Let It Go

Let It Go

I tend to hang on to feelings a lot longer than I should. A part of me wants to redeem myself or make people see how their rationale for treating me a certain way does not make since and isn’t right. You can feel like you’re a really good person. You can know that about yourself. You know that you’re kind and caring and giving. These are all things I know to be true about who I am. I know that my goal is to be helpful and to bless people. I know these things to be true because I tend to treat people and do things for people based off of how I would want to be treated. I aim to love people and show them that love through my actions.

But what do you do when you feel like you have been there for someone and they have not consistently been there for you? What do you do when you feel hurt or let down in life or relationships? First of all, be grateful and secondly, learn to move forward in forgiveness. Be grateful that your eyes have been opened. If you’re anything like me you constantly want to see the good in people. I have stayed connected to people that I should have walked away from because I believe in the good in them. And truthfully I hate letting people down. I don’t want to be the person that is not there for someone I care about (even though I can say there were times that I’ve failed to be in some way). But walking away from a relationship does not always mean that the person is not a good person and that you’re a bad one. It does not mean that you don’t care about them as a person. It means that you care about yourself more. We have to stop thinking that caring about ourselves and what’s best for us makes us selfish. We cannot pour from an empty vessel.

I recently watched a sermon online and  the pastor was preaching on releasing things. Sometimes that can be ill feelings towards someone that we are harboring. It could be resentment. The release could also be a person but we have to let go because these things or people are literally holding us captive emotionally and mentally. Especially if we are in a particular space in life where we are looking for God to do something big. We are sometimes wanting God to do something major and we sit around wondering why we are still in the same place a year later (we have baggage).

I have come to a point where I no longer chase relationships. The people that value me and are meant to be in my life are already here and if they aren’t God will send them. If they aren’t meant to be I pray that God gives me the strength to let go and move forward. I used to chase relationships. If there was a disagreement or I felt like I did something wrong I would frequently be the one to initate repairing the broken pieces. It’s not that initiating or attempting to resolve conflict is bad but watch out for relationships that make it seem like it’s always YOU that’s the problem. I have apologized for issues that weren’t necessarily my fault just to move the relationship forward. This isn’t good if the other person takes no ownership in the situation. Everything isn’t always your fault and everything isn’t always the other person’s fault either. You both should evalute the situation and determine the role you played.

I stopped chasing relationships not because I didn’t value the relationship or the person but because I valued me! If it is easy or necessary for that person to walk away without attempting to resolve the situation or to communicate with you any further then you need to let them walk away. Let them walk away and don’t harbor any hard feelings. Understand that they are doing what’s best for them just as you are doing what is best for you. In that moment you are being released from a situation or relationship that wasn’t meant to go with you on your next journey for whatever reason. Trust God on that release. Personally I don’t want a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to talk about or confront issues. It’s how we learn and how we grow. And I don’t want to be in relationships where I give more than I get.

However, there are circumstances where you have to determine what discussing certain things resolves. What does it change? I had a moment one time where someone said somethng to me and in that moment I thought “Well that’s interesting. So you’re going to totally discredit everything that I’ve contributed to the relationship because I’m not who I once was?” That’s kind of painful and frustrating and I thought about taking the time to have a private meeting with them and then I thought no or maybe it was the holy spirit. The comment revealed more about the person than it did about me. And,well, why should I have this conversation when what they said made it clear what their expectations were. I don’t meet those expectations and wasn’t going to try. So if I wasn’t willing to make those changes then it wasn’t necessary for me to address it. And guess what? GOD KNOWS. God knows the things that I have done in the relationship. He has seen the good things (and the bad things!!!!) that I have done out of my heart. He has seen the sacrifices I have made and He is who my reward (and conviction for the bad things) will come from. I know without a shadow of a doubt that His reward will be bigger and better than any person could ever give.

