Hurts and Forgiveness

On Sunday night, I got my feelings hurt by someone else. This isn’t the first time this person has hurt my feelings by saying something mean to me, by yelling at me, by hurling curse words at me. Thankfully this didn’t happen in person. Rather, it came in the form of  a venomous voice mail message left on my phone. While I listened to the message, my heart sped up and began to feel as though it would beat out of my chest. My body literally began to shake. A lump formed in my throat. Tears welled in my eyes.

I took a deep breath. I told my husband what happened. He responded in his sturdy, quiet way. He reminded me that this person is childish with limited emotional resources. He expressed feeling sorry that something like this had happened, again. I spent some time with our puppy who was sacked out from playing with other pups at a dog-party fund-raiser for 350.org. Lying down with a puppy and petting that soft fur helps to make everything right in the world.

Then I returned the call. Granted, I don’t believe a message such as that one warrants a return call, but I needed to respond. The phone rang and rang with no answer, and so I was limited to leaving a message. This is ironic as this person was angry with me for being “so unavailable,” and inaccessible to talk with on the phone. As I left my message, I tried to sound calm, to not raise my voice, to not stoop to this person’s level. I told this person that I was sorry we kept missing one another on the phone, and I shared that I cannot be available at all times to talk. Most importantly, I expressed how unacceptable it is to leave a mean and nasty message filled with cursing on my voice mail (or anyone else’s!).

I continued to be upset by this situation ever since it happened. Unfortunately, it brought up so many old hurts and rubbed salt in previous wounds from this person. I said my peace in my voice mail message, and I wanted to let it go. But I was having a really hard time. I walked around all of Monday with a pit in my stomach from anxiety about eventually talking with this person. I was dreading it, worrying about it, and making myself somewhat sick over it.

So, we talked. And for the first 10 minutes of the conversation, this person pretended like nothing had happened. Until I brought it up. I stood my ground. I remained calm. I reiterated the unacceptable-ness of yelling and cursing at me. And you know what? This person doesn’t get it. I don’t think this person is capable of getting it, of accepting responsibility. My husband is right, this person lacks tons of emotional resources. I’m working hard to keep that in mind, to not feel so raw and vulnerable from those piercing words. I want to let it go. But I’m still having a really hard time…

I’m working on sending out thoughts of love and kindness and forgiveness every time I think of this person or this most recent incident. I’m channeling the words of Kate from Your Courageous Life that were posted on kind over matter.

Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness.

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About Meghan

Love Warrior. Psychologist. Photographer. Writer. Yogi. Gypsy. Lover of Polaroid, film, and digital.
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22 Responses to Hurts and Forgiveness

  1. Lindsey says:

    We are in similar spaces right now … (unsurprisingly!). Yesterday a repairman who is trying to fix something on the fridge got agitated at me and raised his voice, and I burst into tears. Not the same situation at all, but likewise upset about the phone.
    I know what you mean about how small things can trigger long ago wounds, reopen scabs we thought were strong. I also know how hard it is to let go, sometimes, at least for me. Sending you love.
    xox

  2. Laura says:

    You always give me great advice, and you remind me that we can’t control what others say or do, just how we react…

    ‘That person’ has caused you a lot of grief and heartache over your lifetime, Megs, and you always respond with kindness and forgiveness and love…

    While many people would shut the door (myself included) you’re a shining example of the power of forgiveness.

    Can’t wait to see you this weekend!

    xxooo

  3. tawyna says:

    many hugs. as someone who has dealt with years of emotional abuse….I can relate to this so closely. had yet another conversation last night that sent me into the same anxiety-ridden feelings you speak of. perhaps i should try to send him kindness also.

  4. Sarah Jean says:

    I’m amazed that you are able to focus on love, kindness, and forgiveness. You are a strong person. I wish I was able to do this with *that person* in my life. XOXO

  5. Carrie says:

    Oh, Meghan… the student becomes the teacher. Thank you. This post couldn’t have been more appropropriately timed for me, as I am in a similiar perdicament. Friday, a close friend said something very insulting to me (for the second time) and proceeded to blame it on being tipsy. It was a comment normally uncharacteristic of her, until the last year or so. It’s also something I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time letting go. I think it’s been hard for me to let it go, although I’ve tried to help her see, she seems to be turning into someone she’s better than. After reading your post, I think the best thing I can do now is to send her love, kindness, and forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness.

