Monday, August 6, 2012

Somebody poisoned the water hole!

One of the greatest Disney-Pixar movies I've ever seen is Toy Story.  It's about friendship, loyalty, honesty, integrity, and so much more.  So many lines from that flick have come to my aid to describe various experiences that I've had.

The character Woody the Cowboy (played by Tom Hanks) has quite a few of them. Woody is an action figure with a pull string that allows him to say certain phrases.  One of those phrases is today's blog post title.  I got to thinking about that particular saying, and how it applies to some situations I've been going through lately.  
HERE is where I found this photo

Start hanging around poison situations and pretty soon the air reeks of it.  It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  You feel dirty, used. Start hanging around poison people (everybody knows at least one) and their attitudes and speech will rub off on you. You feel "less than" - like something is wrong but you don't know exactly what.  Watch depressing or disturbing TV shows or movies on a regular basis, and eventually you'll be depressed or disturbed.  It's like I used to tell the kids when they were growing up, "GIGO - garbage in, garbage out." 

The fact of the matter is, if I don't want to turn out dirty, used, depressed, angry, if I don't want to be rolling around in the cesspool of life and get the stench of it all over me, I need to make some changes in what I read, what I watch, what I listen to, and who I hang around with.  I need to stop letting people use me, and establish (and enforce) some boundaries in my life.  I need to start believing (instead of just saying) that I can do nothing to change anyone else, to fix anyone else.  Changing people is God's job, NOT MINE.   The only person whose behaviour I must be responsible for ... is me.  Anything more will be self-defeating because I can NEVER do God's job.  Not even in myself.   The only thing I can do is trust Him and let Him fix me.  Me.  Not you, not him, not her, not 'them'.  That said, at the same time, I need to let people know where my boundaries are - and let people know when they've crossed them.  Too long I spent as a doormat, letting people scrape the muck from the barn off on me - if you catch my drift.  

Which brings me to the water hole.  The water hole is a safe place to come and drink, to be replenished, to be refreshed.  If that place is corrupted by dishonesty, betrayal, hypocrisy, and selfishness - mine or others'  - the place that was supposed to be a refuge, a haven in the storm, can become the opposite.  I've seen it happen in families, in friendships, and in church (or other social groups which are supposed to be "safe.")  The water hole is not the place to clean your dirty, manure-covered boots.  If people use it like that - the water is no longer drinkable. It's poisoned.

The only two things that can be done when the water hole is poisoned is to get rid of the poison... or dig a new water hole.  Either option is going to require a great deal of work.  But it's the only way to not get sick.  

And I'm sick of getting sick.  Aren't you?

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