Have you ever been offended? Has someone ever said or done something that just hit you the wrong way and you have no idea why? Have you ever lashed out at the offending person before you even have a chance to consider whatever offense they committed was unintentional?
More importantly how long did you remain offended? And did it make you so defensive that the even most innocent comments make you lash out at anyone?
I had a conversation with someone the other day and it left me sad and hurt. It’s taken me several hours to piece together that some of my comments may have unintentionally hurt the other person, causing them to lash out. To attack me really.
Here’s the thing, it’s not my problem if this person feels so guilty any comment I make will cause them to act like an ass. It’s not my problem if they choose to be so offended they just assume everyone is persecuting them. It’s not my problem – just like it’s not anyone else’s problem if I choose to be offended and overly touchy.
But I’m still sad. I’m still hurt. And, yes, I’m still offended.
I also feel a fair amount of guilt that my words may have unintentionally wounded this already broken soul. I have known for a long time how powerful words can be, either for good or bad. We can build someone up or tear them down and most of the time it is so much easier to tear someone down. Especially if we’re offended and hurting too.
So where does that leave me?
That’s an excellent question. I’m still dealing with justifiable emotions, but I know what path I need to take even if it’s the hard one.
Forgiveness first – all of us have made asses out of ourselves at one time or another. Take responsibility for my words second – taking a second or two before speaking is always the best course of action. And third, no matter how difficult it is, shake off offense because after all there’s a good possibility that the offense given is unintentional.
Like I said, the hard path. But I know, I know that I know that I know that no matter how hard this path has been or becomes it leads to growth, inner peace, and better relationships. Totally worth it!