Never Go Back

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

{Affiliate links used.}

A few years back I realized I needed to make some changes. The way I was interacting with others was only causing me pain. Frankly, my problem was that I was too nice. Too nice?! Really? I thought we were all supposed to be nice. True. Kindness towards others is what God calls us to do, but speaking the truth is another part of His desire for us. Kindness killed me. Being too kind and not standing up got me smashed...you see, people don't tend to mess with those who speak their mind and have great boundaries. However, those who are kind and sweet by nature tend to get walked all over. Think of the perilous relationship between Cookie Monster and those sugary, little round discs...cookies will always be in danger around him because they are just too sweet! Ha! 

These days kindness is still the way I operate. Honestly, it is what I normally gravitate to doing if given a choice. I am learning that I need to speak up more, drop the people pleasing, and block others' bad behavior towards me. I need to not do so much for others and allow them to step up. It is one of the hardest things I have done. It just doesn't come natural to me... (And by the way, before you begin to think that I am so type of arrogant saint touting how kind and wonderful I am: STOP. I have my faults...too many to count. Besides, being TOO kind is a fault!). I have had to hold myself back and proceed with caution when it comes to relationships. In the past, I didn't heed warning signs that people were unknowingly giving me about who they were and what they would do. I paid dearly for it.

So a few weeks ago, I was in Barnes and Noble leafing through books not really intending to buy anything. Until my eyes drifted over this title...


I love Dr. Henry Cloud's books. Years ago, I read his book on Boundaries and have been trying to learn how to create and maintain them ever since. He has great, practical Biblical advice when it comes to relationships, and his new book, Never Go Back, offered just what I needed in this new season of life. Dr. Cloud talks about ten life lessons that we need to follow. He proposes that once we have really learned these lessons we won't go back to our old ways. Here are a few of them...

Never again...

Return to what hasn't worked.
Believe that you can please everyone. {I need to read this one daily!!}
Take your eyes off the big picture.
Fail to ask why you are where you are.

All I can say is I wished I had read this book and followed what it said YEARS ago. I would have saved myself so much heartache. I can't express to you totally how mind changing this book is. It probably needs to be one of those reads that I pick up once a year and review. As a human being, I have the nagging problem of quickly forgetting sound advice...the type of advice Dr. Cloud's book offers. So instead of going through the details of this book let me leave you with a few snippets of wisdom {in picture form} from its pages...






It's time to never go back!

2 comments:

Julie Campbell said...

Must have been long before we met. I never thought of you as "too nice" rather, more reserved...and very much like me in that regard. I remember the day that we met and we talked and laughed...Chris was shocked, "You guys talked the whole time? Really?" I knew that I had found a friend in you that day because you are REAL...there are so very few real people, and quite honestly it takes waaaay too much effort to be phony, but we see it in others all of the time. I have never fit in at any job I have ever held because I was never interested in just "getting along." In all my years I have been told over and over again that "being kind to others even when you don't want to be is the only way to get ahead in the world." A work colleague once told me after I asked her how she could be on the phone with someone laughing and joking with them just to hang up and tell me that she couldn't stand the person she was just talking to, "Julie...you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." My response..."flies are mostly attracted to piles of crap, so by your own analogy you are a pile of crap disguised as a honey pot." That pretty much sealed my fate and I figured that I would simply never get ahead in the world. However...although I am considered different, and often labeled as "difficult to get along with" instead of trying to change it I have embraced it. I focus on the things that I am good at and it has helped me make peace with who God made me out to be. I am soooo not perfect, and I step on so many toes without intentionally doing so but I have no issues with admitting my mistakes and apologizing while genuinely hoping for the other party to forgive me. I learned long ago that I am not what anyone can ever consider a social "norm" I don't care to be popular, all I have ever wanted was to be accepted for who I am.

Since I have learned to embrace who I truly am I no longer suffer from the enormous social anxieties that I used to. I used to go to church and cry when someone would invite us to their home for a social gathering, begging Chris not to make me go. Then I would cry once I got there because the pressure of being "socially acceptable" and the rules that I was supposed to follow would haunt me and I feared doing everything wrong...I was so focused on getting it right that I would panic and have to leave anyway. All of this made my anxiety worse and worse as I was led into social interaction (seriously, asking Chris to stay away from a social event is like caging a wild animal, it's torture for him) so instead I would pick fights with my husband hoping that in the throws of arguing he would be in too bad of a mood to go...but Chris isn't like that, instead he would leave without me and I was would stay miserable while being home alone.

Since I have learned to understand who I am and actually embrace and like who I have become life is so much easier for everyone in my family. I will not ever be a social butterfly or have 10,000 followers on Facebook. But I am not going to go back to where I came from because trying to be someone other than who I am created an overanxious and depressed person that needed medication...

Having real people in my life means more to me than being everyone's friend all of the time. Thank you. Debbie, for being one of them.

Debbie P said...

Julie- I love how open and honest you are. You are the real deal. :-) I would have had no idea that you struggled with social anxiety like I do! You seem so brave! We will never be socially acceptable all the time to all people. The best route is to accept how God wired us and work within those limits. A friend of mine always says..."Manage your weaknesses and run with your strengths."

Love ya...big hugs!