Awhile ago, somebody did something that made me really mad. It doesn’t matter what. (Seriously, it really doesn’t matter and I’d be embarrassed to tell you.) But I was mad, man, for days. Really mad. If you’d have caught me at the right moment, I’d have told you how mad I was, and how wrong this jerk was. It was eating at me.
Also I was pretty confused. Part of me felt like girl you are maybe kind of overreacting but the rest of me felt like WELL WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOORMATS ARE WE?!?!? JESUS EVEN SAID SO YES I’M SURE HE DID LOOK IT UP!! And honestly, I kind of didn’t know what to do with it. I’m not saying I don’t get mad (ask my children) but I really don’t usually dig in quite like that. I’m out of practice.
But I blustered along, until I was entertaining some friends with my Litany of Complaints for, I don’t know, the sixth time in an hour (they were really quite patient with me), and all of the sudden something came out of my mouth. Something that felt suspiciously like the truth.
“But it really hurt my feelings,” I said. And suddenly all my mad was gone, and sad moved in.
Sad is a lot less fun. When you’re mad you can be judgy and sniffy and RIGHT. Sad is just vulnerable and pitiable and weak. I mean, even though I kind of know better, I feel pathetic typing that out. It hurt my feelings. Well, aren’t I just special and sensitive. Heaven forbid.
Self-examination kind of stinks sometimes. And I didn’t much like sitting in the corner licking my wounds until they healed over and I moved on. But I wish I’d skipped the almost-week of yammering on about the wrong that was done and gone straight for the actual problem immediately. It would have all been over a lot sooner. Maybe next time I reach for outrage I can figure out what’s really going on before I slip into an infinite loop.
Maybe next time I’ll remember that it’s okay to be hurt, because when someone can hurt you it means they matter to you. Also that they’re human, and, being human, will sometimes will do really boneheaded things. And that forgiving them is better than losing them.
So if you see me someday and steam is coming out of my ears, ask me if someone hurt my feelings.
No, really. I dare you. We’ll see how much I’ve evolved. It’ll be fun!*
*For the people watching maybe.