“You’re needlessly beating yourself up and trying too hard to find an answer that isn’t there.”
My husband. A wise man with such wise words.
We had gone on a long, peaceful bike ride this morning, surrounded by nature’s beauty. At one point we stopped and were sitting in a park as I was filling him in on a text message I had received that hurt a bit. Actually, “hurt” is a bit too gentle of a word. It stung. And the sting persisted stubbornly, intensifying as my mind imagined all kinds of reasons why what was said was actually said at all.
My husband’s words, few in number, quality far surpassing quantity, stopped that sting dead in its tracks. It all started making sense. All because of a few words.
And as we once again hopped upon our bikes and began riding, it began making even more sense.
When I’m riding my bike, surrounded by birds–both those flying above me and the ducks and geese swimming in the river below the bank–little critters scampering across the trail and in the woods that borders the opposite side of the trail as the river, the green of the trees, the silence…well, I’m able to piece together, and even make sense of, pieces of my life that I had been unable to understand prior to that moment.
If someone says something hurtful to me, it’s not about me. Unless I’ve done or said something to earn that arrow, alerting me to the fact that I had acted less than acceptable, it’s not my business to get upset.
What other people do or say isn’t about me. In fact, the world isn’t about me at all. Now isn’t that a wake-up call? But immensely freeing, nonetheless.
It’s not my business to criticize, condemn, nor judge anyone else’s words or actions.
What is my business is to simply treat others with love, kindness, and compassion. To forgive. No matter what. Usually easier said than done, but a work in progress is better than no progress at all.
Whether they return those blessings, or accept an apology I’ve made, isn’t in my control. I can’t force anyone else to act or speak in love, or to forgive. God can, and doesn’t. Rather He allows us free-will.
My husband is a man of few words, but sometimes the words he says are like God speaking through him to me. Knowing me well enough to know what–and how–I will truly hear.
It only takes a few simple words, spoken with kindness and love, to make a dramatic difference.
Grace to You.