I recently came across a photograph of a person that was once part of my life, someone who wasn't very nice to me (someone I grew up with). This person was smiling and seemed to be really enjoying themselves in the photograph and I realized that if she saw the same picture of me smiling like that, she'd be resentful. I don't wish this person harm and I do not want her to be unhappy but I realized that she resents my joy. If she saw me smiling, she'd narrow her eyes and clench her fists. I realized that some people do not want you to be happy. There are two sets of rules; what they can do and what you can do. Certain people give themselves permission to enjoy life, to smile, to feel joy but other people must always be serious. If they smile, they are being selfish. If they feel joy, they are being irresponsible. A person can be giving but they can also be giving to themselves. But to certain types of people, you are NEVER allowed to experience joy. They can but you can't. I also noticed this person would reject all my other emotions too. She wanted me to be blank; she wanted me to be nothing.
Sounds like a form of bullying manipulation. Who is she, or anyone else, to tell you how to feel?
She's out of your life; good riddance!
SandCastles, I understand what you're saying. I am the scapegoat in my family. In that role, those who view you that way appear to think you only exist to agitate them. So, being happy is, of course, another irritant for them. I've had people be irritated with me for the way I raise my children, where I live, how well my husband treats me, etc. Even if I lived under a bridge, they'd be angry I had found a dry place to settle in. I've definitely had less than them and little help in getting it. I've had relatives call me to argue with me about my political and religious convictions, though I've NEVER shared my political convictions with them. Someone's obviously stirring up gossip. It's upsetting to think that people you love would defer to that sort of thing, but it's their choice. It makes me think of Proverbs 29:22, "An angry person stirs up conflict..." and Proverbs 16:28, "A useless person causes trouble, and a gossip ruins friendships." For whatever reason, there are people whose only joy is hurting you, but is that really joy? These people might be able to put on a happy face, but when your heart is full of such resentment, anger, and hatred, I would think they are, at the heart of their soul, a dark mess. You're better off 1) Without them, or 2) Waiting for them to get the psychological/medicinal help they need before attempting to reconcile. Take heart, SandCastles. Don't compromise your joy by allowing that other person to cast a dark cloud.
Thank you CaliMama for your wise words. I try to keep my eyes on God and not their cruelty and unfairness. It's like these control freaks want to be God; they want my eyes on them. They want me to defer to them. God tells us to have a happy heart and a cheerful disposition. Who are these people to say otherwise? Having a cheerful heart does not mean having a cold and uncaring heart. I hope you hang up the phone when someone calls to criticize you (the nerve!). Some people do stir up conflict. They are only happy when they've turned people against one another, when there are angry emotions running rampant; it makes them feel in control because they started it all but it is evil. I agree, I don't think a person who stirs up trouble and who unfairly judges has any true happiness in their heart. They do not have the right to tell others not to be happy; they do not have the right to steal away other people's joy; that is a form of coveting. In my opinion, they need to turn to God. Thanks for your comments.
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