I got some news that upset me recently, the kind of news that just makes you feel icky inside. It’s always amazing and unsettling to me to experience in person the power of words to wound and poison- even second-hand. I have been working hard at not holding negative experiences or emotions inside of me, and also at being able to stand up for myself when I need to…something that has always been very difficult for me to do as a Southern woman raised by an incredibly polite and non-confrontational Southern lady. I have always smiled on the outside and held the hurt inside. I am working to change that scenario; instead, I try to look for healthy ways to understand the experience and release the bad stuff. Not always easy to do, but so very worth it to live a truly peaceful life. We’re going to run into people and situations like this, whether it derives from family, co-workers, friends, or even strangers. We never know what people are going through, and often their lashing out is their method of dealing with their own issues, their own lack.
On this occasion, two friends, two everyday angels, were there to help me see through the facade of hurtful words and remember what really mattered. Their understanding, compassion, and humor helped me release the hurt that I had begun to internalize. I have a very soft heart (head?) and am such a non-confrontational person that it is really difficult for me to understand how and why some people feel the need to tear others down. A good lesson for me…I live in a pretty peaceful cocoon most of the time with little to no conflict, so maybe I needed this reminder to not take on others’ issues and anger. I want to learn to be the calm in the storm and not get swept up in drama. Such a waste of our precious lives to spend it on negativity and anger.
How blessed I am to have friends who are wise and loving, who help me to find perspective and light when I sometimes stumble into darkness. Friends who make the time to encourage….and to make me laugh (sometimes a much needed laugh at myself). Instead of doing my usual ‘agonize and run through the hurtful scenario’ ad nauseum, I went right to the people who I knew would understand and help to shake me out of my introspective mood (Mom would call it the “mullygugs”. I will do my best to do the same for them whenever they need it, as well. That’s the great thing about friendship, you always have someone in your court who cares and wants the best for you, and who knows your heart and just the way to help you find your center again.
And so today I send up thanks for my everyday angels, the people who inspire and encourage me every single day. Your halos are shining brightly, as always. Good friends are priceless treasures…and I think I’m pretty darn wealthy in that regard.