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Monday, January 15, 2007

Turning the other cheek

I was talking with a person connected to another person I know. The person said to me, "I don't know what the deal is between you and so and so, but so and so misses you guys." The person made a couple of other comments specific to the situation, and within a few seconds, I was inflamed.

See, the situation this person was talking about comes down to this: I made one inappropriate remark to the person. To clarify further, the only person who thought my remark inappropriate was the person I said this to-everyone else thinks it was perfectly justified. However, this person chose to deal with the remark by doing some things to me that were hurtful. I spent a couple of days crying, it hurt so bad. Worse, this person's actions hurt my children. I responded by apologizing. A deep sincere apology asking for this person's forgiveness. This person has not spoken to me since.

So here I am, talking with someone who also knows this person, and in the whole story, *I* am the villain.

I was faced with a choice.

I could have very easily said, "You know what? This isn't my fault. I did all that was right, and this person is the one who made the break. I tried to heal the break, but this person chose not to be a part of it."

But see, I realized something. I knew this person was fishing for dirt. This person would have believed my defense and taken my side. At the expense of the person who's already hurting. My defense would have started a war. I chose to give a very vague, noncommital answer that indicated I had no hard feelings, but no details of what was going on. Nothing to indicate how hurt I was that I am being blamed for a situation that I have done everything to rectify. Nothing to point out the other person's fault in the situation.

I love Sanctus Real's "Fight Song". And it so reminds me of this situation. Because truthfully, the situation is really nothing. Were it not for the fact that I don't want the people involved to stumble across my blog (they don't read it, as far as I know) and hear me griping about it and be hurt by my words, and you knew what started this whole nightmare, you'd think it absolutely ridiculous. But here we are, fighting over nothing. No, not we. I'm not fighting. I just want to move on. But the other person wants revenge.

The problem with revenge is that it only begets more revenge. I hurt someone. I didn't mean to. But because this person felt hurt, this person chose to respond by hurting me. How many conflicts in this world are caused by the cycle of feeling hurt and hurting back? How many personal conflicts have happened because of this?

When we turn the other cheek, we take away the fuel for the other person's weapons. Will my conversation get back to the person who's upset with me? I guarantee it will. But what won't get back to the other person is my anger. My hurt. My frustration. No attacks. And maybe the other person will be frustrated by my lack of anger. It's been known to happen.

But maybe, in my choosing not to seek vindication or retribution, what the other person will see is love. Maybe others, who know the details of the situation, will also see love. And maybe, rather than continuing to grow strife and hatred, a new seed will be planted in the hole created by this mess.


rindy said...

Excellent post and excellent choice. I can relate...it is so hard to break the cycle but to love/to forgive/to release is the only way...awesome. Have a great day!

Danica/Dream said...

Thanks Rindy. It has to be a regular conscious choice, I'm finding, and boy, is it hard!