Drama Junkie

I’ve spent my lifetime, silently watching and listening.  Wondering.  Why do some people seem to continually be surrounded by difficulties?  My heart would break and I would step in to help.  Then, I stumbled across unfamiliar terminology – excessive attention seeking disorder.  Did you know that for some people, receiving attention gives them a chemical high, similar to a drug hit?  Excessive attention seeking or addiction to drama is very real and this enslavement reaches outward and affects everyone that comes into contact with the drama junkie.  If someone that you care about seems to crave excessive attention, there are reasons for this behavior.  This post is not intended to offer in depth scientific evidence, or a cure but instead I hope to provide clarity and understanding to the one who suffers from second-hand drama.  Please allow me a few moments to take what I have learned and break it down into a very simple explanation, then we’ll look at your role in the drama.

 

Research shows that when a developing child feels neglect, their brain interprets this as danger and wires itself to survive within this environment.  This wiring for survival trains a developing mind to do whatever is necessary to attract the craved attention, even if it’s extreme.  Sometimes this means creating turmoil by making decisions that cause difficulties.  These behaviors attract attention which then trigger a chemical reaction in the brain, similar to a drug high and the behaviors have now been rewarded and reinforced.  You see, endorphins and dopamine are released which suppress pain and bring feelings of happiness.  This becomes a cycle, where the end goal is a reward of short lived feelings of elation – then the cycle begins again.  Just like any other addiction, a tolerance is built up and it will require a bigger and better crisis to achieve the good feelings.  Here’s the cherry on top.  Researchers believe that a consequence of neglect is a smaller hypothalamus gland in the brain.  The hypothalamus plays a key role in sleep, body temperature regulation, hunger, healthy parenting and processing of the “feel good” chemical, serotonin.  When the brain doesn’t efficiently process serotonin, problems occur.  Have you noticed that your attention getter struggles with other addictions, obsessions or depression?  It is common for the addiction to drama and excessive attention seeking, to accompany other addictions such as food or substances – legal or illegal, or obsessive tendencies and depression.  This is the serotonin link.  So, now that we have a better understanding, how can this intrusion into your life be managed?

 

First, realize that enabling the behavior isn’t helpful.  If you care about someone who exhibits these behaviors, maybe it has felt easier to let the turmoil and crisis roll in, or maybe you’ve been helping them feed their other addictions, but if you have influence in their life, it might be time for you to confront them with truth in a loving manner.  Second, never minimize the great transforming power that God can exercise in our lives when we are willing participants in His work in us – pray for them.  Encourage them in the following areas.  Contentment – loving what we already have more than what we don’t have.  Forgiveness – forgiving our parents or other caregivers from our developing years is crucial.  Acceptance – realizing and accepting that sometimes other humans only have so much to give and that sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough.   Self-control – encourage them to make sound decisions.  Belief – remind them of God’s everlasting love and encourage them to read God’s word and devour it.  We all benefit by being continually reminded of the great love that God has for us and His unmerited favor upon each of us.

 

One last thought – if you are exhausted by someone like this and you are tempted to remove yourself from their drama, it might be necessary to do so, but remember that 1st Thessalonians tells us to be tender and patient toward those that are weak.  This person probably has a root of hurt that goes deep.  If you have a influential relationship with this person, God could be calling you to help them.  Without enabling the behavior, you can present the truth in a loving and supportive manner.

Meaningful, Valuable & Impactful – Words Have Meaning

How do you feel when someone acknowledges a positive characteristic in you?  You’re elated, right?  It’s like they’ve become the wind beneath your wings.  I sincerely hope that each of you has someone in your life, that gives you the gift of encouragement.  Now, I challenge you – be that person to someone else.  Give the gift of words that are meaningful, valuable and impactful – words that lift up.

It is pleasant to hear that someone likes you or even loves you, but when they are specific as to why they feel this way, it takes you to a new level.  Put some thought into your admiration and let them know what it is.  Put a name to it.  Following are some examples but don’t stop here – add the how, when and why that you’ve noticed this about them.

>You’re kind.