  6. Karen D says:

    I have been there, especially with my Mom. I think that your husband may be right, some people just won’t or can’t get it. I know I keep hoping they will but maybe the answer for me is to do what you did, forgive and send love.

    Thanks for the post,
    Karen D

  7. There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said. I know we haven’t known each other too long, but I also know that forgiveness and understanding are two things you have never, in the 2+ years I’ve known you, failed to give this person, and I find that incredibly admirable. In my opinion, those things are harder to give than nearly anything else. My advice: keep your head up and continue to do good things for yourself. If I were in Lincoln, I’d come over and have a glass of wine with you.

  8. Tiffany Hogan says:

    Hang in there Meghan! I am so sorry to hear about this situation. Know that you have friends you can call on anytime (me, for one).
    Lots of love your way.

  9. Jayne Bramley says:

    Meghan….all I can say is….you are a much, much stronger person than I. I am struggling with showing kindness to ‘that person’ in my life.

  10. Jayne Bramley says:

    Oh and I meant to say….I really like the image of the 3 leaves. Maybe we could do a photo print swap, if there are any of mine that you like? I enjoy having artwork from friends, it gives the piece so much more meaning when you know and have spent time with the person behind the picture 🙂 See you at the weekend!!

  11. So sorry about this incident. Its so disheartening that someone does this to another person but then even worse when they cannot even see how their behaviour was out of order. Your husband is so right in what he said. It is very hard to let go of this, but sending love kindness and forgiveness out there into the world and universe is the absolute right reaction to have. I hope the nasty feeling in your tummy goes away very soon and doesn’t have an opportunity to return. Some people do literally suck the life out of others. Your husband sounds like a great energy source for you and I think its really good for us to see those energies and have them close when these kind of things happen. Love to you xxx

  12. Nicola says:

    Oh you poor thing. What a horrible thing to have happen to you. Just know that none of this is about you. It’s about this person’s neediness and emotional immaturity. By all means have all the compassion in the world for them (their life must be pretty crappy if this is how they treat the people they care about) but that doesn’t mean that you have to allow them to continue hurting you in this way. Sometimes you really do need to cut ties with people. As my beloved Danielle LaPorte says, “say Fuck Off with compassion in your heart, liberate with love, and cut clean when you need to use your sword.”

    Sometimes the best thing you can do for them is to actually show them the unacceptability of their actions, by saying goodbye.

    Big hugs and lots of love,
    Nicola x

  13. Celina Wyss says:

    Hugs to you! I am someone of a sensitive person and have a hard time letting go as well. I hold grudges. Something I need to work on. I can’t offer much advice except to offer support and acknowledge your bravery and strength.

  14. Eric Johnson says:

    Who would ever be pissed at you? Clearly this individual is in dire need of emotional and likely psychiatric help. Perhaps you could place a referral.

  15. Tanya says:

    So sorry to hear about this, Meghan. Isn’t it ironic that “that person” would leave a phone message like that, when if a person really thought about it, why would you ever want to return a message and stay in contact with him/her? You are definitely stronger than I am in situations like that. Avoidance is something I know all too well. I’ve heard it said many times that forgiveness is the answer, that it actually benefits the forgiver more than the forgivee, but it’s still a very hard thing for me to do.

  16. Meghan says:

    Thank you all so much for your amazing support and love. Even you, EJ!

  17. Roger Hille says:

    I marvel at your sincere efforts to be forgiving and kind to one so unkind. The other’s words succeed in doing harm only when we give them the weight of truth. Clearly the truth about you is illustrated with passion and love in all the responses you’ve received to this post. If you are first kind, forgiving and truthful with yourself, you may find it easier to be kind and forgiving of the other, if that is what you desire.

  18. beth says:

    You’ve got it so right. Love, kindness, forgiveness, although that can be easier said than done sometimes

  19. Melissa says:

    So sorry that you’ve got this toxic person in your life but you are right not to stoop to their level. I love your mantra love, kindness, forgiveness. Hoping you find some peace with this person…xoxo

  20. Eva says:

    It’s amazing what a few minutes playing or napping with my dog can do for my mood. Pure magic!

  21. i deeply needed these words in this moment…thank you for sharing your wise truth so that i could be reminded of love and truth when dealing with my own hurts.

  22. Jess Greene says:

    So hard. So so hard. You are not alone. I know that stomach anxiety well. Why must people be so crazy? And how can God still live them??

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