“They’re not against you. They are just for themselves.” Anonymous
I’m not sure if this quote is attributed this way because the originator didn’t want to be identified or the fact that it is such a universal truth a lot of people could’ve said it. It is truth. And one that is VITAL to understand when you feel like you are standing at a locked door to your future- when you feel trapped- in a form of everyday captivity.
One of my favorite movie characters is the CIA Operative, Maya, in the movie Zero Dark Thirty. She is a confident, kick-butt heroine who won’t stop for anyone or anything. From the moment she was hired out of high school, she studied Osama Bin Laden looking for ways to find him and bring him down. It was her purpose. It was her dream. It was why she was hired. Through her tenacity, she found information regarding Bin Laden’s location and shared it with her superiors. Day after day, week after week following this, nothing happened. In her frustration, every day without action, she took a red marker and marked the number of days that had passed on the glass window of her boss’ office. She changed the number EVERY day… (129 days in the picture I posted)
STOP. If you watch the movie immediately following this picture, one man says to her superior, “It’s her against the world.” Have you ever felt like that? It is you, knocking at the door, screaming at the door and no one is listening. It seems no one cares. But is this true? More times than not, people are not against you. They are just for something else.
Maya couldn’t hear what was happening on the other side of the door so she assumed nothing was being done, or at least not at the speed she desired. Sometimes we need to know that we don't always know what's happening on the other side of the door or glass window.
That scene reminded me of a situation I recently saw play out. I was visiting a mom whose daughter became severely ill overnight with no apparent reason. She was in ICU in a medically induced coma and her kidneys were failing. It was necessary to start dialysis so they ushered her mom out of the room to the waiting area and locked the door to the room. Mom had been by her daughter’s side non-stop for several days. They told her the dialysis would take 2-2 ½ hours. At hour 3, mom was irritated. At hour 4, she was infuriated. At hour 5, she was inconsolable. Shortly after 5 hours, mom heard the door unlocked. She raced in with a passion. Why had it taken so long? Why did they lock the door? Why did they keep her out? What were they doing to her daughter? In response, the medical team let her know their priority was her daughter. She needed more time than they had imagined. They weren't against the mom. They were simply FOR the daughter's healing and best interests.
So it was with Maya. Her superiors were not against her. They were just counting the cost. The stakes were huge. There was a bit of political ball being played. Her enemy was red tape. Mom's enemy wasn't the doctors. It was the disease.
Why do we jump to the conclusion first that people are against us? Is it our own insecurities? Our own pride to think that people actually think about us more than they do?
Who have you villainized or blamed because things aren't happening quickly enough or the way you thought they would?
It might be time to take them off the hook. They may have an agenda you don't know about. They may be protecting themselves because of some perceived threat. They may be doing the best they can as they fight their way through mountains of red tape. They may be choosing a mission over a man.
How can you change your perception today when you are tempted to believe people are against you?