Two weeks ago, my husband and I took a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. During this time, when we weren’t doting over our son or admiring the beautiful scenery, we were having deep thought provoking conversations about life.
Monday, I made that same road trip, this time without my husband. Road trips always seem to offer me perspective, inspiration and restless leg syndrome. In any case, this quiet time gave me a moment to reflect on our conversations and the themes that keep coming up in our lives.
This quote came to mind and inspired todays post…
“Live without pretending. Love without depending, Listen without defending and Speak without offending.”
To be offended and to offend is a tricky thing. In general, I think we all tend to take things too personally.
How many times a day, a week or a year do you think someone mistreated you? Maybe it was the cashier, your husband, your sister, your friend or your boss… The harsh reality is that, while we all need to be thoughtful and mindful, chances are that person wasn’t purposely trying to hurt you. In fact, they probably didn’t even know they hurt you.
Can you recall a time when a loved one or a co-worker told you that you had offended or upset them? I bet in 75% of those circumstances you couldn’t (a) recall the “said” situation, (b) you were dealing with other issues that same day, (c) you had other visions for their complaint and concern or (d) you genuinely believed in what you said or did. After all, while I believe everyone deserves a heartfelt apology if their feelings are hurt, we need to ask ourselves if we are just being too sensitive. The truth of that matter is just because you are offended doesn’t necessarily mean you are right.
When Devin and I got married there were so many acts of kindness and selflessness. We thank God everyday for the many blessings our marriage brought. However, we couldn’t help but laugh (and cry) about the things some people said and did or didn’t do or didn’t say. It was our wedding, our moment, and yet some people had no problem letting us know our day didn’t necessarily align with their vision. It was so disheartening then and still is. However, this situation and unfortunately several other situations, have taught us that we can’t change how people treat us or what they say about us. All we can do is change the way we react.
“Knowing he’s easily offended, I offered him earplugs, rather than curbing my vulgarity. Who said I don’t love my fellow man?”
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE