1 Timothy 5:13 – Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
It’s good to have friends.
It’s good to have family that care about you.
But what if your friends or family have a tendency to tell you what to do? Well, that can cause you to think less of yourself and stop trusting your judgment.
Every time you speak to them, it feels like they try to pick you apart. It feels like no matter what you do it isn’t good enough.
They always think that they know better than you, and after all, aren’t they just showing how much they care about you? Wouldn’t it be better if you gave in and did what they were trying to tell you to do?
No. Absolutely no. It is important to ask others their opinion on an important decision, but to have to get their opinion on every little thing. No.
So how do we put an end to their prying without hurting their feelings? Let’s take a look at an article on psychologytoday.com in their article, “9 Ways to Handle Nosy People.” Though the article has to do with questions people ask you who are just plain nosy, the article can give us some clues on how we can put an end to people prying into our lives. One way is to always tell the truth. Telling lies when trying to prevent people from knowing what you’re doing isn’t going to end well. You’ll run out of lies to cover up lies and you’ll have to tell the truth anyway. This may cause people to try to tell you what to do even more strongly. Also, I like this one: use deflection. Change the subject. If there are other people where you are try shifting your conversation to them.
The article helped me see that by changing your focus by subject or finding others can help you feel better about yourself, because you are in charge of the conversation and not the one who’s prying.
So as the Bible verse above tells us, let’s not be idle and prying into someone’s life and trying to tell them what to do all of the time. In turn, don’t be the person who pries into other’s lives. Be a good conversationalist, but don’t let it become a heavy pressure on the one who is trying to do the best they can do in the situation they are in.
James 3:6 – The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Regret is one thing in life that can literally hold you back. You have a conversation with a family member, and it starts to spin out of control. Words fly out of your mouth and out of the mouth of the one you’re speaking to. Then out it comes – Words that you can’t take back.
There you have it. It’s engraved in stone and there’s no way to erase it. How do you get past this?
Here’s another wrinkle – What if you have no idea what you said or did that has caused this large breach in your relationship. You scan your memory banks wondering which memory is from the day you hurt the one you love.
I think a lot has to do with whether or not the person you care about will forgive you when you ask them too.
But forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened. Forgiveness is for you, the one who was hurt. If you harbor bad feelings toward someone it may not upset them, but it can continue to upset you, the one who was hurt. The only way to freedom is to forgive the person who vomited out hurtful words, and then begin the process of reconciliation because sometimes there is hope and there is a way back. You can’t take your words back, but you can let go of the past and wait patiently for your family member to heal and are ready to move past the words that were spoken.
Sbs.com.au in their article, “Separated and Hurting: How to Reconnect with Estranged Family Members,” talks about how no individual is perfect and neither is anyone’s family unit. Family estrangements occur in all cultures. When trying to decide whether you can reestablish some form of conversation with the hurt party, you have to decide if it’s a good idea to open up old wounds. You need to look past thinking that you’re going to have a happy family where everyone gets along. We may need to realize that some families never reconcile.
I know this is difficult to face, but it is a possibility that there truly is no going back. It all may feel like it’s out of control. The article above also discusses steps to take if you want to reconnect such as it will take time and effort to rebuilt trust and respect. Considering family counseling may be the best choice for all parties.
Our tongues truly are a fire that can corrupt the whole body and set the whole course of one’s life on fire. That tongue may cause a situation where you can’t take back your words once they are spoken and regret may put up a stop sign preventing either party from moving forward. It is here, in the midst of the storm, that life has a chance to more forward, or where you may have to accept that your family is going to remain estranged. But there is hope. God can send out a life raft to provide a way out of the storm and find love in his presence where you don’t find any in your family.
1 Timothy 6:6 – But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Sometimes things that appear to be good aren’t. Besides, that green grass on the other side is going to need to be mowed more often than the shorter dull green grass.
Why do we think we have to keep working harder to buy the things we want when they’re not good for you? With me, I enter the candy department of a grocery store and chocolate calls my name. Chocolate isn’t bad for everyone, but it’s not good for me because it causes acid in my stomach and inflammation of my joints. So, chocolate may appear to be good for you when it isn’t for everyone.
