Selfishness isn't All it's Cracked Up To Be

I used to be a closet feminist. Oh, I'd never have told you that, but my actions would. I'd seen dozens and dozens of movies where the loving, devoted wife gets pushed aside for the more outspoken and selfish woman (Thank you, Lifetime!) and I was convinced that being the nice, submissive wife would only land me on the curb, pregnant and broke with nowhere to go.

This actually extended itself to more than just marriage. It overflowed into every aspect of my life. I had had my share of abuse and was determined to never allow myself to be hurt again.

I lost my friends. I pushed away my sweet husband. Then I cried because I was alone.

Eventually I realized that I was the problem and not anyone else. And let me tell ya, that was a hard lesson to learn. I'm not saying that I am responsible for another's actions, only that I am responsible for my response to them.

Even since then, I've been bitten and struggled to keep myself from retreating back into my little fortress. And a few times I have allowed myself to settle there for a time. But I'm never happy when I'm there. My deepest depressions have been in periods when I'm consumed by how others have treated me, by my own feelings and feeling sorry for myself.

I'm really struggling right now. It's difficult sometimes to even talk to people. I've been burned a lot lately, but I'm holding on!

Life is at it's loveliest when I'm putting others above myself, when the majority of my thoughts are on others and how I can encourage and uplift them.

Focusing on making sure I get treated fairly is a relentless task. And the thing is, I'll never be successful at it. There will always be something to get my feelings hurt over, there will always be someone who didn't talk to me or who talked about me. We're human. We all sin. We all fall short of the glory of God. Dwelling on it will only make me miserable.

Dwelling on His grace and extending it to others is the remedy to my depression, unhappiness and loneliness. Continually preparing myself to serve others and uplift and encourage them is a God given anti-depressant.

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