Here’s a blog inspired by a dear Christian sister of mine (you know who you are). Love you sister! Hope you enjoy and thank you for the inspiration that you are everyday!
We hear the phrase “They know how to push my buttons” all the time. This phrase gives “they” all the power and leaves us the helpless victim. Many times we dread coming together to fellowship with our families for this very reason. What if we became buttonless? Who would have the power then? I’m not talking about denial here. What this means is that we can learn to focus on ourselves and our own issues rather than arming ourselves for the attack we think is coming. How many arguments could be avoided by simply not preparing ourselves for them?
Before I had started focusing on myself and my issues, I used to rehearse the fights that I just knew would be coming. I made a judgment of what I thought was going to happen and became like a blood hound searching for evidence that I was right. After all, buttons are really pride and pride is sin. It’s so difficult for us to deal with the truth when we try to cover it up and make it sound pretty. Many may think this is setting a healthy boundary or being real, but in reality we are setting ourselves up for failure. Inevitably we will find what we are looking for. If we are looking for a fight, we will almost certainly find one. Sometimes at the beginning of our healing we may have to set up some parameters to help us learn how to cope with conflict in healthy ways, but we don’t need to stay there. We need to be careful that our heart is right and we are not fighting for our rights in a prideful way.
Setting healthy boundaries means we go into these situations without expectations of what we think should happen. We can learn to go into these situations and be in the present moment accepting our loved ones as they are and not with our perception of who they are. We can go in expecting to learn a valuable lesson or realize that the people we love have amazing qualities that we never noticed before. Sometimes we miss the greatest gifts in life because we are so determined to see things through our eyes and prove that we are right. True freedom comes when we lay down our expectations and our pride and allow humility and love to take over.
As we continue to work on ourselves and our issues we can learn to have less and less buttons. We can learn to look forward to meeting with our friends and relatives and not dread these encounters. We can look at these situations as growing practice, rather than something we must endure. Growing can be painful, but the prize at the end makes the pain worthwhile. This is how we can start to make a lasting impression on our loved ones and lead them on the road to their own healing. This is leading by a loving example, like Christ taught us to do.
What expectations can you let go of today?