Lately I've been analyzing myself almost to the point of exhaustion. I keep picking at all of my character flaws in order to make myself a better person. I know there are a lot of things about myself that I can't change. But there are some things I can.
I have this problem, or quirk you might say, that I'm hoping is something I can work on to try to do better at.
My problem is that I'm just too nice. I know that doesn't actually sound like a problem. But it is. I have a very hard time telling someone 'no'. It reminds me of the song from the musical Oklahoma. I'm just a girl who cain't say no.... This personality trait of mine comes out in my professional life and my personal life. If it's something to help someone else I always say yes, that's not the problem. It's saying 'no' to something bad that's the problem.
Now, just to clarify, I actually can say no when I have to. And I do often. I have my areas that are just non-negotiable. But there are other times that I find it hard to stand up for myself and what I think is right.
I wish I could find a happy balance between my niceness, and my self respect. I think it all comes down to wanting to fit in. 'Fitting in' is a horrible side effect carried over from childhood. It's something for teenagers to want to do, not grown adults. But it's true. There are sometimes that I just want to fit in. I don't want to be different. I don't want to be ridiculed for being good. The Lord called his people 'peculiar'. I like the sound of that, but it still just means we're different. When we try to be good out in the world, we get put down for it. It's easy to get up every morning and say "Ok, today I'm not going to do or say anything bad " But then we go out into the world and face problems and temptations. That's when it gets hard.
My main problem I have is a fear of hurting someone's feelings. I had a circumstance where someone from my past would try to flirt with me and touch me in ways he should not have been at all, especially since I was married at the time. Where I should've just told him to stop and have respect for myself I let it continue and just dealt with it whenever I had to see him. That was not the right thing to do at all. Where was my self respect? Thankfully he is now in my past and I no longer have to see him, but I was afraid of hurting his feelings. To me that is totally unacceptable. He wasn't respectful of me, so why should I be respectful of him. Why can't I respect myself enough to stand up for what's right in a polite manner? I wouldn't have had to slap him in the face, but I should've told him politely to stop. It should've been that easy.... you would think.
These days I'm learning there are a lot of men in the world that aren't respectful of women at all, and if we don't stand up for ourselves it will only feed their problem. It's very easy for me to get on here and say what I need to be doing, and what I SHOULD'VE done. But doing it is so much harder than it seems. I wish I could just say no when I need to.
I learn on Sundays that I need to be 'in' the world, but not 'of' the world. I wonder if my problem is my flesh side wanting to be 'of' the world. That's what 'fitting in' is, by the way. I wish I was strong enough to take the ridicule and scoffing that the world throws back at me when I try to say no to something bad. I also wish I was strong enough to stand up for myself when something is wrong, without worrying about the other person's feelings.
I feel like I've had to be strong for over a year now with everything that's happened... when does it ever stop? When can I stop being strong? When do I just get to just collapse on the ground and say 'Uncle'?
The answer is never. No matter what happens I'll always have to be strong in one way or another... That's why I need the armor of God.