Walls and Bridges
Today I've realized that I am a wall builder.
This isn't easy for me to admit, because it means I don't know myself as well as I thought I did.
When I say "wall builder" I mean it seems I do more to separate myself from people than build bridges between myself and others.
Ironically, building bridges was my honest intention. But when others interact with me (right now I'm thinking particularly of my boss, co-workers, and employees), they get the opposite impression!
Up until yesterday, I was blind to how people at work were perceiving me.
Now part of me (the proud, egotistical me) wants to say, "Look, it isn't how people perceive you that is important—what is important is that you are true to yourself." My answer: "Being true to myself means becoming a bridge builder."
Another part of me (who honestly wants to grow and overcome my relationship problems) is devastated.
I've worked so hard for so long to become more accommodating, open-minded, congenial, and giving. Yet now I learn that I come across as defended, close-minded, arrogant, and selfish. I've even been labeled a people-pleaser and found guilty of duplicity.
What to do?
Again, I go back to my heartfelt intentions. If I spread my gut-wrenching, deepest honesty on the table—in my heart of hearts I want to be a bridge builder.
How other people perceive my actions and my attitudes is important. I simply can not keep turning these perceptions aside and saying, "Well, I know what my intentions were." Something in my behavior and my demeanor has to change.
I've concluded that to be human is to be misunderstood. I simply can not see, with any real clarity or insight, into another person's heart. Nor can other people thus see into my heart. All they can read are my actions and my words.
If I come across as arrogant, close-minded, and inflexible, then somehow, somewhere, between my heart and my actions, my recovery is disconnected and dysfunctional.
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Now I realize that people are going to think what they are going to think about me. I accept that. But I also realize that people can reveal to me facets of my personality that I cannot see. Relationships are mirrors. Sometimes they are fun-house mirrors—the images are distorted. Other times, however, they are perfect mirrors and I see the flaws in myself I've never noticed or never wanted to admit before. How do I know that Grace didn't bring these relationships into my life to reveal these very traits to me?
Relationships are for learning about myself so I can grow. So I can become a bridge builder rather than a wall builder. If I accept that I have been a wall builder in some of my relationships (in this case, work relationships), then admitting it is my first step toward becoming a true bridge builder.
Dear God, help me to become a bridge builder between myself and others - particularly in my work situation. Let the true intent of my heart shine forth in all my actions and in all my words. Amen.
next: The Heart of God's Love
Staff, H. (2008, December 15). Walls and Bridges, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/serendipity/walls-and-bridges