>You’re observant.

>You’re sensitive.

>You’re cheerful.

>You’re charming.

>You’re joyful.

>You’re wise.

>You’re gifted in the area of ….

>You’re talented in the area of ….

>You’re an encourager.

>You’re generous.

How about when someone has a deep impact on you?  Have you observed that they smile and lift the spirits of others?  Are they a musician who impacts you with their music?  Did they teach you or exhort you and open your eyes?  Did they sweep in and help you to improve your living conditions?  Does their gift give you joy?  Do their writings inspire you?  Has their input into your life, made you a better human being?  Has their encouragement lifted you up out of a pit and put you upon a rock?  Tell them.  Write your thoughts down and give it to them.  Your words have more meaning than you might realize.

One last thought, don’t overlook that person that appears to be confident.   They are mostly self-assured but all humans need to receive encouragement and many long to know that they are positively impacting the lives of others.    Life has a way of demoralizing even the most self-assured people.  Your kind and thoughtful words, might be the boost that they need to continue on.

Be a characteristic specific encourager, and be sure to tell them the how, when and why.  You might be the person that brings sunshine into a gloomy heart and mind.

Backwards, In-Place or Straight Ahead?

It’s a period of change, or the process of changing from one circumstance or condition to another.  We’ve all gone through it and most of us are going through some form of it right now.  It is transition.

Transition comes in many forms and for many reasons.  It is one of the most common aspects of living the human experience.   A wedding, childbirth, returning to school, a job change, retirement, death of a loved one, relocation, divorce, empty nesting, down-sizing, health crisis, losing a friendship, geographical separation from a spouse and countless other changes.

Traveling through transition can be forbidding.  The emotional pain of letting go and the fear of the unknown, can grip us and sometimes we get stuck or even begin to take steps backwards.  Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life”.  Since we know this to be true, why not stop fighting it and instead, embrace it?  Yes, the key to success during transition is to accept the realities of it – but how?

It starts with our perspective and I’m not going to sugar coat this – it won’t always be easy. If we find ourselves mentally curled up in the fetal position or perpetually with a heavy-heart, we must change the way that we are perceiving the process of change. View the transition as an experience that you are marching forward into.  Look straight ahead and focus on the good things to come.  If you are unable to imagine the good things in your future, go to someone who knows you well and ask for help with seeing the possibilities.  Reach outward to others who are trustworthy and have the ability to help you analyze your circumstances and separate each problem.  Once each problem stands alone, you can more easily deal with it and it will be merely one stepping stone on your journey.  Share your struggles and allow others to shoulder some of your burdens.  Accept practical helps along the way.  Check your outlook and attitude regularly – is your heart heavy or light?  All of this minimizes the internalization of your struggles and will help you to prevent overwhelm within your mind.

Experiencing difficulties is usually not something that we seek out or enjoy but I do encourage you to remember.  As you experience your next transition, you’ll remember and know that you’ll survive.  Think back.  Did you grow stronger and wiser?  Are you more kind, compassionate and giving?  Don’t forget to share this with others as they are experiencing overwhelming stress during periods of transition.

If you have been attempting to march forward through life by the power of your own strength, separated from the One that created you, knows everything about you and yet still loves you with an everlasting love, I would like to tell you just a little of my story.  When I was seventeen, I faced a huge transition – my father’s first suicide attempt.  At that time, I placed my trust in Christ’s payment for my sins and He became Lord of my life.  I cannot imagine experiencing life’s difficulties without my Lord at the helm.  He doesn’t remove the challenges but He supports me while I walk through them and He uses them to mature me.  He is the Living Water that sustains me during the droughts of my life.  If you don’t know Him, I encourage you meet Him.  He never expects you to get cleaned up enough to meet Him.  He says come as you are.  Meet the One that made you, gives you breath, died for you, resurrected Himself and intercedes for you – Jesus Christ.  Meet Him, trust Him and watch Him bring a beautiful metamorphosis out of the challenge of change.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Get Messy

It’s free but it is expensive and it can be messy.  I’m referring to putting your time, effort and heart into the lives of other people.   Whether a big investment or a small gesture, never disbelieve the power of your sincere care, encouragement and kindness toward another human being.

