Lately, I’ve found myself struggling to find the good in someone. Everything they do has rubbed me wrong, and I’ve felt a little put-off and confused by my conflicted feelings.1 Other people seem to be getting along with them fine, but it’s like sandpaper for me to be around them.
When left to verbally process it with my husband, I found myself calling out all the flaws I saw in this person, as well as the apparent motives behind their actions. I made assumptions and outlined reasons why I thought this person had been so difficult for me, and in the end, I stated that I didn’t think it was possible for me to keep this relationship. But then a thought occurred to me, “Journal about it.”
The other day I was reading about the spiritual practice of keeping a journal, and I came across an idea for journaling that seemed appropriate for this moment.2 It said journaling can help you discern the reasons you don’t like someone because journaling helps us go beneath the surface of a thing and mine out what is really going on in a way that simply “verbalizing” or “thinking” about something cannot do. When you write things down, it’s harder to reason away what is there, it becomes concrete evidence of your thought life. Writing what is raw and what is very real inside us right now will bring it to the surface, and it’s here, in the light, that it can be redeemed, renewed, and restored. So, I sat down with my journal and started writing why I didn’t like this person.
Turns out, some of what I perceived may be true, but what is more true is my jealousy and pride. What is more true is that this person doesn’t think I’m all that awesome and that’s more revealing of me than their apparent flaws. This person isn’t my problem to fix or power through with, it’s my heart that needs the work, and now that I have been able to name it and repent of it, the Holy Spirit can work to renew a right spirit in me. I can step out in faith to love this person well because I am well-loved.