It's hard feeling like I'm being talked about by people who have a very limited understanding of a situation...of me. It's hard knowing my mistakes, wishing I could go back and fix things, and not being able to, or wanting to explain something when I'm not given the chance.
What has been done to me and what I have done to others have both made me learn a few things in these last couple of months...
I'm learning to be careful about my thoughts about others. I've learned that how I perceive people is from a very limited perspective. If people haven't shared their deepest thoughts or feelings or experiences, then I haven't any understanding of them, who they are, or what they have gone through. I'm learning this because I'm feeling terribly misunderstood and misrepresented. Negative actions do not accurately reflect the whole person. People are multi-layered and have motives.
I'm learning that true love is knowing all of those layers, good and bad, and sticking with someone.
I'm learning that we only know half the story about others. Even when we think they've shared everything, they haven't. Everyone has a bad side which they wouldn't like others to know about. Everyone has something they've said or done which makes them look terrible.
I'm learning that even though there is a dark side to people, we should love them anyway. This is because a) we don't know the whole story and b) the Lord said so (Mark 12: 30-33).
I'm learning that being open about my mistakes doesn't do much good. I'm learning which thoughts and feelings of mine not to share. This is influencing me to censor myself and cover up the "bad side" like everyone else does so well.
I'm learning that there are two sides to every story. I've learned that we only share our side so that we can feel validated.
I'm learning that I cannot change what people think of me, even if their thoughts are incorrect or incomplete. I can only change myself, improve my weaknesses, and hope that others will forgive me for my shortcomings.
I'm learning that I can't rely on others, especially men, to make me feel better about myself. I need to deal with my weaknesses on my own and turn them into strengths with the Lord's help (Ether 12:27).
I'm learning that if I love myself, no one else's opinion matters.
I'm learning that we cannot hold people accountable for something if we do not give them a chance to hear the problem and fix it. Dismissing them without giving them a chance to change is unfair.
I'm learning that when I feel like my friendship means more to me than to the other person, or when their loyalty doesn't run as deep as mine, I have made someone else feel that way before.
I'm learning that hurt and anger are never good reasons to say unkind things, and that not knowing or understanding the whole story is a worse reason.
I'm learning to not say unkind things about others, and to also be unwilling to hear them.
I'm learning that blood ties are unbreakable. Your family will always be there and on your side, half the story or not.
I'm learning to be careful not to justify my mistakes. I've definitely made some. Fortunately, those closest and most loyal to me can tell me that, forgive me, and love me still.
I'm learning that maybe the best thing is to just say sorry, even if you deserve the apology more.
I'm learning that life changes quickly. "Pray, work hard, and be patient. Things have a way of working out."
I'm learning that writing everything out is the best way to make my learning permanent.
I'm learning that a Christ-centered life causes everything to balance itself out. That's where I'm headed. To him.