Sunday, January 13, 2008


Poise is the art of raising the eyebrows instead of raising the roof.

I learned that little bit of whatever-you-want-to-call-it when I was in college.

I practice it now and then.

Today, for example, I accidentally discovered that for months a 'friend' has been shamelessly using me as a stepping stone to try to further herself. In her insecurity she succumbs to the ploy of attempting to tear me down to build herself up after she has allowed me to open doors for her.

Decades ago I would have been wounded to the quick and angered. Today, the eyebrows lift. It still hurts, but not to the tender interior of my being. No anger boils within.

So, I guess this is a chance for me to see that, hmmm, maybe there has been some growth in the old girl - me - after all.

Not anything to brag about. But a little encouragement goes a long way.

To you, my faux friend, I utter a sincere Thank You. Though your intentions are selfish and unkind, in the end it has done me good. I'm sorry that fears assail you. I wish you strength to see that there is a higher way to exist, and it is available to you.



liz said...

Cherie - good for you sis, being able to see in another's treachery signs of your own growth - I'd call that grace. Well done; :)

Cherie said...

Grace indeed, Liz. Thanks for the support, as always. :)

tshsmom said...

Once I realized that people act like this to boost their own low self-esteem, I started feeling pity, rather than anger, toward them.

This realization didn't hit me until I was in my 30s. You're one sharp cookie to figure it out in college!

Cherie said...

Yes, pity. It's always surprising to me to find this high-school behavior in people old enough to know better. I mean, if they haven't figured it out by the time they're nearly 50, well, wow, kinda sad. But we all travel different roads. I'm not responsible for her, only to have a true response within myself, right?

Cecily said...

When I was at Bible College one of my lecturers (who was nearly 70 at the time) sought to encourage us as we moaned about our slow growth in Christlikeness... he said that although we might not see much evidence of change now, when we are 50 (or whatever age) we'll look back and see how far we've come. You Cherie are my living example. There is hope. :-)

Cecily said...
That's the link to the Frederick Beuchner book I found the other day... haven't bought it or read it but somewhere I read a recommendation of it. :-)

Cherie said...

Thanks for the link, Cecily! I'll go check it out.

As far as me being a living example, I know you know I am a very flawed one at that. But, glad there is some encouragement there for you, too. Sounds like you had a caring, wise professor. And you remembered what he said. Good for you! ;-)

tshsmom said...

It's so sad that those high school personalities rarely change. You and I were gifted with a rare thoughtfulness at an early age. What we have now is based on truth and beauty and love. It hasn't come easy; we've worked for it. As a result, we appreciate it all the more.

It still hurts when someone betrays our kindness, but our anger is now replaced by pity for their shallow lives.
"I wish you strength to see that there is a higher way to exist, and it is available to you."
If they haven't come to this realization by our age, they probably won't...what a pity!

Patti said...

Dear Cherie, I am so sorry for the hardship you've gone through to get to this point, but it is good you've gotten there. I feel like I have, too, having had some betrayals of which you speak. And in a way, it's very liberating. So even though it wasn't fun, it's nice to be on the other end of it. Not that I could ever say that I have poise.:-)

Cherie said...

cherie said...
Tshs, you said it! It doesn't come easy, and in fact it's still a work in progress. I know that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and I know that this person who is being unkind to me (and to others) has other strengths where I may be lacking. All of life is a process. I've learned to not look over at another and say, "Wow! You're still waaay back there! I conquered that years ago," because, like I said, they are probably ahead of me in another area. Some things though, like 'high school' behavior when a person is nearly half a century old, well, it's quite surprising.

Happily now I can see that the failings of myself and others can be helpful to all, if we just pay attention, hold onto honesty, and search our hearts.

Thanks for the insights. It's nice to hear it from you, a friend who is so much like me. ;)

Thanks for the comfort, Patti. It is sort of liberating, you are right. Having the blinders off and the truth revealed hurts, yes it does, but it is freeing to know what's what and put an end to the fakery. I remember some of the betrayals you confided with me this summer. I know you know just how it feels, and the awkward place it puts a person, to respond appropriately with kindness and wisdom, to people who didn't give you the consideration of those things. As far as poise goes, start by raising the eyebrows while you are angry - and work from there. ;-D

sean said...

....... "part of the power that would, ever do evil, but engender good"- under-standing naturally, that good is only a stepping stone, because if we strived only to be good, then we could never be better.

Wandering Coyote said...

Good for you, Cherie.

Cherie said...

Good point, Sean!

Thanks for the encouragement, and to you, too, WC.