think of another type of “fine-upstanding-public-image-person”: they may eventually feel shame that they are the opposite of their finely-tuned act; if they are smart enough to craft such a persona, they should be smart enough to want to be on the inside what they portray on the outside.

THERE IS A POINT though, with some people, when …

  • You are pushed to your limit.
  • You know you’ll be selling your own soul if you continue on with them.
  • The trend of their behavior toward you isn’t improving, it is in fact worsening.
  • You are certain the person has dug in their heels and has no intention of considering the good of the relationship. They do not want to give up their ways, their selfishness, their abusiveness, their ugly methods of disarming or manipulating you  — they value their tactics, they prefer their ways.
  • They don’t mind at all if you end up destroyed in varied little ways.
  • They will not change in time — they will certainly delay or prevent you from a good life if you continue in their trap, their sick dynamic.
  • They have never, and you know they will never be accountable for their ways.

THAT IS THE TIME you know you must …

  • Withdraw your trust.
  • Limit the relationship.
  • Remark your boundaries.
  • And in some cases … WALK.

It’s after all that “living and learning” that YOU LOOK BACK and think … “Why didn’t I believe them the first time they showed me and told me who they were?” …

You didn’t know. You simply didn’t know.

But NEXT TIME …

  • You will be vigilant.
  • You will be discerning.
  • You will not prematurely and naively trust.
  • You will be a wise manager of your own life.
  • You will know to keep the optimal distance.
  • You will never again SUBMIT and COMMIT your life to a scoundrel, a user, an abuser, a manipulator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a Cruella de Vil …

 

Galatians 6:7.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Job 34:30.  That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

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Depression Isn’t Sadness and Suicide Isn’t a Cry For Help… by Steve Safran

This is an excellent and informative article in the wake of two recent high profile suicides. Two people in my own life also recently committed suicide. Each was a shock. When someone we know, or know of, dies in this manner, we struggle to comprehend “why”. Most people conclude they were depressed. But what does that mean – depressed?

Blooms and Bubbles

Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Two gut-punching suicides that have people asking “Why them? They had it all!” Sure, Bourdain lived a hard life, but Kate Spade, the queen of whimsy? She was wealthy, adored and…

Depressed.

We need better words. One of the biggest disservices to the field of mental health is to call the diagnosis of “depression” by the name “depression.” Everyone “gets depressed.” It’s a commonplace word: “I’m so depressed the meeting I planned fell through.” “The ending of that show was too depressing.” “He’s too depressing to be around.”

None of these examples has anything to do with the psychological definition of Depression.

People who live with depression are wired differently. Our brains perceive life differently than those who do not have depression. Let me put it another way.

Suppose you were born left-handed in this predominantly right-handed world. Suppose that was considered OK from time to…

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Crazy Ambition

Cindi Gale

Some people just don’t get it. It’s like they were raised on “The Little Engine That Could”. They even generalize it to —

We think we can!

We think we can!

What do you do with people like that? I mean, check out this video. Who thought to expect a large high school class to put together a performance for graduation in just two school days? What about the students who never sing or dance? — who assumed they could do it? And the length of it! — how could all those kids remember almost ten minutes of choreography and lyrics when ceremony time came?

Someone should have realized the expectations were unreasonable. The whole thing was ridiculously over-ambitious.

It required solidarity — surely it was much too much to hope for.

Didn’t anybody tell them that?


The video is owned by MoStreet Productions. The following information was provided by…

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Power Washing

Cindi Gale

Eighteen years of accumulated algae, mildew, dirt, and moss resided in the shallow pits and crevices of my cement drive. I hadn’t noticed as I hurried across it, coming and going in my SUV, fetching mail from the mailbox, or lugging water to my little garden behind the garage. Yet when I finally looked at it, it was oh-so-obvious.

It took most of three days this week to dislodge the grime with a power washer. Little by little. An inch at a time. Hovering the wand the longest over the most stubbornly-embedded areas. It was slow, careful, tedious work.

Today my driveway and parking slab are like new. Clean. Free of algae and mildew and dirt and moss — liberated of all grime. It shines white in the noonday sun.

People collect years of grime, too. We barely notice as we hurry through life. We don’t know we could be made…

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Zoom In

Cindi Gale

The power of evil to slowly, imperceptibly rob us of our identities is real in all settings. We are unlikely to be a threat to evil as long as we remain subjugated to ungodly people. Satan knows what he’s dealing with as long as we are predictable. He knows the rules of religions, the demands on underlings to conform. If we swallow the pill of mindless compliance, he is assured of our passivity. We will be passive to injustice. We won’t learn of our God-given rights. We won’t express our true personalities and develop our God-given insights, gifts, talents, and strengths. We won’t be capable of overcoming evil with good.

If you’re suppressed and your identity is muddled, let’s do something about it. Let’s flip-flop the situation, and free you to be capable of overcoming evil with good.

Pray. Expect and listen to the Holy Spirit’s perfect counsel. Reflect: What…

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Be a Student of The Good

I attended a seminar last week. It was about economics, but the best part to me was the speaker’s view of the world at large. He was hopeful. Positive. Inspiring. He credited his father with guiding him at a young age to” be a student of the good.”

The speaker added, “The world is full of doom and gloom. News outlets cater to people’s craving for it; people want to see and hear it.”

“Not me,” I said to my dinner partner, “I hate doom and gloom.” But of course our speaker was right, we all know “bad news sells” — just note what editors select for headlines.

The speaker lingered on a single slide of his power point presentation, a diagram of a “smart contact lens”. He asked, “Have you heard of them? No? Because they have not been covered in the news. I googled ‘innovative technology’ in my search for ‘good’. These contact lenses are here, in the development stage. With them, we may soon be able to see through walls and see in the dark.”

He closed with a challenge, our “homework assignment”:  “I want you to intentionally look for good news in a world full of bad news. Be a student of the good.”

I guess I’ve been doing that, subconsciously, for a long while. It has been a self-preservation response to having been slowly and insidiously overwhelmed with “bad” in the past. I assume balms are different for each of us, as unique as are our fingerprints.

For me, the outdoors consistently soothes my soul. Feeling crisp air. Turning my face to the sun, wind or water. Breathing in the aromas of rain or freshly-cut grass. Soaking in beautiful vistas or sunsets. Capturing that beauty with my camera, like these photos from a hike in White Pines State Park last week. I revisit “the good” pictures on days that are gray and unlovely.

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“Be a student of the good.”

For me, the joy of others is “good.” Witnessing people and animals engrossed in play or displaying unique abilities makes my heart a little lighter. It’s a privilege to make someone’s favorite thing happen. Their happiness reaches beyond them. There is something contagious about even taking a dog I’m attached to swimming: to him it is heaven; to me it is … well, I guess it’s heaven for me, too.

I savor meaningful conversations with friends who share the same interests and passions. I enjoy being with people I know very, very well … that ease of playing board games, or working side by side, or sharing meals, or traveling. It’s with those people that it’s not work to do even the mundane of life together. I like meeting new people too — the more unlike me, the more I am intrigued by what they think, what they value, what they like to do.

These are are the simple things, the easy things to see and do. The good is there, but often we are so overwhelmed by the truly awful things of this world that we must be intentional. We must search for “good”. Our speaker found innovative technology was his “good”. Your “good” will be something unique to you. You have much control over what consumes your heart and mind. Rather than be overtaken with the bad stuff of life, be “a student of the good”.