So, this week I’m covering the last of the Five Givens in Life. These are based on the book The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them by David Richo.
If you want to go back and listen, I covered the first four in the past four episodes. The Five Given of Life are:
1) Everything Changes and Everything Ends
2) Things Don’t Always Go As Planned
3) Life Is Not Always Fair
4) Pain Is Part Of Life
And the fifth one, which I’m talking about today: People Are Not Always Loving and Loyal.
You probably have your own stories where you could look back in your past to find that people have not acted loving or loyal. This is true for all of us. People lie. People are hypocritical. They are dishonest or deceitful. People are fickle. They don’t keep their promises. People are selfish and act out of selfish motives. They are driven by self-preservation and self-protection. This is what people do. You and I are those people. Ouch.
But we don’t really think about the fact that people are not always loving and loyal until it happens to us.
You usually find out who your real friends are when you experience some sort of struggle, hardship, or tragedy in your life. Surprisingly, some of those closest to you will disappear or slowly shrink away. Some will tell you they’ll be there for you, to walk with you through the hardest days, and then never show up. Yes, this is my personal experience. And it’s sad. It’s also very confusing. It doesn’t make sense. You could have a close friendship with someone for years, decades even, and then hard things come, and they’re just gone. They’re out. That’s so hard to understand, and even harder to deal with as you’re sitting in great pain and are in need of friendships. But David Richo says that the adult, that is the one living in emotional adulthood, takes all this rejection and abandonment in stride.
Okay, how on earth do we do this? Are we just supposed to grow thick skin and become callous to the words and actions of others? ‘Cause that sounds awful to me. And also not doable. Especially not for the feelers of the world.
So, what do we do? First, I do believe we should just know and accept the fact that the people in our lives are not going to always act loving. And they may not hang around when things get tough…and I mean when things get tough for them, and so they dip. That’s what people do sometimes. Because people are people. But, I want to offer that it’s okay to still be hurt by it, even though we know that’s what people do, and we maybe could even anticipate it. It’s okay to feel hurt. But here’s what David Richo is saying that will allow us to have some element of control over that hurt. He says, “Handling this betrayal is done through psychological work.”
This is exactly what I do in Life Coaching - and it’s the work I started doing for myself years ago in order to heal from betrayal and abandonment. “Psychological work” means that we have the ability to bring awareness and understanding to the situation using our adult brain that brings logic and reasoning to the situation or circumstance. You might need to rewind and hear that again. Being hurt is an emotional response, right? But staying in the emotional hurt is what leads us to be in emotional childhood, which is a state where we react to our emotions, act out, or avoid emotions rather than taking full responsibility for them. Here, we usually blame other people for the way we feel. Like saying, “you hurt my feelings”. Or, you may have heard someone tell you they wouldn’t have yelled at you if you hadn’t made them so mad. But we are responsible, each one of us, responsible for how we feel in every moment. We are in charge of how we think, and we are in charge of how we feel. When we are functioning as emotional children, we are blaming other people for how we feel, how we act, and for the results we get in our life.
But when we’re able to take responsibility in emotional adulthood, we are no longer “at the affect of” other people that prove to be unloving and disloyal. No, you don’t have to grow thick skin in order to handle this. You’re actually allowed to feel the emotions that come up with that hurt. But then we take responsibility for how we’re going to believe, think, and feel after that. We do this by applying logic and reasoning to the action of the person. It integrates the emotional brain and the executive brain that results in emotional adulthood. This is what we do in Life Coaching all the time so that we can make sure we’re not living and acting out of emotional childhood in retaliation or resentment or blame. The great news here is that you’re in control of how you feel. Your emotions are not controlling you. Such great news!
In my own life, the results look like me extending grace and compassion to people who have said unloving things…intentionally or unintentionally. They don’t even have to know it. I just decided that I’m going to throw grace on it and move along. I first figured this out when my Dad passed away. People that I expected to show up didn’t. At all. It was then that I realized the sting of this “Given” in life. Of course, it wasn’t’ the first time I’d experienced that people were not always loving and loyal. But it was the first time it hit hard. But what it did was prepare me for when my husband passed away two years later. After doing the “Psychological work” after my dad’s passing, I was much better equipped to handle when some people in my life disappeared when Brian died. It also helped me handle the comments people said or questions that sounded too much like accusations. Surely they didn’t mean to be unloving in their words, but it definitely felt like it at the time. My heart was deeply hurt…by people. And do you know why I could throw grace on it and be so compassionate towards them and their comments? Because I had done the same in the past. I was those people. Now, I do believe that going through these kinds of experiences helps you become a more loving and loyal person, but I’m sure at times I still am “those people.” Because people are people. I’m praying others will throw grace my way, too. We could all use a little more of that, right?
Understanding and accepting this “Given” in life allows me to hold onto my peace, decide for joy, and experience the fullness of love. This means that bitterness and resentment do not have a hold of my heart or a place in my life. This is a choice I make. This is a choice you make, my friend. And then, when you decide to make that choice, as a believer you have the power of the Holy Spirit to help you appropriate it. Understanding and accepting this “Given” also allows you and me the opportunity to choose to be a person who is purposefully more loving and loyal to the people we come in contact with in our lives. Or at least, this is our desire to act this way. But, this is a choice, too.
Colossians 3: 12-15 says, “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
So, friend, this is how we do it. This is how we handle the fact that people are not always loving and loyal…without having to grow thick skin. No, instead we throw grace around like confetti, hold onto our peace, decide for joy, and experience the fullness of life and love by the accepting of it. And then we determine in our own hearts to be people of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. This is how bitterness and resentment do not get ahold of our hearts or take up residence in our lives. This is a choice we make, my friend. What are you going to choose today? I pray you’ll choose to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.
Friend, it can be hard to accept that people are not always loving and loyal. Especially if they’re the same people who are supposed to love us and keep us safe. If you’re finding that anger, bitterness, blame, and resentment have been ruling your life and relationships, I’d love to be your Life Coach and help you process through it.
I’ve put a link in the show notes to my calendar to book at 30-minute discovery call if you’re interested in finding out more about Life Coaching and how it could help you. Or you can visit my website tricizody.com and send me an email there.
Have a fantastic week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.
#thefivegivens #peoplearenotalwayslovingandloyal #loving #loyal #healing #hope #suicide #widow #christianpodcaster #ChristianLifeCoach #lifecoachforwomen #womensupportingwomen #anotherbeautifullife #brainscience #biblicalfaith