I've always been a little on the tenderhearted side. I've written a little about it before. Let's just say, my bucket of tears has been full to overflowing this week. You could water the garden with them. I've been tired, stressed, and overwhelmed by everyday life's responsibilities.
I found myself reprimanded yesterday for an incorrect executive decision I had made earlier in the week. I was embarrassed. If I'm not too tired and feel good I can hold the tears off until I am safely away from the situation. I was extremely tired yesterday and my emotions have been just beneath the surface all week so it only took about five minutes for the waterworks to begin. I gave it my very best effort to hold them in, but I just couldn't do it. I'm still embarrassed today.
But there is more to it. Earlier in the week I was on the other end of the reprimand with my kids. I yelled. For about 15 minutes. I said things that were not fair. I acted like a mean and unforgiving parent. I was wrong. One of my children cried, just like I did yesterday. I felt terrible as soon as I gained enough composure to recognize my poor parenting behavior. Before my kids went to bed, I apologized and gave each one a hug and told them I loved them and that I was sorry. But no matter what, I was still wrong. My choice to be angry created a negative ripple in our household. After yesterday, I felt even worse because I got a good dose of what I had dished out and had a good understanding as to how I had made my children feel.
This whole thing, me being on both ends of the spectrum only days apart, has caused me to reflect on the sensitivity of relationships. I remember that I need to be kinder, gentler, and more understanding with people around me. Sometimes I forget that I'm not the only one with feelings that might be tender. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not easily offended. I work especially hard NOT to be offended. It does happen occasionally, but I try with great effort to forgive sooner rather than later. I'm not offended at the reprimand I received yesterday. I just can't help crying when someone yells at me. My mother tells me I was this way even at one year of age. It must be how I'm hardwired I guess. Thankfully, I have such a good husband who NEVER yells at me. Never. I am grateful for that blessing in my life.
I don't know why I'm writing about this for everyone to know, but I feel like there is something to be learned through this experience. Relationships can be strong and fragile all at the same time. We are mortal beings with mortal weaknesses. We are going to lose our tempers from time to time. We are going to let our emotions rule us when we are too tired, weak, or stressed to rule them. That's part of life and not one of us is perfect. The important thing is that we learn to be quick to apologize when we are the offender and quick to forgive when we have been the offended. For in the end, is there any one thing more important in this life than the relationships we foster? No. I don't believe so. If you have been the one to have been hurt, I hope you can find the resolve to forgive, completely and unconditionally. If you have been the one to cause the hurt, I hope you can find the courage to say I'm sorry. This life is far too short and precious not to.