There is a saying that goes..."stop making someone or something a priority, when they only view you (your opinion, your thoughts, your point of view, your presence) as optional."
We could weed out alot of garbage in our lives by making and keeping the main thing, the main thing. As stepfamiles, we don't have time for it anyway. The less garbage to deal with the better. Some of us know all too well what it means to be taken advantage of, or devalued by someone. Yet, we continously give them our time, our attention, our resources even at the expense of others.
Its rooted in esteem...knowing and understanding who you are and what's really important. I made up in mind back when I was 20 years old that at 60, 70, 80 years old I do not want to look back to a lifetime full of regrets with my children. I strive to give them all I have, even when all wasn't really very much. There was a season though that I wasn't as good at that as I would have liked. I stretched my attention, my time, my resources, my heart to others who misused it, devalued it...some even trampled it...yet in a quest for acceptance, I kept putting myself out there only to be again back burnered by something or someone they deemed more important.
You can only go so many rounds of that before really getting a knock in the head and a bruised heart. Eventually, and with the help of my late pastor and spiritual father ....I learned who I am and that I matter. I learned that my thinking, my opinion, my way of doing things is important-God gave me my "way" of being me. My intellect is valuable and my relevancy is too great for me to settle with being ignored. So, now when I feel "back burnered" or secondary I just slow down and veer from anger. Then I end the situation (discussion, disagreement, relationship, arguement) peaceably and move on.
I have to remind myself of that on occasion...like I am doing right now by blogging. Sometimes I forget and before I know it I am defending myself to someone who doesn't matter...or feeling rejected by system or a person when really their prospective is simply that-theirs and I do not have to take ownership of it.
So, how do you do that...how do you begin to measure and appreciate your own "value add" to your family, your spouse, your career, your ministry. For me, its simple things..like when someone says something disrespectful to me or seems to not really care about what I think..I say inwardly "they simply have no idea who I am" and smile. I also don't answer "restricted" or unknown calls on my phone. Sounds silly...but think about it..whoever is calling you has YOUR number..if they feel comfortable enough calling you..why should it be under cloak and dagger ?? Who are they that I can't have their phone number although I have entrusted them with mine? So, people that do that, can leave a message with a number so I can call them back at a number or reach me another way. Sounds simple, but it just one way I constantly remind myself that HEY, I'm important too. Not because of anything I have done, but because of "Who" I belong to.
So, put the people that really matter in your life first. Honor those that deserve honor and who sow honor into you. Those that seem to disregard you, or ignore you...well..move on. Love them from afar, pray for them from even farther, serve them in wisdom, but don't allow yourself to get drained at the expense of those that need you and truly love you. Love puts their needs first and they simply need YOU.