Tag Archives: resentment

On Valentine’s Day, Try These 4 Honesty Tips

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

photo-24779825-woman-kissing-her-man-on-cheek

If we want love in our relationship, we need honesty.

A woman I will call Tara, suffered from dishonesty. Her husband borrowed from Tara’s home office. If he wanted paper or a tablet, he took hers. When he needed a cord for his laptop, he replaced it with his wife’s. If he was home during work hours,  he commanded chunks of Tara’s time through long conversations.

Tara put up with most extremes. Her spouse would disappear with her car not knowing she needed it to meet a client. Borrowed items were not returned. One day he asked to employ Tara’s company for a project for his boss. Tara did the work and was never paid.

That was it. Finally, she told him off in a huge explosive fight. He claimed she never told him she wanted paid, and she said he did not take her work seriously. Oh my.

Honesty Tip #1

We are not honest when we try to be nice and not complain. Tara’s silence was actually sending the message that she did not mind her husband’s decisions. The first time she felt her husband might be taking advantage, she could have drawn a boundary.

For example: “I need my car available. It is not going to work out to lend it to you unless you double check with me first.”

Honesty Tip #2

We are not honest with ourselves when we rationalize that resentment is still love. All Tara’s denial accomplished was an eruption of built-up steam. The first time she felt anger, pausing to ask why would have been helpful.   

Had she realized she resented loss of control over her possessions and time, she could have drawn boundaries to gain it back.   

For example: “I need my printer to stay in my office. Maybe you can buy one on sale.”  (Responsibility is the husband’s to find another solution for himself.)

Honesty Tip #3

We are not honest when we deny our true motives. More than Tara wanted to be nice, she feared not being nice. She didn’t like the idea of hurting her husband’s feelings. The first time she felt this apprehension, she could have offered him validation and acceptance.

“Your life is a hectic one (validation).  I’m sorry, I want to be here for you (acceptance) , but my availability to talk is limited to lunchtime, evenings and weekends.” 

Honesty Tip #4

We are not honest when we are not clear about our expectations.  Tara fully expected payment for her work.  Instead of assuming her husband understood this,  offering him an estimate as she would any other client, would have helped. 

For example: “My company will charge your boss $_ _ _ per hour. I’ll need this agreement signed.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!! 

Today’s Helpful Word  

Romans 12:9 (NIRV)

“Love must be honest and true.”

 

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

 

 

 

Remembering “Ghosts” of Christmas Past – Are You Trying to Forgive the Wrong Person?

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

How does one’s heart become hard? By neglecting to keep it soft.

Charles Dickens’ character Ebeneezer Scrooge, from  Dickens’ novel The Christmas Carol, is a perfect representation of that truth. From growing up a neglected child, to embracing greed as an adult, Scrooge paid a terrible price for  his hard heart. He lost his family and all human connection.  

One day, a word floated through my mind as others escaped my mouth. “Bitter.” I was remembering disappointments in life that took place long ago as if they had happened today.

During the course of this conversation, I realized I was hanging on to my anger. It was mine.

My speech was torrential blame. Clearly, there was  little effort applied toward understanding my responsibility in the fallout. While a guilty feeling  had  planted its ugly root in my heart, I had grown desperately deaf and turned off any willingness to hear complete truth. It was time to change.

“How can I get over what’s been done to me?” “How can I move on when I have been so wronged?” These questions and more have bounced around in my head for as long as I can remember.

For decades I took to the Lord my bitterness over destruction of my childhood family. I would pray to forgive, work up a good acceptance, and never fully be able to let it go. I wondered why, when it was my heart’s desire, God did not take resentment away.

Then an epiphany came. My efforts were directed at the wrong person! As long as self-blame was secreted away deep inside, all my effort at putting pain in the past would not work.

In childhood there was no way to win. Either of any two options would lead to someone’s anger at me. I grew up disappointed in myself and emotionally lost. Much of the false guilt collected as a child was never challenged. Some of it as an adult was born out of insecurity, self-loathing, and an unwillingness to lay responsibility where it belonged.

Nonetheless, there was real guilt, too. Extending forgiveness toward myself for parts played in ignorance or selfishness made it possible to move on and forgive others for their wrongs.

Thank God I was able to bless my parents before they died. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Compassionate Boundaries: Friendship (First of Series)

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2013  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry 

Once upon a time, I had a friend.  It is only once upon a time because while I was ill and very needy, she drew few boundaries and burned-out. Then she was gone. 

Today I have another friend. I have this friend because though I have been ill and very needy in the past, she drew boundaries that included saying no to me.  She did not burn-out, and I still have a friend.

Boundaries are what we decide to do or not do. We cannot control another person. If Jane Doe asks to meet me and I say no, she could potentially show up at my door anyway. While I cannot stop her from standing there or being upset, my freedom is refusing to allow her lack of boundaries to change mine.  

By meeting with her because of her insistence, something else has to go undone. Assuming my initial no was based on priorities, resentment may rise at the change of plans. What if I meet with her each time she stops by? Soon, my no will have to be permanent. Jane likely will not understand the rejection. Her feelings become truly hurt. 

It is kindness to draw boundaries.  Helping too much prevents loved ones or friends from learning how to cope. A call-me-if-you-need-me approach almost discourages them from finding support elsewhere. Without coping or support-finding skills, they truly are alone if burnout drives us away.

Boundaries are honest. Clearly, no one enjoys playing doormat, crushed by another person’s whims and commands. Yet we create our doormat status through dishonesty. Clarity about boundaries keeps people in the light. They know what to expect from us. This preserves dignity for an emotionally needy person because he or she knows to ask only what is possible. It keeps us safe from pretending, and ultimately saves the relationship.

Boundaries are invaluable. You see, once upon a time I too was a friend.  It is only once upon a time because while she was ill and very needy, I drew few boundaries and burned-out. Then I was gone.  

I want to be a better friend. Do you? The next few blogs will address how to draw and recognize healthy boundaries, and share practical ideas for how to say no.

Stay tuned.

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Other posts in this series:  God’s Example (2) ; Values and Family (3) ; Self-Care (4) ;  How to Say No (5) ; Motives Beware! (6)Refuse Blame (7) ; Refer to Experts (8) ; How to say yes (9)

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BookThis Practical Seminar: How to Help Hurting People without Hurting Yourself

This seminar is designed to shed insight into depression and anxiety,  show practical ways supports do help, and provide necessary tools for healthy boundaries which protect everyone concerned.   
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***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.