I saw this video posted on Facebook a couple days ago, and it just pulled my heartstrings. I immediately knew I wanted to share it. I don’t know I guess I just have a huge soft spot for everyone who is hurting. This may also really tug on my heartstrings because I worked with patients in the hospital and nursing homes. I am learning more and more about myself and and finding that as much as I loved learning about the body and how it works, instead of helping heal the body, I love helping those who are emotionally hurting. This did not come overnight. I may have had this mindset all my life but am now learning how to apply it. You see I have this weakness, a weakness that I am slowly overcoming. I take way to much personally. I strive to make everyone happy and as we all know, that will never happen. So I get hurt easily when someone isn’t happy with me. I roll it over and over in my mind, what could I have done differently to have made them happy? My point is, all those patients I treated for 2 years, I was yearning to help them emotionally as well as physically but my fears got in the way. For those of you who don’t really know to much about the medical field, therapy patients either love us or dread us. Some of my patients would be already yelling at me before I even stepped in the room because they saw me walking down the hall to their room. Other’s would love my company and help. One old man was telling about the previous nursing home he was in. I asked if he liked it, he patted my shoulder and said, “no, but I like you.” Trust me he was not a creeper, I had those too. So for me and my fears, therapy was a roller coaster, ups being the sweet comments, to downs being cussed at and told to get out. Every negative comment and every angry patient wore on me. I took them all personal and dreaded going back the next day. At our computers, us therapist would express sympathy for the next person to have to treat the patient. I chose to let the negative patients rule, and in the process I overlooked all my sweet, sweet ones. As I look back now I am sad I had that attitude. Other than physically, I don’t know what was going on with each person. I didn’t know what their family life was, their financial situation, their past, I just saw their medical chart and an angry patient ready to insult. I am sure most of those people just needed extra love and patience.
I am learning that each one of us has control of our reactions. How obvious! But how hard to take that responsibility and discipline. How often I would think, if only that patient would be nice to me, or if only that person would change, then I would be happy. I thought my happiness depended on others changing their ways. It didn’t just happen with those I met throughout my day, it happened with my spouse. Oh if only he would just be more organized, then I wouldn’t get so annoyed with him! I began reading the DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley. It is really good, but one thing that really struck me was that we will never be happy if we always depend on someone else changing. In his book Smalley states that no one can “make” you happy. That is why in Romans it says “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Not everyone in this world is interested in being kind and keeping peace. That is why it is our duty to choose the road to peace. We can be kind and loving even if that person is not willing to return the favor. At least you yourself can experience a greater peace, instead of going away hurt and angry also.
How do we take the steps to get there? The number one and first step is to give God all your expectations and beliefs that people, places, and things will bring you lasting and complete happiness. Everything in this world is temporal and only God can fill that deep desire in your heart. Stress comes from things not happening according to plan. If we drop those expectations and let God work, our stress levels will drop also. An example from my life: I am a very organized person. My husband is not quite as organized as me. He will leave his dirty laundry 2 feet from the hamper. I would probably be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every-time I kindly and probably not so kindly reminded him to please put your dirty clothes away. I am learning to drop those expectations and look past them to see all the good qualities he has. Sure he still gets reminded, but I do not take it personal anymore. I don’t think oh my he doesn’t even care about me, he can’t even throw his clothes in the hamper. This may be a silly example but it is a daily annoyance that was easiest to share! The second step is to realize that in everything negative that happens to us a positive can be found. I am finding more and more that life is all about attitude. Sure I heard that many times, but am now learning and living it. I look back on my trials and can see now the positives. Even when times are so hard you can’t even squeeze one positive out, I am sure years later as you look back you will find many. God works in mysterious ways. It is so easy for us to be blinded by negatives. So a challenge to myself is instead of seeing only negatives in a situation or person, look past those and see the positives. Even if you don’t know all the details, if a person is bothering you or has hurt you, know that God loves them so much and has a plan for them. As I look back, I wish I would have looked past the mean comments of grumpy patients, to see them for who they really are. Someone who Jesus loves so much he laid his life down for. I can’t take back my reactions in the past, but I can change them for the future. From my mistakes I am learning!!