“I’m finally understanding the peace that comes with not defending yourself. I have been misunderstood so many times over the years and by people that really mattered to me. I used to absolutely crumble if someone I cared about misunderstood me in a negative way. I’d spin for days. Weeks! I’ve had friends tell all their/our other friends about their perspective and paint me out to be A,B or C. (And you know what? I’ve done that to friends in my life as well, when in my brokenness I needed to be right).
I used to spend a lot of time scrambling to make sure my name was cleared and that everyone knew I really wasn’t the kind of person rumor had it I was. In the last year, something new has clicked for me: If someone wants to understand you or find positive resolution, even if they’re hurt, they will try to with vulnerability. They will ask. They will set aside their anger or hurt and make an effort to see things from your perspective. But if they just need to be right, there is nothing you can say to make them understand or to bring about positive resolution. Sometimes the fear of what it would mean for us to be wrong is so crippling that we will crush everything which threatens our need to control. Including accountability or even long-standing friendships. Because trusting someone is scary, and fear makes us do crazy things. I’ve really only just started applying this tactic of being comfortable with being misunderstood. It’s painful at first. The injustice of not being rightfully exonerated! But it’s amazing how easy it became to identify the people I really want around me- and those I don’t. Not with anger, pride or distaste, but just an understanding that defending myself in those scenarios isn’t useful.
I hope this encourages some of you. It’s okay to be misunderstood. The people who know and love you will attest to your proven character when a conflict arises. They’ll assume you’ve been misunderstood before they assume something bad they thought or heard is correct. So mark it- keep an eye out. Real friends will be willing to have awkward or hard conversations with you. THOSE are the people you want around.” – @joylenz
I’ve had these words saved for some time because this has been a long, hard, painful at times lesson for me to learn in my twenties. But when you truly let go and KNOW who’s in your corner, all of that above becomes less important and peace floods in. I was like this and have reached a point in my life that I cherish who I have and really invest in them instead of trying to please everyone else. Because you never will. You’ll always be perceived a certain way to someone who isn’t willing to be vulnerable, to work through, confront, or ask. Bottom line, cherish those who are there. No matter what. Those who truly love you, support you, and know your heart. I’ve been blessed with some of the best women and these two are some of the few who have my heart. They knew I needed a pick me up last week and made a 5+ hour road trip to surprise me and make it happen. Love you, Jess and Tiff! You’ve taught me so much about all of this and how to also be a better listener, doer, mom, and friend!