We give people too much power in our lives. The power to control how we feel. The power to determine how we see ourselves. The power to influence the decisions we make in our lives. We let the ideas, thoughts, opinions, and actions of others dictate the way we live our lives…and we shouldn’t. Point blank. Period. We shouldn’t.
As I have grown in my relationship with God, I have been able to detach myself from people in a way that has greatly enhanced my life. That is not to say that I have isolated myself or become anti-social or anything of the sort. It simply means that I have reclaimed the power within my life.
My younger, more immature self needed people. I needed their approval. I needed their agreement. I needed their praise. And I needed someone to blame my negative behavior and reactions on. If she didn’t like what I was doing, then I’d change what I was doing. If he didn’t agree with the decision I was making, then I’d make another choice. If she wasn’t proud of what was happening, then I would make something else happen. And if I was angry or going off on someone, it was because of what they did or said to me.
He, She, They. Not me. Not God. In all of those scenarios, it was about others and not myself. I had given people the power to determine who I was and how I lived my life. MY LIFE. Thankfully, I came to the realization sooner than later that this was unhealthy and a huge contributor to my unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Not only that, but I realized that by relinquishing control over to people, I was robbing God, the one who created me, of His rightful position in my life. He should have been leading me. He should have been guiding me. He should have been dictating the decisions I made. He should have been the one I cared about pleasing. He should have been the source of my joy. And I should have based how I saw myself on who He said I was, not people.
And even though I have this understanding now, I still sometimes have to reassess ‘why’ I am doing certain things. Am I making this decision because it is a part of God’s plan for my life, or am I trying to figure this out on my own by listening to others? Am I blaming other people for how I am acting and feeling, or am I owning my negative behavior, actions, and thoughts as my own flaws and releasing them to God to help me? Am I relying on this person to make me happy, or am I seeking God for his joy, peace, and strength?
It is a process. And even when we think we’ve mastered it, careful review can reveal areas where we still need improvement. But realizing your weakness is a big first step that I am happy to have walked into 2017 with.