We can get ourselves in a lot of trouble if we’re always looking for something better. There is always a price to pay for our bad choices. We may think we can do everything, and go anywhere, but if you’re a person who struggles with emotional pain, we have to be careful. There may enter a person in your life who seems to be honest and looking for a new friend. Yet, if you investigate their background, you might find a wake of hurt people in their past. But how do you know if that new friend is alright for you? And how do we know that greener grass is better for us?
Being content with what we have can form a protective shield around us to keep us from always looking for something better.
Let’s say you have a nosey neighbor that lives in the apartment above you. This neighbor seems to be watching what you’re doing all of the time, and they even ask you what you’ve been doing or are going to do. It could be that they’re just being friendly but being too friendly can often push people away. It may even feel like they’ve overstepped your boundaries. Every time you open your door it seems that this neighbor is right there. So, what do you do? Do you consider moving? What if that green grass of not having that nosey neighbor may end up in the new place with having a neighbor who yells at you, who keeps their tv too loud or knocks on your door all of the time to ask for something. You can see what I mean. The grass on the other side can often have weeds intertwined that you can’t see. And those weeds could do you in.
Becomingminimalist.com posts the article, “The Unmistakable Freedom of Contentment: How to Find This Unmistakable Freedom,” provides us with some ways to find contentment. First off is practice gratitude. A grateful person is one who has learned to focus on the good things in their life, not the things they lack. Another way is to take control of your attitude. Your happiness is based solely on your decision to be happy. One more that I like is stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing your life with someone else’s will always lead to discontentment.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. It is great gain to be content. That means that being content can bring about the reward of peace and balance in your life. Always looking for more will only cause you to think less of yourself and the life you lead.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Next week my oldest grandson will be leaving for the Navy. He will serve five years active duty and two years in the reserves. Saying goodbye to him this week was so very hard to do.
Even when he earns leave time, coming home will not be the same. Because he won’t be coming home the young man he is now. The military will change him. I’m not saying that going into the Navy is a bad thing because it isn’t. I just mean that who he is as a person will change. It will have to. He is going to be thrown into situations he has no clue on how to react. But I know the real person inside of him won’t change. Those deep-down parts of him will still be there even if his overall person will be changed.
So, how do you say goodbye? I wrote him a card and a personal note to encourage him. I watched as he read my note. He read it, and that is something to note. He didn’t just push it aside because he’s been taught to value others and himself. That’s why I know that he will be okay. He’s strong on the inside and will become stronger through his experiences.
There is another kind of goodbye, though. It’s the gut-wrenching pain of losing a loved one in death. There’s no going back. There are no chances for relationship do overs. Death is final. It is here, in this grief, that we find our hearts broken as we go through the grieving process.
Though nothing can compare to the loss of a loved one, there is a third kind of loss: loss of the world as we know it. Battling emotional pain is also a gut-wrenching ordeal. And many times, there is also no going back. It becomes a time to try to find a measure of relief by focusing on the good things in our lives. When you are being attacked by an episode of PTSD, though, it seems impossible to find anything positive about our situation.
How do we move on in our life even in the face of emotional pain’s constant onslaught? Eddinscounseling.com in their article, “9 Ways to Cope with Emotional Pain (without Food, Alcohol or shopping) gives us practical guidelines for coping with emotional pain. Finding a new hobby and moving your body are top on the list. Finding something new to do can change your focus and distract you from constantly thinking about your emotional pain. Moving your body is important because if you chose to stay in bed all the time, not only will it prevent you from healing from your emotional pain, it will affect you physically also. Another idea that’s on the top of my list is don’t ruminate. Don’t constantly rehash what happened. You’ll never move forward if you stay stuck in the past. Easier said than done sometimes. The last one I will share is stop telling the story. It’s easy to find a listening ear who is willing to listen to you. But if all you do in conversations with friends is tell your story over and over, you may find that your friends start distancing themselves from you. You can let them know that you’re still struggling without having to have the same conversation over and over.
Saying goodbye whether it’s to a relationship, the loss of a loved one or the loss of an area of our lives can be so very hard to do, but it’s possible to do so. Refrain from going over things in the past and imagine the good things that can happen in your future like the Bible verse above speaks of. God’s plans are for our good. There still may be struggle ahead, but you never have to face that struggle alone. God is never going to say goodbye to a relationship with him. He is always available to listen to and will bring you the hope you need just when you need it.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.