I was working one December day, and two ladies came into the shop. I greeted them, and they proceeded in walking around our little store. They stopped at the table full of my purses, and one lady said, "Well, these purses aren't that great! I could do sooooooooo much better than these. If they let someone like this sell here, I should bring my stuff over!"
Those words went through me like a knife and started my blood boiling. The two ladies threw their heads back and cackled. The other turned and looked over at me. (I'm assuming that my cheeks were flaming red and my eyes crazy black.....I've been told this happens when I am angry.) The companion said, "Oh *Brutilda,* you shouldn't say things like that! Your luck is that this girl here made them!" Laughter ensued.
I remained silent.
"You didn't make these, did you?" She asked.
"Yes. I'm the purse lady." I simply stated.
"Oh, well, you know, I didn't mean.....I mean, I just said that I liked my bags better than yours. No hard feelings." Brutilda stammered.
Even her apology was mean.
This was my chance to make her squirm. Anyone else in my shoes would have let her have it, right? But instead I said, "It's ok. You didn't know. Your bag you have on your arm is very pretty too (it was ok.) Did you make it? You should see if you can join our group. We would love to have you I'm sure!"
And I smiled. (Even though inside I wanted to punch her.)
Crisis adverted, the ladies left. I really hope Brutilda thought about her meanness and changed. Somehow, I don't think she did.
Forgiveness is hard, isn't it? When someone hurts you, the human instinctual part of us wants to lash back. Hurt them like they have hurt us. Make them feel like garbage. Revenge is the way to go and will make me feel so much better! Take that evil-doer! HA HA!
We all know deep down that this isn't going to fix things or lead to true happiness. I know I have been forgiven by the man upstairs, and in turn I need to forgive those who hurt me. So, even though I wanted to really stick it to Brutilda, I knew I had to forgive her. No questions asked. And....even though she didn't deserve it.
Forgiving a stranger that hurts you with words is one thing. Forgiving someone you love is strangely harder. You've trusted this person, you've let them be a part of your life, and they turn around and hurt you. (And usually they know exactly what to do to cause pain because they know your heart.)
I've told you all before, and I will admit it again........I'm not perfect. I struggle here. There are people that are or have been in my life that I have to repeatedly make myself forgive them. That anger still sneaks up on me now and then. The thing is....... these people we love? These should be the ones we are quickest to forgive.
No one is perfect, and we shouldn't expect perfection from those we love. If you interact with another human being chances are they will one day hurt you or let you down. We are flawed creatures......it's inevitable. Then and only then you will get down to your true heart. What will you do? Will you wallow in anger, respond with meanness, and seek revenge? Or will you give forgiveness as freely as it is given to you? I've tried both roads, and forgiveness may be harder, but it's sweeter. I promise.
*Name changed to protect the identity of Miss Grumpy Pants.
(Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing staying with someone who hurts you physically, or staying with someone who cheats repeatedly. That's different. You can forgive them, but for the love of Pete don't stay.)