Not Joining In

30 Nov

Although we try to associate with friends who respect us, and people we can trust, there are unfortunately times when we may find ourselves in the company of those who are neither respectful nor trustworthy. Perhaps they lie, manipulate, cheat, or do other things to hurt us and make us doubt our worth. It’s not easy to have interactions like those and if we do, we may be intensely angry or feel emotionally destroyed. We may struggle with unbelief, especially if we thought we were valued. But if those that hurt us don’t really care, when we learn the truth, we can be devastated and lost. “How could we be so blind?” we may ask. We wonder how we could have missed the signs that must have been there. Sadly, people who don’t really care may be so adept at hiding their true nature, it may have been impossible to know the truth until it was too late. But no matter how long it takes, eventually the truth comes out. And when it does we may feel like fools, and have no idea what to do next.

There is an old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” If we believe this, we might feel justified in taking revenge, and finding a way to hurt those who’ve hurt us as badly as we can. We may feel it’s fair to make them miserable and do everything possible to destroy them. It’s certainly one way to cope with the pain, but joining them in their hateful behavior will not help us. It seems like it will, but all it will do is add personal disappointment to the pain. It’ll be a “two fer.” We’ll get to suffer from their actions, and then feel worse from our own. And that isn’t in our best interest. It might make us feel better in the short run, but in the end it’ll just make things worse. If we’re already devastated, making things worse will never help.

Although those who have acted badly, who have hurt us on purpose, or who have manipulated us, certainly deserve retribution, we don’t have to compromise our ideals to make sure they get it. We must remember that our lives belong to us, and we are in control of our decisions. If we lower our standards and become as viscous as they are, we give control to them. If we react poorly instead of respond well, we will lose. And if we’ve been badly hurt, we’ve lost enough already. However, if we stay strong in our standards, and hold tight to our ethics, and instead reach for the noble path, we prevail. There is nothing that can diminish integrity and wisdom. There is nothing that can triumph over excellent judgment. It isn’t easy to hold fast to what is right when we’ve been wronged. It isn’t easy to look up when we’re hurt, but that is the only way to win. We don’t have to join in bad behavior to prove we are right. We can stand strong, choose virtue, and honor ourselves and our values. When we do that, we always win. Our personal respect stays intact and we overcome everything. We have the courage and the ability to choose well. We can handle anything that comes to us, and handle it with dignity and greatness.

Today if you’ve been hurt badly by someone you thought you could trust, remember who you are. You are good, and you will choose what is best. Stand strong for what you know is right, and be the very best you can be. Nothing can diminish you. Hold tight to the truth. You are so much better than this. Be brave, and make decisions that support the excellent person you are. Be confident. You are worth the best of everything.

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