My ex-girlfriend once told me while we were dating she thought I felt the world was against me. She read an article about how most people who have been locked up or have a rough upbringing view the world. They feel it is against them. This is the reason why they usually act out of fear and anger. They put walls up because their first instinct is to be defensive. At first I shrugged it off and didn’t want to believe it.
I became defensive about being defensive. Isn’t that ironic?
I became frustrated about the article she read because I just didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to believe I wasn’t an angry person and that I viewed the best in people all the time. The article threatened my belief in myself.
So, I disregarded it and said that wasn’t me. It couldn’t have been me! But I thought about it more as the year went on. Sometimes I thought, do I really think the world is against me? Other times, I felt like I had to fight to keep what I have and not let anyone get in the way. I felt since I earned what I have, my actions were justified. I think you can see the article made me question how I viewed myself.
What I’ve come to understand is this: the world is not against you. You are against you and I was against me.
My friend Ryan DeCinque once said how sometimes we use other people as mirrors and we don’t like what we see. In these moments when our blood boils and we brace ourselves for a punch in the gut that won’t come, nothing sounds good. When we are hurt, all we can expect is more hurt. When we’re angry from being hurt, our ears turn everything we hear as an attack towards us.
When we tell our loved ones, “You don’t appreciate me,” or, “You don’t see how hard I worked to make this happen,” all we are saying is, “I’m hurt.” Please understand. We may sound like we’re saying, “You hurt my feelings,” but all we are saying is how hurt we are.
When we begin a sentence with “you”, we are focused on placing blame. When we feel like a victim, we feel like someone is out to get us. Ryan told me how in important relationships both sides can feel like the victim, as if everything we’ve worked so hard to build is crumbling around us brick-by-brick. The problem is we use those same bricks to start building walls around us. This is not good. We can make the biggest, strongest walls, but walls don’t make a home. We get too invested in building walls when we should instead talk about our vulnerabilities. We need to let down our walls.
However, if we begin with, “my feelings are hurt,” and let down our walls, we might find we are trying to accomplish the same thing. We want to be heard. We want to be understood. We don’t want to be misunderstood.
We shouldn’t act out of anger (which is really hurt) when someone hurts us because they too are acting from hurt. That’s a lot of hurt in a couple sentences, but I think you get my point.
The world isn’t against you. People aren’t against you. They are just hurt and you can be the love letter to a broken world.
Even as one person you can change the situation when the “world” seems against you by acting out of love and forgiveness.
Am I perfect in this? Absolutely not. But the more I am in tune with how much grace and love I have received in Jesus the more I pour that out. It’s a heart issue and we will always react to what is in our heart. If we feel angry (hurt) we will pour that out naturally. Hurt people hurt people.
So when I get something in the mail from the government saying I owe them a couple hundred dollars because I didn’t pay something a few years ago, I no longer think, Wow, the government is out to get me and just wants my money. Instead, I can just view it as a way to do my part like everybody else. I’ll pay the fine.
Some of you will say how the government just wants my money, and that’s probably true in a sense, but I would rather have freedom and act based on the freedom I chose. I would rather view the best in people and do my part. Forgiveness over holding a grudge will always bear more fruit in my life and into others. Viewing the best in a situation will always bring more freedom over viewing the worst. The choice is yours.
The world isn’t against you. You are against you and I was against me. Look at your heart, not at the “wrong doing” of others. Look at yourself in an unbiased way. I think you’ll see that you’ve done plenty of wrong doing yourself and need grace and love. At least I have, and I will only speak for myself.
I’ll leave the rest for you to examine.