I swear these posts are more for me. It's a place to gather all my epic learning moments to cherish them. Most are humbling, like today for example!
I was listening to someone talking about all the fear they feel when they are launching a new product. I was listening to another woman talk about her worry regarding a new love interest.
And then it turned to me, and I remembered an instant replay going through my mind of a recent offense. It played over and over, and yeah, over again! I would lay still, let my mind take over, the insult would build. Then it turned to other recent insults. Like when a customer in Costa Vida accused me of "running over the top of [his] daughter..." at the drink machine and insisted I apologize. He was relentless, and I was stunned, purely stunned!! Although I remained calm but confused, others got involved, and the police were called. Ends up the good owner of the Costa Vida had a video recording of the whole incident!! The owner claimed nothing happened because unbeknownst to me, he was standing very near us.
I gave the police a blow by blow of what happened, "I was standing aside waiting for them to finish, but after they walked away, I stepped in, the man looked back at me and insisted I apologize.... because I had no contact with the little girl, I thought maybe it was someone that remembered me and they were teasing me, until I realized he wasn't..."
The police did their investigation, came to me and said, "Nothing happened" and played the recording! It played exactly as I said, in every way! It was a total justification, but did not relieve the fact that someone could flagrantly make accusations so grand that police are called!! Yes, so thankful that video capture freed me of the false claims, but my mind couldn't let it go. I thought, what if there was no recording, people would not believe this finely trimmed man would do such a preposterous thing! People would surely think I had over reached in my story telling and simply brush it off. This replay swirled a massive offense in my mind!!! So just how do I turn it off!!
I didn't want this horrible replay happening. I didn't want to become more afraid of community. I didn't like the horrible, mean, vengeful thoughts building in my heart. I would never see these people again (I hope), but I was fuming with anger, resentment, and, and, and... So what did I do?
I filled my head with other stuff. I didn't push it aside. No, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I poured my heart out to the Lord. I told Him how angry I was. I laid it at His feet. So, each and every time I found myself lost in thinking over a recent offense, I prayed it out. Meaning, "Dear Father, This has no place in my life or improving it. Release these horrible thoughts and cast them away... I don't want to think about this, cast them away..." and the prays went on!
The first time I started this, I was praying about every five minutes!! Yep, that much!! I would be walking from one room to another, "Dear Lord, It's in there again, and I don't need this in my life. Fill my mind with goodness, important thing, important people." Then I would think of someone I loved and begin praying for them, "Dear Lord, ______ is such a good person and deserves the relief of heaven. Bless their life, bless their family, bless their next big decision..." and the prayers made the offenses insignificant!!
Filling my head and heart and prayers with more important things made the insignificant irrelevant!! Laying it at his feet and filling my time with thoughts for others around me made the irrelevant disappear, and I loved it!!
I continue to do this, it's a discipline, but the rewards have been massive!!
Karleen is a conflict resolution specialist sharing some tips and tools that work in the worst of situations for the best of people!
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