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A Thought On Cynicism

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18

"Don’t let cynicism drain life out of your relationships."

Yesterday I had the chance to listen to Carey Nieuwhof speak on cynicism. Typically, I don’t think about cynicism. It’s just not a term or topic that naturally pops in my head when I think people lack depth, or curiosity, or have a negative mindset on life. One of his specific points stuck out to me: You start projecting past failures onto new experiences. He listed off a few areas that this may occur, and I realized I began thinking this way toward relationships. Whether it was a guy from school, a disrespectful customer I had to serve, an uncomfortable exchange with a man from church, the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship, or disappointment from men I respected in life, I found myself initiating negative thoughts toward men.

It hit hard during a season where I experienced panic and anxiety. If an awkward scenario would come up with a guy, I would feel stuck. Sometimes it would be physical, while others would be mental. The revelation that people are human slapped me in face. I finally had to understand that people sin, they make mistakes, and it’s not just a one-time thing. Thankfully, I sought out wise counsel during those times, as well as therapy (which I highly suggest for every person at any stage in life). I’d like to say that I’m staying on track with optimism with every day that passes. It’s a challenge, but it’s a choice.

If I could color coat myself, I would color me yellow. A bright, sunlit kind of girl with wildflowers in her hand, skipping over rainbows chalk-drawn on the sidewalk. However, during my season of burnout, transition, and misunderstanding, I felt like black was running through my veins. I lost myself a little and I tried to figure out how to get back on track.

The past 10 months have been a beautifully treacherous journey of grace and healing. I believe in a love that’s honest and safe and pure. One that doesn’t physically bind one another, nor does it cause anyone to question the calling over their life. A love that rejoices over truth and endures through every circumstance. And because I put my trust in the Creator of the Universe, I have faith that the love He intended for me to have will come through.

If you've been through anything similar, here's what I encourage you to do:

1. FORGIVE. Ask God to help with this, because it’s vital to not only forgive the person who hurt you but to forgive yourself as well.

2. SIMPLIFY. Clean out your room. Clean out your friend group. Clean out your day-to-day routine. Your eating habits, exercise habits, your Instagram following. All of it. Whatever isn’t challenging you to be better and grow closer to the person God’s called you to be, doesn’t have space to stay.

3. PURSUE. Pursue God. Pursue mentors. Pursue your calling. Pursue the person you know deep down is you, not who you “feel” like being.

Don't let cynicism drain life out of your relationships.

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