I have a friend who either hurt someone's feelings or got her feelings hurt. (don't know which) This has caused her some upset this weekend. In an attempt to help, her situation got me thinking how silly we can be over just acting HUMAN.
While walking my dog this morning I started thinking about how many times I have hurt someone's feelings or had mine hurt. I am the "queen of grudge" and can stay mad at someone for a very, very long time. Actually, I really just like to make people grovel. It's allot easier to forgive someone who has properly groveled, don't you think?
Anyway, while walking I flashed-back to an instance that happened between a neighbor and me some years ago. I was on a community watch program at our school and we had been having some problem with a stranger coming onto the playground, wandering around the school, and lurking around town. My neighbor had finally gotten a licence plate number of the car we were on the lookout for and turned it in to me to turn into the police. She asked me not to tell anyone about it until we had a verification on the "suspect". Well, dumb me- I told one of the other mothers about it, and just like that- I was suddenly not worth being called friend!
It didn't matter that for 2 years I volunteered to walk her kids to school every morning so she didn't have to take the baby out. It didn't matter that while she worked, her husband let her kids come to my house to play and then stayed all day. It didn't matter that I fed her kids meals right along with mine, even though she had two incomes while we had one. It didn't matter that her son had stolen toys from my son and threw them into the trashcan on garbage day & told my son where his toys were as the truck was lifting the trashcan to empty it. All that mattered was I had a big fat label stating I was "UNTRUSTWORTHY" slapped on my forehead!
Well, I felt bad that I said anything, wasn't brave enough to go and apologize for breaking the confidence, (which just made me look worse) and I let the friendship fade away while I stored up all this bitterness for helping her at all. Why didn't she stand back and take a good look at all I had done for her in the course of our friendship? Did I ever once ask her to watch my kids? NO! When she drove my daughter to girl scouts didn't I provide plenty of gas money to cover the 3 blocks she had to go? YES! Did I complain to her about her husband's neglect of their children? NO! I felt that my kind deeds far out-weighed my slip of the tongue, and I felt my feelings were totally justified when I found out later that she had already told this mom about the situation with the licence plate! (just to add here- the stalker was a mentally-challenged boy-man and the kids were never in danger)
So my neighbor moved away shortly after this happened and we don't have any contact with each other now, but I remember when she moved, a friend of hers became my "new neighbor" and knew all about the way I couldn't keep anything a secret and how I was not to be trusted!
I guess we all have our weak moments where our mouths should stay shut in case we might offend someone, but really, should we let a moment of weakness blossom into complete disregard for the good relationships we cultivate? More likely, we should practise forgiveness and accept that while every mouth has to open & we might not like the train wreck that spills forth, eventually those lips will close again and the next wreck might get swallowed! I've gagged on a few of those wrecks but you know what? So has EVERYONE else!!
"It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
March 2018 :)
2 weeks ago