 

We live in a rushed society where most of us are striving to build a life.  Providing for the needs of our family is godly but we can easily get caught in the trap of wanting more stuff or being involved in every activity under the sun.  Are we too pressured trying to get to the next activity to even smile at the stranger that comes across our path? How about the elderly person that might need our time, ear and patience?  Have we taken notice of that person sitting alone that might be in desperate need of some companionship or encouragement?  Are we so over-committed that we can’t invest in a young person’s life?  How about that friend who has been through a difficult period and would benefit from some empathy and support?

 

To demonstrate the impact of one life investing in another, I would like to tell you a short but true story.  There was a woman who for various reasons, endured many years of persecution.  She was treated hatefully, wrongly judged, falsely accused and alienated.  Due to circumstances that were outside of her control, she could not leave this environment.  The many years of this treatment shattered her self-image.  She began to believe that she was worthless.  By the time that she was removed from this environment, she was a wounded, broken shell of who she had been.  She kept to herself, rarely letting anyone get close, because deep down inside, she believed that no one wanted to be her friend.  One human being, who was gifted and sensitive in the area of noticing hurting people, began to talk to her.  This person began pointing out her strengths and gifts and they became faithful and supportive friends.  She began to believe the good things that she was hearing about herself.  This one person took a step toward another person and made the investment of their time and friendship and a hurting soul received healing.  Without the investment made by this person, this woman might have continued on in her hurt and probably retreated further into the protective cocoon that she had knitted for herself.  Instead, she is now encouraging others.  So many people are benefiting because one person reached out to bind her wounds and now the cycle of blessing continues.

 

If you lighten up your load and look around, you will see hurting humans – unfortunately, they are in abundant supply.  They might even be in your own household.  Be available for these God appointments.  What appointment does He have for you today?  God says that pure and undefiled religion is visiting orphans and widows in their affliction.  Ministering to the lonely, broken and needy is pure and undefiled too.  Let Him send you into someone’s life, so that you can get a little messy.

Tender Hearted Warrior – Part II

Thank you for reading Tender Hearted Warrior.  After reading the feedback, I felt that a continuation of this post might be helpful.  Specifically, I would like to explore emotional resilience.

 

It is natural for the tender-hearted warrior to become bogged down and weakened by emotional turmoil.  They carry a heavy mental and emotional load but as stated in my earlier post, highly sensitives, also known as empaths, must take care of themselves. Cultivating emotional resilience or mentally strong traits will help you to feel more at peace with your personality and ensure that you will be able to continue blessing others and feel the joy of doing so.

 

Do you remember the proverbial phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”?  Can we all just agree that life is going to give us plenty of lemons?  It’s what we do with those lemons, that makes us or breaks us.  For the highly sensitive, this is going to be a greater challenge but I myself am a highly sensitive/empath, and I’m assuring you that it is well worth the training of your mind.  I have found the following general guidelines to be crucial to my survival.

 

>Realize and accept that life is full of difficulties, set-backs, challenges and pain.  Don’t fear them.  When you get knocked down, don’t stay down for long.  Get back up, brush yourself off and commit to working toward overcoming the pain that you are experiencing.  View the experience as an opportunity to grow as a human being.

>Realize that you won’t be happy all of the time.  Our culture is obsessed with feeling good and being happy.  It’s alright to be sad sometimes, just don’t get stuck there.

>Realize that there is nothing wrong with existing in the mundane of life.  Life isn’t always fun and exciting.  Those boring quiet periods, can be loaded with precious growth.

>Realize that relying on substances such as alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal), or even over indulging on food or spending, cripples you emotionally and mentally.  Get help if you are enslaved by unhealthy behaviors.

>Realize that you can develop alternate habits that are healthy.  Exercise, eating for nutrition, visiting with a supportive friend, journaling, listening to uplifting music, watching comedy or an uplifting movie and learning a new skill.

