I stood at my sink this morning with a twisted feeling in my stomach. The person I really am and the person I aspire to be were duking it out internally. Dishes were piled in the sink and I was scrubbing away trying to distract myself from the news I just heard – something awesome happened to someone I don’t like.
Not so long ago there was this person who hurt me. She wasn’t being malicious – our chemistry together simply had toxic tendencies. Our goals were different, our personalities were different and truth be told, we were each a bit too stubborn for our own good.
Late night coffee chats and brainstorming conversations led me to believe that we were one and the same when we first became friends. However, when ideas began to be fleshed out it became evident that the differences between us were far greater than we knew. In fact, in some ways our opinions were in direct opposition.
There was never a fork-in-the-road moment where I can pinpoint when we each went our own way. The space grew gradually and without a fight. Sometimes things just don’t work out. I’d like to puff out my chest and say that I let it go and moved on. In some ways I did but in others my tender heart held on to the hurt. It was the subtle things, replaying conversations and remembering the stinging words.
I didn’t really think about her often. Until this morning.
Grabbing another pan, I kept washing the dishes as I thought about her good fortune. I scraped away thinking about how unfair it is. How I wish people knew the things I knew about her and saw the things I saw in her. I wish they all took my side.
In my mind, we were on different sides. Deep down, I didn’t want her to succeed because I wanted to win. Win at life, win at career, win at my friendships, win at influence…at anything really. I wanted her to regret the things she said and wallow in her wrongness.
‘Cause as much as I don’t like to admit it, I can be a hater sometimes.
And so I wrestled with myself. I wanted to feel this way – deserved to feel this way even. Each emotion could be supported by an experience and I felt justified. Still, deeper within, I was disgusted with myself. Disappointed that I could so quickly turn around and throw stones. Embarrassed at the envy that lived in my heart.
Standing there, this phrase passed through my mind:
Haters gonna hate, but lovers gonna love.
Chewing on this phrase for a few minutes I conceded to the the deeper truth. I decided I wanted to be a lover. A lover of people – despite ways they support or oppose me. I want to speak a blessing and not a curse. I want to believe the best, defend another, and create space for people to thrive.
Putting the dish towel down, I prayed a blessing over her out loud so I could hear myself saying the words. The prayer made me cringe because it killed my sense of entitlement. Praying that she would succeed stifled my competition with her. I was forced to confront my pride.
Afterwards I realized how small I had been thinking.
Love isn’t going to run out. Blessings aren’t measured and then cut off. Her victory is not the same as my defeat. I can rejoice with her and not worry that she took the quota of favor allotted for the month.
I believe that God is love and I believe that God is eternal. Therefore love will never run out. There is no shortage of blessing in this world. There is no measurement of God. He is abundant. Love is abundant.
Let go of the negativity towards people and extend love. We are made to be an advantage, not a threat. Be a lover not a hater. And happiest of Valentines to you all.
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