Self Sunday 1.01

Choice is one of our most powerful possessions. How we choose to engage with others, especially those who hurt us, says much about our strength and self-love. Realizing and understanding this has been one of my greatest challenges.

Growing up, I experienced a lot of hurt and pain. Because of my environment, anger was the most appropriate response. I quickly learned that when others hurt you, you should hurt them in return. Boy, was I wrong.

Some say revenge is sweet. While there may be a sense of satisfaction that results from hurting someone who has hurt you, it is fleeting and destructive. Additionally, being on guard and ready to battle whenever someone offends allows the offender to dictate your response. Instead, turning the other cheek is the best policy. However, this doesn’t mean that you should allow an intentional offender to slap you continuously. It simply means that you choose not to slap them back.

True strength lies in controlling how you react despite what the other person does. Furthermore, people who truly love themselves don’t enjoy hurting others. Whether the relationship is with a parent, friend, boss, etc., spend time evaluating it. Determine whether or not it contributes to your happiness. Never be afraid to say “no” to hurtful relationships. We cannot change other people. We are only equipped to change ourselves. Therefore, be willing to limit your time with and if necessary walk away from them completely.