Each Sunday I try to spend me time. Quiet, reflective, me time. Sunday is usually my only day of rest. I was reflecting on the words of one of my dear sorority sisters and long time sister friends at my birthday party last month. I was saying how humbled and grateful I was for the women (including my mom) who showed up for my birthday brunch. There was about 17 of them, minus some of my BFF’s who live across the country. I was also perplexed at how these 17 women (plus others) could love me so much, be there, support, encourage and lift me, stick no matter what, think of me as honorable, honest, good, loving and most of all sisterly while others who I have known, encountered or met think I am Satan (laughs). Seriously. You all know what I mean. Each of the ladies at the table nodded in agreement. Yet, it was soror Janice (a 2x Cancer survivor) who spoke up and said simply: “Soror Sophia it is none of your business what other people think about you.” I was like: Damn. There it is. That is so my problem. And millions of other people like me suffer from what I call “Why Don’t they like me disease”.
You can only get this kind of disease when you care entirely too much what insignificant, mean, jealous, petty, or unhappy people think about you. The truth of the matter is this: You must know your value. When you know your value, you know who you are. When you know your life Code, you live by that Code. I have had to accept the unacceptable: Not everyone I like, will like me. Not everyone I am kind to will appreciate me or say thank you. Not everyone I help up, would do the same for me. Not everyone I forgive their trespass, will forgive me mine. Not everyone I speak life to, will speak it to me. Not everyone who I feed at my table, or give money from my pocket would feed or give to me. Once you grasp these truths, life become much easier. I have had to release some people, see them for their Code, and keep stepping. My problem used to be that I wanted to “fix” everybody and everything. Everybody is not for you. Some people just will not like you (or me) and that is okay. Let them be. Do no harm. Release them and move on having learned something.
Here’s the thing, you cannot get stuck on “stuff”. What people think about you, and maybe even say about you can never be controlled by you. You don’t have that kind of power nor do I. I have learned that the hard way. There are some folks that you just can’t win over, even if you have been good to them. I helped a woman once (she is a former TV news person) who had fallen on very hard times. She was on Twitter lamenting that she and her kids had no food, couldn’t pay the mortgage, worse. I, of course, saw the tweet. I was upset and concerned. I contacted one of my best friends who lived in the same city as this woman, showed her the tweets, and said I am sending you $500 overnight. Can you match me $500 and go take a check for $1000 and take it to her house today? She said yes. And she did so. The woman was in tears, grateful and humbled.
What’s my point? This woman got back on her feet somewhat, and was throwing money around in very public ways. And she actually started to snip and snipe at me publicly on Twitter one day (when I was on national TV) about how I was an elitist, stuck-up, and did so privately about the other woman who helped her at my request. I just blocked her rather than engage her. Worse, she never paid the money back, although she said that she “mailed the check” many times. I told her to just keep it. Now, here is a woman who I helped out of the goodness of my heart, and as soon as she gets back “up” she acts “out”. Lesson learned. You will meet people like this over and over again in life. You just keep being good, because somebody will appreciate it. Never be sorry that you did the right thing to someone in need. God will deal with their funky attitudes, and ingratitude. He can do it so much better than us.
The bottom line: You do not have time for messy, petty, small people. Check your inner circle. Your row is all that matters. Keep them close. Now, if you row tells you that you are raggedy start paying attention. It is their job to be honest with you and about YOU. Do not surround yourself with “yes men” and “yes women”. They cannot help you. They will let you drown. We all can learn from good coaching, constructive feedback and more. Encourage people in your life to approach you with constructive criticism and coaching. But none of us needs gossips, tale bearers, users, takers, social vampires, and disloyal people in our circles. None of us. When people gossip about you, spitefully curse and use you, the Bible says to “pray for them” and not “curse” them. Then, politely shake them off like dust on your feet and keep walking with those who love and appreciate the wonderfulness of YOU!