>Realize that you should not dwell in the past.  This is not the same as remembering pleasant memories.  If you are dwelling or obsessing, you are making deep grooves in your mind that tend to be negative.  Try limiting your obsession sessions to 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before bed.  Eventually, you will not need these sessions and your mind will be able to recall a pleasant memory without negativity.

>Realize that you should not be jealous of the position, status, possessions or accomplishments of others.  No matter how minuscule, we all have good things in our own lives to focus on.

>Realize that you should not wallow in self-pity or self-doubt.  If you have experienced a set-back, examine it and determine what could have been done differently.  Learn from the experience, commit to doing better next time and move on.  Do not use negative self-talk.  It is helpful to have people in your life that will hold you accountable in this area.

>Realize that it is healthy to have a good balance between optimism and pessimism.  A positive attitude combined with reality, can help you in many ways.  A positive mental attitude alone is akin to lying to yourself – unfortunately, life isn’t always grand or perfect.  When you learn to be content and joyful in the midst of reality, you are steadier when challenges come.  Also this balance enables you to formulate executable plans which can give you something to look forward to.

>Realize that you should spend time remembering the past and looking forward to the future.  This is not the same as dwelling on past hurts and mistakes or fearing the future.  Focus on how far you have come and where you hope to go.

>Realize that this will not be easy.  As a sensitive, you absorb the negative of life, so your brain has tendencies and leanings in that direction.  Accept that you will have to continually practice these guidelines.

>Finally and I believe the most important guideline.  Realize that although we are created with emotions and emotions are not sinful, we should not allow ourselves to be ruled by our emotions.  Always, check your emotions against who God says that you are and what God says to do and what God promises in His word.  Your emotions can sometimes mislead you but God never will.

 

Journaling is a valuable tool.  A highly sensitive will easily believe that they are the problem in almost every bad outcome.  Learn to examine yourself and if you have made mistakes in a relationship, job or other situation, learn from these mistakes, ask for forgiveness if appropriate and move forward to the next experience.  In your journal, record what you have learned and what should be done differently in the future.  As you struggle with self-doubt, this record will be useful to keep you on track as you try again.  Also, the highly sensitive is naturally a feeling oriented and deep thinking person.  They will gradually or suddenly slide back into reliving old painful experiences.  You are usually aware of what triggers this slide and I would like you to use this for your benefit.  Make a record in your journal.  You will have three columns.  In the first, include a description of what you are thinking and feeling – the problem, situation or fear.  In the second, indicate whether it is real and confirmed or merely perceived and in the third column describe what action you will take, even if that is committing the item to prayer.  You can be as detailed or brief as you feel necessary.  This helps in separating each aspect which makes the problems smaller in your mind.  Otherwise, a sensitive can have a huge pile of problems in their mind and they become overwhelmed.  When the turmoil has passed, which can sometimes take days or even longer, journal about the success that you have experienced.  These recordings will be valuable to you later, when you experience difficulty and need the hope that things will get better.

 

All of us are a work in progress, but working toward something is better than doing nothing at all – or even worse, trying to cover it with substances or over spending.  Since each of us will experience the ups and downs of living this life, why not sharpen our positive but realistic perspective?  If you find that you become bogged down in emotional and mental mire, I genuinely hope that these guidelines and suggestions will help you to experience relief.

Tender Hearted Warrior

You might have at least one of them in your life.  Some call them earth angels.  These people notice when you’re not quite right.  They have a knack for serving you exactly the way that you need, at exactly the right moment.  They regularly have a fitting word of encouragement or exhortation.  In short, it is as though they spread fairy dust in the lives of those that they touch.  They love deeply.  They carry heavy burdens.  They get hurt by actions that wouldn’t phase another person.  They are like sponges, absorbing the complicated world that exists all around them.  They are called highly sensitive types and most of them have been told that their sensitivity is a personality flaw.  It isn’t a flaw, it is a beautiful personality type and when handled properly, it can bless everyone involved.

