So, I got my feelings hurt yesterday. Good, old-fashioned, she-made-a-random-comment-and-made-me-cry kind of stuff. It was nothing earth-shattering, nothing life altering. But it hurt, and I couldn't stop my reaction. The second what was said, was said, I stopped being a 32-year-old mom with a laundry list of big girl, real world problems and responsibilities and turned into a sulky, sad kid—unsure of how to handle my next move. I was angry at the person that hurt me and saddened by their lack of even realizing what they had done.
I was in my car, driving home, thinking over what I needed to do and how I was going to handle this situation. And, let me tell you, I was coming up very short. All I could do was play out imaginary conversations that will never happen in my head. You've done that, right? Where you say exactly the right thing to make your point and seem like the hero in the movie that is your life? The problem is that the other person usually never sticks to the script and what you're really trying to do is build yourself up while pushing them down. We're a lot braver in our daydreams. But we're a lot meaner, too.
About half-way home, I shut the radio off and started talking out loud. Yep, I'm one of those people. (I also use my hands, in case you were wondering.) If you ever see me driving down the road, having a full-on conversation with an empty seat beside me, don't freak out. I'm just talking to God. I have lots of really awesome conversations with God in the car. And talking out loud helps me stay on track. Plus, sometimes actually hearing what you're praying for or about, can make it more real and can help you work through it more than you think it would.
So I asked God what to do. How do I fix this? Do I say something? Do I just let it go? Show me the way, Lord. Help me make this better. I talked it out the rest of the way home. And it was there that I got my answer.
I told my husband about what was happening. And he very nicely, with a very genuinely quizzical look on his face, asked me, "Why does it bother you so much?" And I couldn't answer him. He was so kind in his demeanor. He wasn't accusing me of being irrational (though that's what I was being). He never said that I had no reason to be upset (though I didn't). And he never made me feel like a child (though, let's be honest for a second, I was acting like one). He listened to me and then he asked me a question. The right question.
And my only honest answer was that I didn't know why it bothered me. Because ultimately it really had nothing to do with me.
I'd been asking God how to solve my problem. And God showed me, through Steven, that what I had was a ME problem. I had taken something personally that wasn't even about me. And I had allowed it to hurt me, when it never should have. My friend didn't know she'd hurt me because she'd done nothing that should have. I was too ME-oriented in the moment to see it. And I had hurt myself.
It's not that hard to get wrapped up in the ME of our lives. I do it often. How does this affect me? Will this bother me? Did they think about me? Does this take me out of my comfort zone? Will it inconvenience me? But ultimately, we're not supposed to live our lives with the ME in mind. The decision my friend made, and the comment that followed had nothing to do with me. And there's nothing wrong with that. But we're so used to a society that tells us to put ourselves first that we end up with hurt feelings when the whole world doesn't revolve around, well, me. Or you.
And if you ever feel like you're getting overwhelmed with the ME in your life, talk it out with God. He's always there to listen. Even to rambling conversations, on long drives home, when all you seem to do is talk about ME.