So when you find yourself wrestling with resentment, hurt or frustration; when you find yourself hung up on the same issues remind yourself to let it (and sometimes the relationship) go! Especially if you’ve addressed or decided against addressing the issue and to move forward. You know who you are. It’s not necessary to try to constantly convince someone of that. Easier said than done I know. If you’re anything like me I have a replay button in my head and that sucker stays on a constant loop-reminding me of how I could have handled something better or how I feel misunderstood. But I am learning to press stop. I am learning that what has happened-well, has happened. I cannot change it. I care about my well being and peace more than I care about being right. (Trying and wanting to be right all of the time will mess you up! You’re not always right.) I don’t care to prove to someone that I am right or justified in my actions. I care to show my heart but you can’t make everyone see your heart or recieve you. I aim to let my character speak for itself and to focus on being a better me. I am content knowing that God has searched my heart and He knows what’s in it. He’s making it easier for me to release old habits, old ways of thinking, past feelings, past frustations and pain. He’s making it easier for me to let go of anything and anyone that is holding me back from where He’s taking me. Allow Him to do the same for you!

You Are Valuable

One of the best memories I have to this day is when I worked at the shoe store The Finish Line. I came in at 17 years old as a cashier and eventually became the head cashier. There wasn’t anything I didn’t know about the system. I could trouble shoot and work my way around certain issues. I learned how to find the reports needed by management. So much so other stores came to know how well I knew my job and managers would call to ask me questions with things that they needed help with.

Not only did I know how to do my job well, I knew a little bit about every area of the company. One thing I learned from the managers I trained under is even though you may not have all the answers, you should be able to answer basic questions about the company and the different areas within the company. You should know who to tell customers to talk to or how to help customers resolve basic issues. I took that with me to every job I worked after that. I always made sure to keep myself informed.

By the time I turned 19 I was asked to be an assistant manager. Not just by my boss, but my regional manager, who was a step above my district manager, specifically stated that he thought I’d make a fantastic assistant manager. It was a big deal! I was hesitant but eventually accepted. You have to pass a test so to speak to get keys to the store as a manager. You can be promoted to assistant manager or an MIT (manager in training) but you can’t work alone and close the store if you don’t have keys that give you access to do several things within the facility. You have to run the floor for a full day (9am-9pm) successfully to earn your keys. This means handling employees, shift changes, making sure every area was covered, ensuring employees are meeting their goals, delegating, customer complaints/issues, opening and closing the store, etc. You had to do this on your own all day while a senior manager evaluated you. They would then report back to your manager and the district manager and you’d learn whether you passed because you’d get keys.

This is a lot of work and trust for an organization to put into any employee. Yet alone a 19 year old. But those people around me saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. They saw my value. They recognized that I was an asset to the company and they wanted to ensure that they not only kept me as an asset, but also wanted to nurture and grow my worth as an asset by teaching me, encouraging me, and training me to be the best that I could be. Because of this I was one of the best assistant managers in my district. Managers wanted me at their store.

My district manager, Bruce, further recognized my value. Whenever he came in to check in on our store or to evaluate our store he always, always made a point to take me out for ice cream and just talk to me about my thoughts, the store, my goals within the organization. He treated me, not like I was some 19 year old kid filling a space needed in an organization, but like I was a valuable tool in the organizations success. Because of that I worked harder and made it a point to ensure I represented the company well.

You’re just as valuable. Maybe someone hasn’t told you lately. Maybe you feel like you don’t contribute much to your job or your family or your friendships but you do. Maybe you don’t think that certain thing you do at work is noticeable. You’re doing it to be nice or you’re doing it to ensure things run more smoothly but day in and day out you’re putting forth your best effort. Someone has noticed and when you aren’t around to do that certain thing at work the value that you bring to it is missed.

Don’t discredit yourself because someone hasn’t confirmed your significance. In due time all of the work and effort you are putting into your job or your friendships or your family will began to produce fruit. God sees all that you do and all that you are. He has a way of recognizing and reminding you of your worth and there’s no one better at doing it than Him. At one point in my life I was struggling with my self worth and God sent someone to be with a brand new coach purse (at the time almost every purse I owned was a Walmart purse-nothing wrong with that) but I didn’t think I was worth much. Certainly not worth owning an expensive purse that I never would have bought for myself. I didn’t think I even deserved it. But take away the focus on the name brand purse and focus on the value being brought to light. I didn’t think I was worth much and God was reminding me that you’re worthy and valuable-just like this purse. He’ll do the same for you. So walk in confidence knowing that you are treasured not just to those around you but to God. He values and adores you!