 

Finally, there are studies shedding light on this very unique portion of our population.  We are beginning to appreciate that the highly sensitive personality is real and outstanding.  Scientists now understand that the brain of the highly sensitive person functions differently and that these gray matter differences stem from genetic coding which determines how certain hormones are created and transported.  Dear highly sensitive one:  I hope that you feel vindicated.   You are not flawed – you are amazing.  For those that have difficulty understanding the sensitives in your life, accepting them without expecting them to change is best.  Just like it is impossible for you to be like them, they cannot change to be like you.  You may never truly understand them but you can choose to appreciate them.

 

Here are some ways that you can support the sensitive that is in your life.

 

>Realize that they are actually very adept at “reading” body language, tone of voice and other social cues.  If there is a problem or change in the relationship, they will be aware of it but because they don’t have all of the facts, they will be robbed of their peace as they consider the multitude of possibilities.  It is helpful to be honest but gentle with them.

>They will believe that negative behavior is directed toward them and that they have done something to deserve it.  If you are in a foul mood or have an emotional or physical condition that causes you to behave rudely or aloof at times, it is helpful to explain this to your highly sensitive.  They struggle with taking things too personally.

>Understand that they carry the burdens and pains of others.  Their heart can become deeply vested and sometimes they get hurt.  This doesn’t make them weak or mentally ill – they are actually strong and brave warriors.

>Because they are acutely aware of external stimuli, they can become exhausted by everything that they are taking in.  They are also easily disturbed by noise.  They need quiet time, preferably alone, to recharge their batteries.

>They are passionate in almost every area of their life and they usually have a creative aspect within their gifts and abilities.

>They are deep thinkers and they despise wasting time on small talk or stating the obvious.

>They usually don’t fall asleep quickly.  They have a difficult time slowing their mind.  Sooth them at bedtime.  Don’t instigate fights or tickle battles.  Create a peaceful environment for them.

>Realize that sensitives are like sponges.  When people are in conflict around them, they absorb it and it will affect them for hours or sometimes even days.

>Be generous with genuine affirmation.  A sensitive craves affirmation but they also know when you’re insincere.

>Sensitives can become isolated.  Their world is complicated and sometimes painful.  They easily retreat to safety.  Make sure that they are getting out and doing things that they enjoy.

>Value them exactly how they are.  View their sensitivity as a gift and point this out to them.  They live with a tremendous amount of self-doubt and many times they have what I refer to as a weak conscience, causing them to be overly self-accusing.

 

For the highly sensitive, I would caution you in two areas.  First, you are like a sponge and absorb everything, so learn to discern the circumstances that you need to stay clear of.  A quote from Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.”  Second, it is easy to use your gift in the wrong way.  Be aware of your attitudes and tendencies to judge the motives of others or become overly self-focused – these behaviors can turn this gift into a curse.  God created you with this special personality – use it as a blessing to serve others and glorify Him.

A Little Help Getting Unstuck

Experiencing anguish is a part of living life but what does it mean when we continue to feel the pain at an overwhelming intensity level, even after many months or even years have passed?  If this is you, you might be stuck.  Today, I would like to offer you hope.  With a little help, you can get unstuck and begin living a joyful life again.

 

Before we begin, I would like to clarify that I am not suggesting that there is an appropriate amount of time to grieve.  Grief is as individual as we are.  There is a point, where we each intuitively know that our grieving is no longer healthy.  At this point, we must find a pathway to moving forward with our life.  Essentially grieving is healthy until it isn’t.  Are you emotionally paralyzed?  Is your physical health beginning to suffer?  Do you no longer believe that you can or should be happy again?  Have you lost and not regained motivation to do the things that need to be done, or that you previously enjoyed?  Can you see little or no progress from when you first experienced the grief causing event?  Don’t despair, there is help available.  Make an appointment with a trained and qualified counselor, and go to your first appointment prepared to be transparent and looking forward to getting better.

 

I’m writing from experience.  This past year was a tough one – a full year of experiencing one relationship failure after another.  Each situation was unique and caused a different level of anguish but when combined together, I was overwhelmed.  I did my very best to work through the process of grieving, as well as making difficult decisions, but I finally realized that it was time to get some assistance.  Vanity is powerful.  I had been able to tolerate the minor panic attacks and a relapse into adrenal fatigue, but realizing that my hair was falling out in great amounts and that I was eating my grief and gaining weight, moved me into action.  I located a qualified counselor and began sessions.

