One day, I was complaining to my friend about being a pushover. I was frustrated at a recent string of events where I felt I had been unjustly taken advantage of. Much like Rihanna, I was feeling like all of my kindness was taken for weakness.
I explained this all to him. I mean I love helping people. It’s what I live for. But I am so clearly being used in this situation and it sucks. I wish I wasn’t such a pushover.
As always, he was calm and rational with me. But you like helping people, right, Lizzie?
I should have known he was about to hit me with some monumental truth. Yes. I’m just trying to do the right thing and be nice and all, but…
I didn’t have to finish my rant. He replied: And why hate yourself for being nice?
He was right. Yes, I was frustrated at the circumstances I had found myself in. I felt underappreciated and overwhelmed and generally worn out with the knowledge of being taken advantage of when all I ever wanted to do was help, you know, the entire world. And in the process of breaking down in exhausted irritation, I had become irrationally upset with myself.
I hate that I don’t learn from my mistakes. I hate that I’m a pushover. I hate that I can’t say no to things. I hate that I give people that have hurt me the most the benefit of the doubt over and over and over again. I hate, I hate, I hate.
But my friend chose to see it the other way.
I was being nice. I was doing something kind. I was taking the high road. I was taking care of someone without stopping to question whether they had earned that kindness. I wasn’t keeping score of who had done this or who hadn’t done that. I was just doing what I knew how to do best.
I was loving.
Another friend of mine shared a song with me earlier last week by Ben Rector called More Like Love. You can listen below, but for now read these lyrics:
I used to think I needed all the answers
I used to need to know that I was right
I used to be afraid of things I couldn't cover up
In black and white
I always want to understand people – especially those who can be treated with absolute kindness and still respond like monsters. Because when that happens, I tend to respond with more kindness. And time and time again this has dug me into holes. But time and time again, I’ll take it.
I’ll take it because I don’t need to understand. I don’t need to be right. I don’t need to simplify the complexity of the human mind into black and white.
I just need to love.
I just wanna look more like love
This whole world is spinning crazy
And I can't quite keep up
It's the one thing around here
That we don't have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
So those of us who believe in second chances – believe in them. Yes, you’ll get burned and yes, there will be times when you feel so completely trampled upon but at the end of the day, that is their problem, not yours.
And at the end of the day what do you really want to be putting out into the world?
On the day of the aforementioned conversation, I could add more anger and hatred and negative energy. Or, I could love.
And in the state of everything I am going to choose to Love.