Woe! It’s Wednesday: Doormats vs. Fishwives

I’m still learning, growing up, maturing into the person God wants me to be. Some lessons are more easily learned than others.

For a long time, when I had not-nice people in my life I thought I could change them. If I continually turned the other cheek, returned their rudeness with kindness, and reflected Jesus’ love back to them, one day they would wake up, smack their forehead, and say, “Why have I been so mean to Carrie? She’s a nice person who doesn’t deserve to be treated the way I’ve been treating her.”

Typed out like that, black letters on a white background, I see how naïve stupid that was.

Being a doormat gets you nothing except stepped on.

I’m sad to say it took me more than fifty years to learn that.

The last couple of years I’ve really worked (I thought) at not letting myself be a doormat. The trouble is that I sometimes swing to the opposite end of the pendulum and become shrill in demanding “my” rights.

As a Christian, I am taught such truths as dying to myself, being a submissive wife, serving my husband. Teachings that I agree with. In theory.

The problem lies in my practice of them. I turn into a martyr and then I’m an angry martyr when no one acknowledges rewards my suffering.

I feel a constant tug between setting healthy boundaries and being too accommodating to the bullies in life.

I have no answers except that I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep trying to get it right.

One of these days.

Maybe.

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