When I was in college, I worked as an RA. About halfway through the year, all the residents were asked to do a survey about the kind of job I (and my co-RA) were doing. We had about 96 residents on our floor and of the surveys returned, 1 suggested that to improve my performance I needed to dye my hair blue, a second said I was unapproachable and judgmental. The others were generally positive--that I was cool, fun, nice, whatever. Of those 96 people the only 2 I actually remember are the one who didn't feel safe/comfortable/welcomed and the one who wanted me to dye my hair blue. It's so strange how powerful negative comments can be and how many positive comments it takes to override hurtful words.
That lesson has come back to me over the last few weeks. Three particularly hurtful things have been said to me, coupled with a host of positive feedback from a variety of other folks. It's been kinda cool actually how God has used these people to shower me in love and encouragement even though they didn't know (generally) of the insults that were thrown my way...and yet the words that ring in my head day in and day out are those that were degrading, belittling, and discouraging.
I wish I had somewhere to go with this post and these thoughts. I wish I had a resolution or a great mantra or activity that put it all right, but I don't. So I guess I'll leave it at that.