I planned my attack.
In my mind I had it all mapped out: How exactly I would respond to the person who had said something hurtful and humiliating.
I knew what I was going to say. After all, I rehearsed it in my mind for hours. No, days.
We were at a gathering where a dozen or so people were laughing, telling stories and feeling elated about the camaraderie of old friends and new. No one else knew that what this so-called friend had said in a joke brought up old wounds in me.
The offender knew. I’m sure of it. Although, I don’t think that they intentionally wanted to hurt my feelings.
Regardless, the words they said cut like daggers into my soul. It felt as though Mike Tyson punched me where I had already been black and blue.
So I waited.
And waited…for an apology that never came.
Over the next two days, while washing dishes, working, driving, doing laundry, and walking my dogs, I carefully worded my retort. My dogs frolicked and wanted to play, but I ignored them. After all, I was angry.
I broke a glass while doing dishes, which ticked me off even more. Couldn’t the other person — and God — know how much I had been wronged?
My body was constantly tense. When my husband asked if there was anything wrong I said that I wasn’t feeling well, which was true, but not the whole story.
My ego had been bruised and my mind and my body were suffering as a result.
After wasting several precious hours and days of my life being bitterly angry about words, I realized that I was the only one that was upset. Life went on for everyone at the party. They carried on with their days and nights as if nothing else happened, while I was waiting for an apology that never came.
Who ultimately lost?
The very last thing we want to do when in the midst of a storm is to ride the wave and see where it takes us. We try to regain control of the ship and steer it into calmer water, but sometimes we just need to dive right in and allow the current to wash over us, recognizing our thoughts and feelings, knowing they will ultimately pass.
The energy we experience in good times and in bad is real and can serve as a teacher for a lesson we don’t always want to learn, but need to. Oftentimes the current that flows through us during tribulations dredges up something in our past that resonates within our souls — something that has not been resolved. Jealousy, anger, envy, and lust have been programmed within us based upon experiences we’ve had in years, or decades before. As a means of survival, we instinctually jump to the conclusion that the other person is wrong and we are (always) right.
I reminded myself of the saying “Do you want to be right or happy” as I breathed into the difficult decision of letting go of my wounded ego and that experience. I gave the other person the benefit of the doubt and decided that perhaps they wanted and needed to feel buoyed by the laughter and adulation of telling a funny story, even if it was making a joke about something difficult I, and many others had experienced. Perhaps their ego had been bruised by someone recently and their spirits needed to be lifted.
I let go of my need to confront and correct that person and instead said a prayer that we would both be at peace. Sometimes it’s the bigger thing to do, and the only thing we can do to move past that gargantuan obstacle — the one that keeps coming back in different ways to haunt and taunt us.
Life is a journey that will continually challenge us to grow and change, although, at times, we resist. By being conscious to the trials as much as the rewards, we can experience grace and peace. The psychological pain we endure can be as painful as a sucker punch from a heavy weight boxer, but if we let this energy pass through us, we can find blessings amidst the hardships.
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You are so right. Thank you for the uplifting words.
Thanks for your comment!
Have an amazing day!
Love this! So much truth in it. It can be difficult. You remind me so much of myself. The way you thought about it for several days, preparing something to say to the person, then trying to see from their perspective, then finally letting it go. I do the same. You’re correct. We are the ones who hurt ourselves more by doing all that thinking. It’s really our pride that is hurt. Gotta let go of that pride and try and forgive. Love that you prayed. <3
You are right Diane — we suffer most when we hold negativity inside.
WOW, this is spot on with my current emotional wave in life. Thanks Shemane, for adjusting my sails so that I may continue forward with grace and peace. What would I do without you?
Kim T, Louisville, KY
I’m glad it resonated with you, Kim. Thanks for being here.
Happy weekend to you!
In business and social encounters, this can occur. It can be a joke or a direct hit. I’ve learned to realize that the other person is dealing with something. Whether it’s their ego boost or dealing with a personal struggle, they may lash out. That person is treated kindly by me (after a deep breath) and included in my prayers!
Thanks for the needed inspiration and have a super weekend!
You too, Lynne!
Very well put…. As aperson who has been on both ends of this experience, the person telling the “joke ” may or may not understand how it affects others; however our response is entirely up to us! We can perpetuate the effect or ” move on” as you have so aptly described….beautifully put by a beautiful person– inside and out!
Thank you Daryl! You are much too kind.
Hope you are well
Well that one hit close to home for me and the last couple of weeks! Thank you!
I did take the higher road and figured I could stay hurt and mad or I could get this person a birthday card and gift as I have every year for the past several years and not let what had happened ruin our friendship.
I will survive and there are much bigger things in life than my wounded ego.
I just downloaded your book and the free gift.
Thank you so much! I look forward to following your blogs.
Hope you enjoy it. And thanks for stopping by here. ; )
My thought on this is that if you are rehearsing an argument in your head (even with the best intentions in mind), you are letting someone steal your Prana. The best relationships simply “flow” on their own. This is not to say that even at times, the relationship doesn’t take work and conflict resolution skill at times. I am at the point in life where I apply the 80/20 rule any spend 80% percent of my time simply wanting to enjoy the personal relationships that flow naturally and stop waisting energy into the ones that simply have too much resistance 🙂
I love that Andrea! Good for you!
Have you seen the 80/20 diet plan I wrote about in my book? Applying that to relationships is a great idea!!
Thanks for sharing!
Biting our lip is tough. It’s as if holding in our thoughts is self torture…
But, it makes you a stronger and wiser person in the end. Myself, I try to avoid the negativity and turn my back towards offensive people if I’m stuck in those situations. They usually realize what they’ve said and begin to beg for your attention/forgiveness. And it makes forgiving much easier without hurtful feelings or words.
Happy new year,2017,love,Jay,n,Maria.