Last week a relative contacted me looking to see if I was interested in buying something from him. I asked a question about the item. He got offended. I appreciated him reaching out to me to tell me so. Honestly I was shocked. I had zero intention of offending him. What seemed to me like a basic question was fuel to a fire inside of him.
Last week I offended part of our community without ever trying. What some people saw as an affront was never even on my radar.
Then I got offended that people thought something of me that wasn’t true. And it hurt.
And the cycle goes on. We get offended and often the other person had no idea they were being offensive.
The dictionary describes offense as -cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful.
Maybe it’s the holes inside of us, those vulnerable places that need healing.
I once read to pretend you are an elevator with the buttons broken. So no matter what “button” someone pushes, you are still and unoffended.
Is that alive? Aren’t we meant to feel things?
How do we move forward? Do we talk it out? Forgive? Allow others some room for error?
I think it’s a little of all of it wrapped up into one.
It’s good to feel. I think it’s important to recognize if you are hurt. How do you move forward if you don’t know where you are?
But staying there in those feelings doesn’t work.
Sometimes I want to explain myself and I think it makes things worse. Other times I get frustrated and think - if that’s what you think of me, then, oh well.
I think like everything in life feelings are fluid.
Do we have the courage to communicate our feelings and truly listen to the other person’s point of view? Sometimes.
But sometimes my experiences change me. What once offended me no longer does.
Every single day we have the chance to be offended. What do we do with that?
If we hold onto every offense we grow weary and the light dulls from our eyes and spirit.
Last weekend I was broken. My confidence fell to a new low at the thought of offending people. Even more so that people thought something of me that was untrue.
Little things piled onto it. and pretty soon I had every intention to become a hermit and recluse, which probably wouldn’t work because I would want people with me in my cabin in the woods.
The truth is I need people. And relationships are hard. Speaking your truth in love to someone takes courage and vulnerability. They might not hear you. They may blow you off.
Maybe speaking to them is for you, not for them.
Maybe the letting go of the offense is for you, not them.
Walls around our hearts don’t build a better humanity.
Maybe life is an obstacle course and each offense is a hurdle. We either jump it or we fall and have to go back and go through it again.
I have cleared some hurdles, others still cause me to go back and try again.
I guess if we are stuck on the same hurdle after many years it’s time to confront it or lay it down.
The less baggage I have the clearer I see the world.
In the words of Jimmy Cliff - I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright) sunshiney day.
Except “the rain is gone” offends me lol! Because without rain we don’t have crops.
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