Dear “Real” Christian Man,
I’ve been a real turd lately. A miserable, whiny, complaining, killjoy, Class A turd! I’ve had some real rough patches over the last few years. A marriage ended, another relationship ended, work life is incredibly stressful and I so often feel like this is not the life I planned for myself. And therein lies a large part of the problem. As I’ve reflected on my last 50 years of life, I planned hardly any of it. I’ve lived my life by default, instead of by design. I reacted instead of being proactive. So for a person like me, it’s hard to look in the mirror and say, “this is on you.” But the truth is…..it is on me. And it’s also on me to fix it and do my best to move the ball forward in the years I have left.
It took a real “smack” in the face from a true friend to snap me out of this dark hole of gloom and decide to put my nose to the grind and get shit done. The smack came over coffee recently. I’ve been doing my share of complaining, grumbly, etc to a few close friends over the last few years. Most were very accomodating, understanding, and sympathetic to my situation. I did receive some very good counsel and always a helping hand if needed, but I never got the push I needed.
I recently reconnected with a friend I haven’t seen for awhile. I saw this as a new opportunity to bitch and moan I guess to a new person who hadn’t heard all my crap already. So we got together for coffee and I described to him the issues in my life, the injustices I felt had been placed upon me, the “poor” me nonsense. After a few minutes of this, my friend said to me sternly, “oh well…suck it up buttercup!” I was a bit taken aback. This was not the usual thing I was used to hearing. This friend then proceeded to lay out all the good things I do have in my life, how awful others do have it, people who experience real injustices, and how I should be grateful and consider myself blessed for being exactly where I am.
He then encouraged me in a number of different ways to get back on the horse and throw myself back into the game of life again. I was viewing my life from the sidelines. Actually worse than that. I was like a player on the football field who just stands there and gets run over. That’s not me and it’s not my nature, but I had allowed my circumstances to change who I am and then bought into the lie. I was dead meat. Once you start to believe the lie, the game truly is over.
So there it was. One incredibly powerful expression that I’d heard many times before, and possibly used before, turned around and used back on me. And it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I’m still in the process of undoing a lot of crap. You can’t fix years of crap overnight, but now I have a plan and I am moving the ball forward. I don’t always know what the next right thing is to do, but I almost always know what the next wrong thing is that I shouldn’t do. My friend also told me if I’m not sure what to do when I have a decision to make, as long as the choice involves living in God’s will, do it. I agree. So, suck it up!!