Today is my birthday. And without spilling a lot of beans, I just gotta say: it kinda sucked. Like, really, truly, bit me in the ass, sucked. I swore out loud in public, sucked.** I’m not looking for a pity party; God knows I can throw my own well enough for myself without sending out invites.
But here’s the thing … People are who and what they are because of things inside and outside of your control. What I mean is: maybe you screwed up royally, or maybe someone else did. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn’t, as to who and what mucked up part of someone else’s life. (By “it matters” I don’t want to suggest it was insignificant or inconsequential. If someone is causing a scene the root cause is not ever insignificant to them.) And sometimes the bite comes back with a lot of venom. And it stings. Sometimes people are ready to bite at things even when they shouldn’t because of displaced responsibility.
So love the hurting, even if it hurts you; even if the hurt ones maim you (emotionally) back, rightfully and deservedly so, or not. Perhaps part of someone else’s healing will come through the venom they need to unleash.
I don’t mean to suggest you dutifully accept the spew and say, Whateva. Because, clearly, this is not a “whatever” kind of moment. When something has you so emotionally distraught, spent, and wrung out you feel physically ill, it is not Whatevs. How you react and respond may speak volumes more than just getting loud. Anyone can get loud. Loud is what newborns do because that know nothing else to get their problems solved. Quiet and steady are what conflict needs. It also needs genuine remorse, contrition, and willingness to forgive for something to be resolved. Again, maybe the conflict is result of your own doing, or someone or something else. Maybe it was recent or years ago when this hurt occurred.
If you messed up, own up to it. If it was another person’s doing, react with empathy. You are a flawed person dealing with someone else equally flawed. Be gentle, and love them anyway.
**I am generally opposed to swearing, cussing and foul language in general. It rarely serves any purpose, and frequently displays a lack of creativity from the one turning the air blue and making sailors blush.