I had to post this story today while I was ordering my lunch at the local grocery store. I was standing there in front of the soda dispenser waiting for a lady to finish getting all of her things together at the condiment counter. The reason I waited was because she had her grocery cart in front of the machines to get drinks. I’m pretty sure she didn’t notice me, but I was not in a hurry at all.
As I waited, an older lady walked up to me and grunted under her breath. “Hmph, you’re a lot nicer than I am. I would’ve just asked her to move out of the way.”
I smiled and looked down at her. “Ya know, I could do that, but I’m patient and am not in a hurry.”
So she walked in front of me and got her drink. I chuckled because she jumped in front of me, but something inside of me didn’t get angry. I just nodded and finally got my drink and went back to a table in the corner of the store, where I would eat my lunch. Another woman came up to me and looked up at me, saying good morning. I responded to her and saw her say grace at the table next to me with her friend.
For that one moment of my day, where I was just going to get something to eat, I saw many different signals bouncing in my direction. It was almost as if I was being nudged about the things that were on my mind all day. Peace, Love, and Patience.
I have been eager to discover these three characteristics in myself. All three have always been tough to in myself. Yes, I can love my fiance and my family but to love my enemies has always been a very hard thing to do. I remember talking to my dad last year about how he took the step to pick out three different people that he was seeking forgiveness from. One of these people was actually someone he was too stubborn to apologize to. The funny thing is though, he was placed in the same room with the guy at a networking event. One that his enemy never showed up to but that day was the first day he ever showed up. My dad went to him and talked to him about their disagreement and told him he was sorry for everything. They both had lunch and talked it over. Now, it’s almost like they had just met all over again and have befriended each other once again.
Now, the reason I’m telling you this story is because my dad told me to do the same thing. I picked three people that I felt were either enemies, or people I had a fall out with. Here’s how it went:
My fiance’s cousin:
We use to talk to each other all the time. She would come to my band’s gigs all the time and she would always call us her brothers. I met her cousin, Nadine, and we hit it off great. We’re engaged now, but family issues pulled all of us apart. It got to the point where I got sick and tired of it and brought it up to her on facebook. (Yes, not a very mature thing for me to do) Anyways, we bantered with each other and used questionable words and phrases. Put each other down in witty ways, and copied all of our responses to show to everyone that mattered in our life to make the other look bad.
After the night driving in the rain, where I asked for forgiveness and help from the Lord, my eyes opened wider, and I could see better. Every night that I prayed everything inside me felt better. My burdens were gone and I could breathe easier. Although it helped a lot, I still had many problems I wanted to address with people in my life. The first one was “To love thy neighbor.”
I messaged her one day and told her that I was sorry. She seemed shocked at first, but I told her that everything I said was wrong and that we are family. Yes, not yet, but sometimes in life family will have arguments but that doesn’t mean we should tear each other down. We talked for a few minutes because she was at work, but she accepted my apology and invited Nadine and me to lunch to talk. It never happened due to scheduling conflicts but for both of us we took a huge step from where we were before.
My best friend (1):
The second person to come to mind was my best friend. I remember a few weeks to about a month we didn’t talk at all. It was over something I can’t even remember now. That is how insignificant the argument was at the time. We talked for about an hour. I think most of our argument had to do with my relationship and all of my poor decisions I was making at the time. I will have to admit I have made many poor decisions financially and personally. My life was a wreck.
She forgave me for everything and now, we are talking again. I just want to say that with all of my friends that I pushed away, I really didn’t mean to do it. I only did it because at the time there was something I needed to take care of myself. I didn’t want the opinions and criticism. I wanted peace of mind so that I could focus on my relationship with my fiance. All of the suggestions just made me feel worse about myself already. It got to the point where I sat down with Nadine and poured myself to her. Told her everything I was feeling and how I needed help getting my life back together. (That’ll be for a different post.)
The third person was my best friend (2):
I still haven’t been able to talk to her or message her. She reads my messages and emails. Possibly my voice mails? I just want to point out that before I fell into my dark places, I was a good person. (Most of the time.) I remember the exact argument that pushed her away. The one that lost a very dear friend that was close to my heart. Not saying anyone of my other friends are not as important. I’m just saying she was there for EVERYTHING!
Anyways, what happened was we got into an argument about my relationship. She said that she thinks I need to think about finding someone else. I told her that I am happy with Nadine, I’m just struggling with my financial situation. But little did I know that my financial situation was effecting my relationship with Nadine. I let my financial problems mix with my emotions about Nadine, and I said things that were not true. I blamed everything on her, which I should not have done. I even put myself before Nadine. It was a very selfish thing of me.
Well, she told me that I should maybe move on from Nadine. Not think about marriage or kids because I obviously have some problems I need to square away before I can take that step. I got defensive and told her that’s not true. That I do love Nadine and I think we are ready, but she disagreed. The reason I got frustrated though was because she was marrying a guy that she had been with back in high school. They broke up and got back together a few years ago, but he was in a relationship with someone and my friend kept flying out to see him across the country. It was none of my business, but I cared about her well being and I didn’t want to see her hurt.
Well, they ended up mending their relationship and he left his girlfriend to be with my friend. They both got married last year but I said something to her that I will always regret. I said it out of my own anger and selflessness. I told her sarcastically that I hoped she had the perfect f**king wedding, with the perfect f**king man, and lived happily f**king ever f**king after! (Yes, I dropped the atomic F’s) I couldn’t restrain myself, and she replied calmly to me with, “And to you too. Good luck!”
She has pretty much wiped me clean from her life. She reads my messages, but never responds. I haven’t talked to her family since then or any of her friends. Pretty much everything that we shared was gone and still is. I wrote three long apologies and tried to call her multiple times, but there hasn’t been a response in the last 5 months. Even though my third person will not acknowledge me anymore, I feel like I have done everything possible to beg for her forgiveness. I’ve eventually moved on from it though because I have now focused my energy on peace and patience.
All I can say is that in the moments when someone says the most ruthless things to you. In the times where people accuse each other of past transgressions, and treat each other like they are above every one else. In the times when people are lost and think only materialistic things will bring them out of the society we’re in now. All of this we have to remember is temporary. What matters is what you do now while your still alive. Are you going to be the one that talks everyone down, or the one that praises someone’s faults? A world cannot change without more love and patience spread by its people
Next time you’re standing there watching someone pick up their drink and condiments. Even if they take longer than a normal person, just remember, talking behind their back is not going to help the issue cause that person maybe suffering and underlying illness or death that you don’t know about. So watch what you say and do cause everyone is waiting for you to reveal your flaws. Don’t give them that luxury. Love and praise each other.