Someone I care very deeply for said something so hurtful to me the other night. It completely ruined an otherwise perfect evening. I cried and received no sympathy. I tried to put it out of my mind but I just couldn't forget and tossed and turned the entire night. The next morning, my waking thoughts were the memories of the unkind words spoken to me several hours before. He had forgotten all about it but I didn't. My heart was broken.
Some people need a lesson in tactfulness. They do not choose their words wisely. They do not think before they act and do not realize how damaging words can be. I always try to be conscious of how my words and my actions can affect the hearts and lives of others. I existed in an abusive relationship for years and barely survived. It took years to heal from all the damage. I never want to inflict that kind of pain on anyone so every morning my prayer is the same, "Please, God, do not let me hurt anyone today with the words I say or the deeds I do." There are two type of people in this world; those who have been abused and choose to inflict their pain on others and those who feel it so deeply they never ever want to be the cause of such pain in another living thing. I happen to be the latter.
This blog is not about chosing our words wisely so we do not hurt others. That is for another time. This is going to be about how we react to what others say to us. Yes, words hurt. They can reveal truths about us that we don't want to face, or they can be outright lies. Unkind words are like the sting from a good slap in the face--painful and usually unexpected. The sting from a face-slapping, however, usually goes away in a few minutes. It's the shock from the slap that lingers. The shock is what causes us to retaliate or to slip away and feel sorry for ourselves.
I felt sorry for myself. I felt hurt, anger, and unforgiveness creep in and take hold. I would never consider saying something just as unkind or worse, but I could punish him with my silence and cold shoulder. I could sulk for days and make him feel really bad about it. The truth is, he doesn't feel bad. He doesn't even remember. It's as if it never happened. He said something stupid in the heat of the moment and never gave it another thought. I am the one not willing to let it go. Should I let him off the hook, completely? No! We must never allow ourselves to be doormats or let others abuse us. We need to let people know we refuse to be mistreated in any way, shape or form.
The unkind words that were said to me affected my whole night and the entire day that followed. I was cranky, tired and sad. His words kept repeating over and over in my head. I ignored his calls and his texts and when I eventually did respond it was with short, curt, less than heart-felt answers. I wasn't cruel but I was distant. It takes a lot of energy for me to be that way. Usually I am happy, loving and kind. By the end of the day, I was exhausted. I came home, ate dinner, and was asleep on the couch by 9PM. I never even said goodnight to him.
I had allowed his words to completely ruin my day. Yesterday the sun was finally shining and it was warm. It has been cold, dreary and rainy here for the past week. I barely noticed the change in the weather because of my mood. I was cold and dreary inside and spent my day wiping tears from my eyes. How utterly ridiculous to waste time licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself. I could have been outside enjoying myself! I could have laughed heartily at the jokes that went around the office yesterday rather than working so hard to barely crack a smile. Everything that could go wrong did so yesterday, from train delays, spilled morning coffee, a mixed-up lunch order, frustrating games of telephone tag with lenders, to computer issues. When I woke up this morning I realized that those are things that happen all the time and usually I am able to just laugh it all off and joke about it. It was the underlying bad mood that I CHOSE to be in because of something someone said to me that compounded it all!
No one can drive your car unless you hand them the keys. So it is with your moods. No one can actually put you in a bad mood. It is your decision. You can allow things like words to roll right off you like water or you can take them to heart and let them spoil your day, your week, your year, or even your entire life. I came to the conclusion today that my guy is sometimes a jerk who opens his mouth before he thinks. He needs to work on that but I need to work on being less sensitive. I need to decide that I will not allow his moods ,his thoughts or his words influence my actions. I think I am punishing him by withdrawing, but I am actually punishing myself. Nothing and no one is worth punishing yourself over. EVER!
Different kinds of people are put in our paths because we have lessons to learn. Some people uplift us and encourage us and others will constantly grate against us and try to hold us back. We need both types of people in our lives to shape us into who we are supposed to be. I know who I am. I know what is true and good about me and what is not. Any unkind or hurtful words that are said to me are the result of someone else's insecurities and misgivings about their own lives. From now on, rather than allowing those words to hurt me, I will forgive and say a silent prayer for the one who chooses to deliver unkindness. How sad and dark they must be inside. I am thankful that my heart is full of joy, love, and light. I want to share it with everyone I know. I cannot allow someone else to steal those things from me for even a moment!
And this is my Daily Cyn............