Monday, September 21, 2009

Feeling Left Out

Earlier today, I did not think that this would be my post tonight, but the day progressed in such a way that this is what is heavy on my heart tonight. There is a lot of tragedy in life...sickness, death, job loss, addictions, severed relationships and the like. A family I know is mourning the loss of a patriarch tonight. Another one has a family member in the hospital. That type of thing should be enough for us, shouldn't it? Enough pain. Enough misery. Enough said.

But it isn't, is it? We have to pile on each other with slights, unkind words, and making other people hurt by our actions...or by our inaction. Making them feel less special, less important, and less able to cope. Some days feel like life is too hard, too depressing and just too much. Or am I just the only one who feels that way? I seriously doubt it.

I realized several years ago that I have a few triggers. These are unique to me, and can send me into a slow (or sometimes rapid) downward spiral. I try to stay realistic when confronted with one of them...but I am often treading water in the frigid ocean of despair before I even know that I have fallen overboard without a life jacket. This is obviously NOT good.

The biggest trigger I have is feeling left out. I realize that all of us feel left out from time to time due to oversight, assumptions, or limits on invitations. That's certainly fair, and is to be expected. If one of these is the case, I normally do not mind. In fact, there have been times that I have been relieved that I was not invited due to expense associated with something, or the demands on my time.

When I get upset is when people that have no reason not to include me - meaning I am at the party but excluded from the circle, when people talk about the event to me even though they have failed to send me an invitation (or worse than that...ask me to help them with something in preparation for it as their "friend") or they invite me sometimes...but I know that it is only because the normal crowd that they run with is otherwise engaged.

Oh, and I sounds like I just need to find better friends. The funny part is...I don't think that they mean it the way that I take it. At all. I just cannot seem to keep from upsetting myself about it.

So, tonight, I am feeling a little left out. After a weekend of feeling included visiting with family and high school friends...I come home to...THIS.

Tonight a friend posted something on Facebook that she felt was burning in her heart and that she had to get out. She said that we are supposed to ask for forgiveness if we need to, and to forgive others who have wronged us. It is excellent advice...because in being angry and resentful...I have knowingly and unfortunately relinquished my joy to them. This is wrong on many levels.

The sting of rejection I am feeling was most likely unintentionally delivered. I have found that most people think about us far less than we think that they do. I am grateful for this sometimes. I also know that the fact that I notice something doesn't make it real to the average person. I could receive a doctorate in noticing things...but with every gift God gives us...there is always a dark side associated with it. That's how Satan keeps in business, unfortunately. Therefore, I consider the "dark side" of noticing details is that sometimes I notice things at a different intensity level than they were meant. It is during these times that I have to remember who is in control.

I'm going to try to think of the wonderful things that have happened to me recently where people have been kind and gracious. Those were obviously blessings meant for me. Perhaps what I have been left out of was not so much that I wasn't wanted...but that it would have been a colossal waste of my time or God removed me from their minds which provided me time to invest in people or projects of His choosing.

I think I like believing that God is so interested in me that He will even allow my feelings to be temporarily hurt to save me from activities or people that are unhealthy for me. That I can accept...and even appreciate.
It certainly beats expending mental energy on nursing grudges. And these days...I need my mental energy! Later!

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