Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another question, and this one's a doozy ~

Here's my question, to invoke much needed advice...here is my dilemma at the moment:
how do you stop the negative feeling toward others, who you don't agree with? whether it is faith reasons, or frivolous things.

This is a difficult question for me because I struggle with this all. the. time.

When I was young, I tended to have more negative feelings about faith matters upon which I disagreed with others. I was very intolerant of other people's "faith journeys" and had an overwhelming desire to be "right". I defined myself very deeply by being "right". Life has taught me that people's life paths take them to places specifically designed for their sanctification. I am an instrument and need to cooperate and assist their journey in love, not judgment. Bottom line, I try to express Truth to people (as far as I understand it) in love, for the glory of God and for the benefit of their souls. It is SO not about me.

Doesn't that sound lovely? Of course that is the ideal. Among all the lessons of being good, not right, acting in love, not judgment, comes those pesky "FEELINGS". Feelings mean next to nothing. They come, they go, they take you for a ride and dump you off when they are done with you. Acting in love often times FEELS horrible. It requires humility most of all, because when your advice is argued with or ignored, it makes you FEEL frustrated. Examine your purpose in feeling frustrated. Is it about YOU or is it about LOVE. If you can say truly it is about LOVE, then I assure you the feeling will be short lived. Love is like that, a healing balm that soothes the spirit.

If you are dealing with some one who is just contentious, shake the dust off your sandals and move on. Don't waste your energy on people purposely trying to upset you. Refuse to fight. Talk about the weather.

Now, frivolous matters. Whew, it seems as I have gotten older, these are getting more difficult for me. I struggle with, "What did she MEAN by that?" and see slings and arrows in many interactions. It feels lousy. It hurts, and leads to confusion, hurt feeling and exchanging hurt for hurt. My best advice is to pray, pray, pray, fast and pray, that your feelings will not rule you, that you can over time truly "pray for those that persecute you (Mt5:44). And in most cases, the people who cause you the greatest frustration probably don't even know they are persecuting you. They have their own pain and insecurities. We are all such flawed and weak creatures that hurt each other constantly with out meaning to. We should always be begging forgiveness from God and each other. We are all in the same boat.

This leads me to share with you my prayers about this issue. They are daily petitions of mine, at least I try to make them daily. I fail frequently, but I'll share them anyway.

Go and read Psalm 50. Actually I'll post it after this. It is perfect, especially "a crushed and humbled heart God will not spurn".

And then, in my sidebar, is the prayer of St. John of Kronstadt. Read it. Read it again.

And lastly, go to confession. Even though feelings are not sinful, they can wound you. If you keep them inside, and don't allow the healing balm of the grace of God in, healing will not take place. This is the purpose of confession, healing.

So, to sum up, LOVE, PRAY, and stay close to the Holy Sacraments (I guess I am assuming you are Catholic, if you are not, do try to make specific prayers of confession, listing specific feelings and actions that cause you pain and wound others).

I hope this help. I know I can articulate the answer, but living it is a much larger challenge. I'll pray for you if you pray for me, okay?


Blogger Rosemary Bogdan said...

Nice post and good advice!

August 29, 2006  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

A great and timely post for me.

I`ll definitely pray for you if you pray for me :-)

August 29, 2006  
Blogger Mimi said...

Oh do I understand.

Indeed, I will pray for you if you'll pray for me.

August 29, 2006  
Blogger Shushan said...

I can definitely relate! Yep, I'll pray for you and hope you will pray for me too. I have had a lot of intended 'slings and arrows' sent at me directly and indirectly. (and I had good reason to know it was intentional)

This has sometimes made it harder to overlook mere verbal clumsiness, but I try! and I keep praying! Best thing for us all is to keep praying for those who hurt you, whether they meant it or not. Its hard to stay 'huffy' when you've interceding lengthily for their best interests at the foot of the Throne of Grace! After all, if they become Dear friends of Jesus, they will not remain enemies of ours. Thats a win-win :D


August 29, 2006  
Blogger Mary Poppins NOT said...

I guess I should clarify this was in response to city girl's question she posed in the com box last week.

It appears that this is a pretty universal dilemma, though, and I agree whole heartedly with Susan. When you pray for someone's health and salvation, they don't stay enemies.

A few years ago, my husband and I were getting sued by a man out of pure vindictivness. We struggled with anger, and tried to forgive. Our pastor suggested having a Divine Liturgy said for this man's health and salvation. This is the traditional way to offer a Liturgy for someone. I was so angry, I asked if it could just be for the salvation, not health? Of course the answer was "no", and over time, the anger subsided, and for the most part, my husband and I are at peace.

August 29, 2006  
Blogger PopTart Mom said...

Oh how I needed this! *Squish*
I have only just recently been accused of being judgmental (by someone that professes no faith), and it hasn't set well at all... Praying for you here... please pray for me there. *Smile*

August 30, 2006  
Anonymous city girl said...

So to keep our differences, and look past them, and find a way that works for us to live our lives in peace? Good advice, thank you so very much for dedicating so much time and thought, and prayer in my behalf. I have noticed the computer can be so consuming, which I have never realized until recently. Self control, in everything we do, seems how I will keep a level head to keep the peace. I am a Catholic...born one, and will stay one. Once you know the truth, how can you turn away? Excuse my broke thoughts: I have a lot to take in right now. I have to process all of your wonderful advice, and pretty much go light a candle for myself. Maybe I need to take time out and thing about myself, instead of worrying about others so much.
thank you so very much MPN....truly wonderful for someone to take so much time and effort for someone you don't even know. Your children and husband are truly blessed to have you so close to them, to where you are always there for them, instead of your needs. God bless you.

August 31, 2006  
Blogger ukok said...

confession, confession, confession...frequently banquet at the table of the Lord and pray.

August 31, 2006  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Oh, how this fits for me at times and oh how so right now! Also, seems the ones that hurt the most are the ones who are family, who loves us, yet always seem to take us the wrong way. I guess I'll never get "used" to that exactly and so yes, prayer, contrition, confession, patience, etc. Your post was timely is all I gotta say...an answer to wondering what God would say to me right now. So, if it makes you feel any better and maybe even like God used you as a messenger for anyone in particular, I can honestly say..."I claim this one today!" :) Thanks and God be with us all! Suz

September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too can relate to your post. I spent quite some time praying for ACCEPTANCE. I wasn't specific on what to ACCEPT but it seems that my negative feelings towards certain people, places or situations sort of dissolved away. Praying for acceptance is a good idea I think.

September 02, 2006  

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