Stories are important to me. From working in a 911 Center to owning my own business, I gained insight into the lives of those who trusted me. I've learned not to judge someone by the way they look, not condemn for actions under duress, but instead to try to show compassion and grace.
Sure, there have been those who have "done me wrong" or I have done them wrong. But, in the long run, I can't hold onto those thoughts because they take up too much of my own energy and time. I have to come to terms and then release what keeps me tied down. Sure, if I'm honest, I have the anger and hurt that boils up once in awhile after the initial break-up but I don't wish horrible events for them. That's not in my nature, thankfully.
I heard of a new word this week: "schadenfreude". It is defined as enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. Maybe I'm a bit behind the times on this one, but my initial reaction was sadness. It really was. And the next was asking myself how I can do better. In a time of such utter uncertainty, confusion, anger and hurt, I can only call upon myself to stop my own actions and once again live up to the standards I have set for myself. If I allow even the smallest thought to grow, then how could I ever ask another person to show me grace when I fall short?
Just recently I wanted to retaliate against a perceived wrong towards me. I shouldn't have let it get to me the way that it did, but I'm human. However, after I have had a chance to put a little distance in the situation, I can see the other person did this as a way to protect themselves in some way. And, you know what? I am completely okay with this. Because in the long run, it protects me as well.
So here's the deal...I will work hard to ensure the enjoyment I find in my life is from the incredible friends and family who know me, the strangers I can offer small bits of my happiness, and the kindness and grace shown to me. The rest, the negativity, isn't a part of my mission.