People are funny

Have you ever stopped to think that God intended for us and designed us to respond to one another?  I don't believe he meant for us to be as distant and disconnected as we often find ourselves.  Even total strangers stir a response in us, and in our own misguided ways,  we judge them in order to avoid a connection that may not serve us in the way we want or need.

You can't walk past a homeless person and not have an emotional response, whether it's anger, pity, fear, compassion; and to protect us from whatever that emotion is that comes up, we roll out the red carpet of judgement.  Though it's not okay...we dismiss that fact that the person is homeless and they don't care.

What about when it happens to you and you aren't homeless...you do care. We are all starved for connection, yet we are so scared, at the same time of getting close, being 'less than' that it's starting to feel weird out there in the world.

Yesterday, I was at the hospital and had to make my way down a long corridor from one end of the building to the next.  Somewhere on that journey, a voice from behind said, "It must be nice to be you."

I turned to see who they were talking to.  There were only two of us in that stretch so I said, "Excuse me?"

"I just think it must be nice to be you. You can just get up in the morning and not worry about what you're going to wear, how you're going to look."

My inside voice boomed in my head..."ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I hate getting up in the morning.  I hate staring blankly at my closet trying to figure out what I can squeeze my bloated, post menopausal self into so people don't see all the many ways I am falling apart every single day."

Instead of saying that,  I took a moment to gently school her in what her misinformed self knew.

"Actually, you need to know that I am no different than you or anyone else who feels crappy about themselves.  Everyday is a struggle to feel beautiful, pulled together, confident. No matter what you think the perfect size is, you will still be chasing something more perfect, cuter, skinnier, younger, happier, funnier, stronger.  It's an eternal game of trying to beat my own insecurities. I promise you, it's no fun being me and looking pulled together does not mean I am pulled together."

And then, I reached the crossroads where I needed to turn and wished her a good day.

Things like this happen everyday of my life.  When I was 9 months pregnant with Shelbie and feeling fat and miserable in my new 60+ pound body, I was bullied by two women who were unable to get pregnant after a couple of years of trying.  They were so bitter that I was pregnant and they were not.  I had never really seen such bitterness from two people, as I had that day at church.  Not a day goes by that I don't reflect on that, not because I'm holding a grudge... You see, those two women went on to have 6 children each, of their own.  6 healthy, perfect children.  I often wonder if they would still be willing to trade their trials back then, for what became of my so called 'perfect' life?  I see them around town now and again and just smile...they have no idea how they changed me.

After that, I stopped complaining that life isn't fair.  Life isn't fair, but it's right.  Life isn't meant to happen in some prescribed order of events.  Lessons are taught in the classroom of suffering where learning becomes purposeful and meaningful.  Life happens out of order and while that can look and feel unfair, we are all going to end up with the good life we deserved.  Someday, it will all make sense but until then, stop worrying about all the Haves and avoiding the Have Nots.  Stop using the stranger in the hall as your measuring stick of success or beauty and heaven forbid, stop shaming and guilting those around you just because you feel insecure and scared.

Instead, try connecting, reach for understanding before judging.  People are funny and life isn't fair..


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