 

How does a counselor help?  A counselor is unbiased.  They won’t allow you to continue to reinforce incorrect thinking.  They will help you to arrive at the vital acceptance of circumstances that you cannot change.  They will help you to see that you have a bright future ahead of you.  Essentially, you have been on an oval race car track.  Your car only turns left and goes around and around but never moves forward.  With the counselors help, you can get off of that track and begin to move forward again.

 

Sharing this with my readers is difficult for me to do but I believe that God has asked me to be authentic with you.  I’m hoping that there is at least one person out there, that might be helped by this post.  I do want to caution you – be aware that not all counselors are helpful and some will interject very non-biblical ideas.  Have your discernment sharpened and look at things through a biblical lens.  I’m happy to report that I am doing much better – I am a stronger woman and full of spunk according to my counselor.  Best of all, I am looking forward to a bright future.  I am learning new things to better myself, have taken on a new writing opportunity for my church, I’m looking forward to my children’s next phase of life and the next season in my marriage.  You can look forward to a bright future too.  I’m hoping that this year will be a blessed one for you.

Telling Yourself Truths

The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit? – Proverbs 18:14. Careless words and actions can and do hurt – sometimes they cause pain for a very long time.

 

The woman that dishonestly or unfairly vents her thoughts about another woman to her husband, children or others.  The person that tells only their side of the story, to make the other person look bad. That man that comments about another man’s character being dishonorable. The group that chatters together conjuring up stories of sinful activity.  The person, when asked about someone, reacts with a raised eyebrow or even a very slight derogatory comment.  The woman that excludes another woman from her life or makes another woman feel unwelcome without a genuine reason.  The woman that uses body language to ignore another woman. The person that tells half truths about someone to mislead others.  The young person that gossips, excludes or uses unkind words about a peer or another family. Finally, the person that makes the mistake of listening to one side of the story and allows their opinion to be swayed.  It might seem benign – “after all, it will never get back to the person and so what if it does – they deserve it and it makes me feel better”.

 

It is never harmless.  It always damages the person that has been hurt, as well as the person guilty of the hurting. It can be a firestorm in someone’s life – taking years to recover but just like a forest that has been burned away, if handled correctly, beautiful growth can emerge.  How can beauty come up out of these ashes?  First, when you are believing a lie about yourself or the situation, you must tell yourself a truth.  Here are some examples.  “They are twisting the story” can become “the truth will come out in the end”.  “They are getting away with ruining my reputation or turning other people against me” can become either “I have earned credibility and other people won’t automatically believe this” or “if they don’t know me very well, I shouldn’t be overly concerned about their opinion of me” and ultimately “God’s opinion of me is the only opinion that matters”.  “I feel like women despise me” can become “I have women in my life that value me”.  “There must be something wrong with me” can become “it is not because of who I am.  It is because of how they choose to behave or who they are.”  Second, you have to trust and believe that God is a God of justice and that He will not allow this to go on forever.  Third, if you find that you are obsessing about an offense against you and stirring the pot of stew so to speak, there are techniques to help you manage this.  Try limiting your stewing sessions to five minutes in the morning and five minutes before bedtime.  If your mind tries to stir the pot during the other times of the day – just remind yourself “not now – later”.  Soon, you may not need those sessions at all.  Finally, do not resort to vindictive or childish behavior.    It might make you feel better in the short run but in the long run, it will hurt you.  These healing actions will protect you from bitterness taking root.

