I am a woman of many faults. I am working on them, but they (my faults) still keep biting me in the bum.
One is that I care too much about my friends. I take their pain and frustration to heart and when I see them suffering, or hurting, I want to fix the problem. I guess I'm too empathetic. This has it's good side, in that when my friends are happy, and something good happens in their lives I am able to rejoice whole heatedly. I tell everyone I know that something good has happened to a friend (they've had a baby, fallen in love, bought a new car, child reached a new milestone, etc...you get the picture). When they make a bad choice, or something bad happens to them, I typically turn to my DH to vent because I am so distraught. I am not the type of person who can bottle my feelings up. I guess you could say that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. (This is much to my husband's chagrin and has been the source of much frustration for him as well) When I am emotional about a friend's problems, and venting to my poor unsuspecting (although by now I suspect that he is not so unsuspecting) husband is not enough, I"ll turn to a few people close to me whom I care about and I know can offer me either an ear to vent to or can offer me wise counsel. I crave wise counsel and try not to make a decision until I have gotten feedback on the situation from a few select people such as: My mom and dad, Jack and Jill, and a only one or two others. When I am REALLY distraught, I may allow a little bit to slip out to a few other friends who will only be an ear for me...but I really really try not to do this (and it really does slip out, so I guess "allow" is not the best word to use here).
I can keep secrets when they need to be kept, but I am like an emotional volcano and when I get too emotional I must vent. I can't always vent here about people because I do not want to make my frustrations/pain that is another person's pain/poor decision public to the whole of the world wide web.
I am also very dramatic. I believe this stems from the same emotional charge that is effecting me now. I respond so strongly to my emotions, that I respond very dramatically. I guess I should learn to be a Vulcan and show no emotions and work off of facts alone...no, that wouldn't work. But how do I find a balance?
Sadly, this trait has come to bite me in the bum, and I fear I have lost some friends today. If they read this blog, I want them to know it was never my intent to cause harm, and to possibly understand where I am coming from to better understand why things are as they are. I love my friends dearly, and can not stand the thought of a life without them. This is why I do so much for them, why I help my friends (all of them) as much as I can. I'm a "fix it" kind of person. I see a problem, then I want to fix it. I see pain, I want to "fix it" (or heal it). I would take the pain of those I love and make it my own if it would ease their pain.
So, seeing that my poor choice in "venting" method has cost me so much, I am left with two choices:
Harden my heart to my friends, and take more of my husband's approach of "if it doesn't effect my family, I won't invest emotionally in it" (even though he sill tries to help out those he cares about, he limits his emotional investment)
Find another way of venting...of releasing this emotional build up. But how? What can I do? I just don't know!
I see now that my previous method of venting was not only a poor choice, but also un-Biblical. I love the Lord with all my heart, I long to be like Him. I believe he gave me such a strong empathy towards my friends for a reason, but I need to learn how to harness it and use it in a way that will not go against His will.
If anyone has advice on how I can vent without harming those that I so dearly love, I am open to suggestions. I also ask my friends to PLEASE call me on it if I begin to fall back on this vice. I seek accountability and pray that I can humbly accept it when it (accountability) is given.
To those whom I have hurt, I offer you my whole hearted, most sincere apologies and pray that some time in the future you can offer me your forgiveness. To those whom I have not hurt, please know that I love you all deeply. I consider you all to be as family.
Okay, so this is I think the second in a series of "my vices" blogs I've posted this year...if not, it's the second MAJOR vice/flaw that God has brought before me (painfully) to work on. The other, being negative all...the...time. I'm still working on that one, and hope that I am improving there too.