I finally learned something of epic proportion. That Mom was right about so many things, but not about all. She attempted to shelter me, just as I do my own Sons, but there are things which must be faced and learned stoically.
When people try to hurt you, whether that is real or perceived, avoid them, she taught me. And so, in essence, I built a cocoon around myself for decades. I really have lived my life as a hermit- trusting no one but my very close family. I made myself off limits to everyone else. Judgements. It was always about judgements. I deemed everyone untrustworthy. There is a Mexican saying- referring to thieves- 'mas peca la victima que el ladron'- or something to that effect. Translated, it means that the victim ends up bearing more guilt than the actual thief because the thief knows who he stole from, but the victim begins blaming even innocent people, thinking and wondering if they were the culprit. In much the same way, I judged that others had ulterior motives in trying to get close to me. (sigh) Sad, I know
Thankfully, there is another Mexican saying which I can apply at this point. 'Mejor tarde, que nunca'- better late than never. I am grateful that I have learned the error of my ways. It's not so simple and clear cut, mind you, but I think what I am gleaning from this epiphany is that ultimately what matters in God's eyes is how you react to pain and suffering. Do you push people away, or even strike back perhaps? Or do you make an effort to see beyond the hurt to the source of that person's behavior. Love begets love. Embrace the pain, look the afflicter or affliction in the eye and do not shy back. Reach out, do your part to give back kindness and love, regardless. Not an easy thing to do when you're angry or upset, but after all, the Lord never promised it would be easy. And believe me, I'm still stuck on that one, still trying to conquer that. But I will.
Oh, and one other thing, just because you are a Christian, born again, with a new birth and outlook on life does not mean that you stop learning- or erring. More is expected of us, to be sure, but we are still in our fleshly shell- far from perfect. Our great Intecessor Jesus Christ pleads on our behalf, and that keeps us going, day in and day out.
In my case, I see my life as a journey I have been sent on, much the way Jesus was sent when he was born, with a purpose. I would like to return to my Creator having accomplished what he set me out to do. It starts with small steps, slow and steady. But I think I'm on my way.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~