 

Women are especially vulnerable to perceiving that another woman’s grass is greener.  Insecurities or jealousy of another woman’s accomplishments, character, personality, physical appearance, husband, children or even a pure admiration that she might receive from men or even other women, can cause an insecure woman to behave rudely, cruelly or even maliciously.  A husband is the leader of his wife and therefore he is responsible to watch for these behaviors.  Keep in mind, she may be very adept at concealing these behaviors from her husband. Husbands, you can make a difference in this area.  She may not want you to, but she needs you to lead her and hold her accountable.  I realize that a peaceful environment is difficult to give up but coddling bad behavior, emboldens it.  Parents, if you notice that your daughter is involved in this type of behavior, hold her accountable and train her up correctly while you still have influence in her life.  This is not innocent conduct and even words or actions that you might deem harmless, may be hurting another human being.

 

Are you wounded?  Maybe others have excluded you, talked about you, lied about you, rejected you and worst of all, at times, maybe it has affected your children.  If you are wounded, then you know the pain that this can cause.  I offer comfort to you – you probably did nothing to deserve this treatment.  I offer encouragement to you – get back out there and find others that have healthy self-images, because they will be able to love you and they will celebrate everything about you.  I offer reassurance to you – that you deserve to have people in your life that will give back to you.

 

We are raised in imperfect homes with imperfect families and often we have insecurities or emotional problems but the Bible tells us to esteem others as higher than ourselves.  When we do, spirits can be lifted – marriages, families and friends built up.  Let’s be willing to be honest with ourselves and take a good long look at our reflection in the mirror.  Let’s search our memories and our hearts.  Each of us could probably find a time when we have been guilty of spreading or listening to careless words, being unkind or not holding ourselves or others accountable.  Would you join me in committing to not being part of the problem as you move forward with your relationships?

Bubble, Perk and Joy

Her personality tends to be a bit bubbly and she smiles a lot too.  When she was a little girl, her Dad nicknamed her “Smiley”.  Her life is not perfect and she doesn’t always feel joyful.  She has just as many heartaches, struggles and challenges as the next woman, but she was created with a perky personality.  She can usually find the humor in most situations and sometimes laugh through her tears.  She has spent years feeling self-conscience about this trait but is finally arriving at a place where she accepts this – it is who she is.  Finally, she can even see some positive aspects to her personality.  Who is this woman?  She is Bubbly.

 

It’s embarrassing to admit but the woman that I describe is me and over the years, I have annoyed too many women with my bubble, perk and joy.  These other women were created with a personality that is more subdued.  I’ll call them my somber sisters and I love them dearly.  Since you may be wondering, I will explain what I view as a bubbly sister and a somber sister.  Picture this – a bouncy, energetic, friendly puppy that just wants to play – she could be friends with anyone – this is Bubbly.  Now picture the feline perched high – her demeanor is reserved, she apprehensively studies the puppy, she could take the puppy or leave the puppy – this is Somber.  Over the years, many women have come in and out of my life and some of them have left me with the burning question, “why doesn’t she like me?” During my life, I have experienced somber sisters communicating a look that clearly said “get away gnat … you bother me!”  or how about three women standing in a circle – one somber, one neutral and one bubbly.  Bubbly starts to speak and Somber turns her body away as if she is communicating “Bubbly, you don’t exist”.  For the men that are reading this post – I am not kidding you –  this stuff really happens between women.  As my husband says “I am so glad that I’m not a woman”.

 

Somber and Bubbly, I want to emphasize that we are sisters.  Let’s not forget Neutral – I bet that Somber and Bubbly can cause Neutral some stress.  Women of all personalities, shapes and sizes are sisters.  As sisters, we understand each other and relate in ways that only sisters can.  Somber sister, do you despise your bubbly sister simply because of her perky personality? When you look at her like “that”, exclude her, ignore her – she notices and it hurts her deeply.  Just like I did, she may begin to believe that her personality is the problem.  She may begin to despise her own personality and retreat to safety, no longer sharing her joy with others.

 

Fellow bubbly sister, you and I must learn to temper our sparkle and perk just a little, at least until you know that it is safe to come out and play.  Most importantly, remember that when a Somber doesn’t seem to like you, it is not about you.  She is probably unable to understand you or relate to you.  Do your best to not take it personally.  You will learn to recognize the men and women that will appreciate you for who you are – that Bubbly that naturally exudes a little sparkle and joy.