Whenever I see my friends complain about other people, whether it be about their behavior, their lack of attending certain functions or they’re just not doing enough -- I tend to feel bad for them. I never think about a certain friend and say, “Well he or she doesn’t do enough for me” - it’s more of a question of “Am I doing enough”, which makes me wonder about other people’s motives. I have a hard time trusting people through my own personal experiences. Either one friend expected way too much from of me, whether it be money, more time or whatever - and if I don’t ‘pull through’ for them, I'm gossiped about in the henhouse as a ‘vedy vedy bad person’. (Yes, done with an accent & all.) I can only do my best, and sometimes, my best isn’t good enough for some. I have encountered people downgrading my relationship with my wife, telling me that I wasn’t in love with her because I had been with her for this many years. I have had so many friends judge my lifestyle, judge my entire being to where I had to assume their madness came out of their own insecurities. I have had friends who would shun me over a declined invite. Why would anyone care? Why would someone judge someone so critically, unless they were extremely unhappy about their own situations at home? I read a very powerful quote by Mother Teresa that explains it all: “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Even when it seems as though your best isn’t good enough, be content knowing God knows your heart. No one else’s opinions or judgments matter except for God’s. I’m too old to play games and ‘read between the lines’. If you don’t want my ‘free’ friendship - then walk away. But don’t expect the world from me because I can only give so much - which is my best. And if you’re my friend, you won’t constantly be begging for money or turn your back on me when I’m having hard times as a few of my friends have. Even when I give money to help, more is expected of me and the money I gave in the past is long forgotten. It’s ironic how people are right up your wazoo when you’re doing good, but once hard times come rushing in - they’re ready to criticize and judge you as well as leave you stranded. I can honestly say that I have five very close friends, the rest are acquaintances. I’m grateful for that because it leaves less room for disappointments. So for my New Year’s resolution, I’m forgiving of all the toxic, greedy, self-absorbed, insecure people in my life who judge me so harshly and wishing them the best. Life’s too short to be aggravated by small-minded people. The best thing a friend can ever give to me is their friendship, companionship and their loyalty. It’s very rare to find those types of expectations these days. I'd like to think that I’m one of those rare breeds.
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