Over the weekend an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in years directed some very hurt feelings towards me. It truly took me aback and made me feel confused and bad about myself. I don’t know what she was upset about, but I do believe it had more to do with her than me. It’s been hard not to relive those moments in my head and feel distressed. I’ve found this to be a good time to practice forgiveness.
In these kinds of situations, it’s really easy to hold onto the pain and to judge the person sending out negativity. It was my first, knee-jerk response. Withdrawing and protecting myself is how I got by in life when people were harsh towards me as a child and teen. Now, as an adult, I’m working on that most difficult of dictums – bless those who curse you.
When people lash out in pain, they are hurting. They need love. They need some kind of help and they have nowhere else to get it. As Conversations with God says, “All attack is a cry for help.” I believe that this woman was crying out for help. It’s so much easier to judge her and close the door on her. It’s been harder and more healing to see past her pain by blessing her – by not taking her attack personally and sending her love. I doubt I’ll see her again anytime in the near future, but by forgiving her and sending her love, I free myself and her.