Why do we do that thing where we make an issue bigger than it really is? Often times it isn’t even an issue but we don’t take the time to clarify someone else’s words and we go from harmless words floating in the air to panicking because there is an air raid and you’re being singled out. You’re the only one taking shells! RUN! HIDE! GET IN YOUR FOX HOLE!
What if you just called your friend and asked for clarification.
No Ann, you can’t possibly mean to face the issue head on could you?
Why yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Hold on, let me finish rinsing the sand out of my teeth so I can share with you what I learned yesterday.
I’ve made this mistake too many times to count. I had a conversation with a friend and walked away a little injured, then my mind went ahead and dropped the atomic bomb and made me think that friend didn’t care about me at all. If I had a dollar for every friendship I have single-handedly ruined this way, I would quickly give it all away so no one would see how awful I have been.
Earlier this year I decided to change this way of catostrophasizing, but yesterday was my first real attempt at picking myself up from my face-plant in sand and setting my feet on the instructions that Jesus gave us.
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matthew 5:21
Since I gave up sacrificing animals for Lent (a bad, and probably inappropriate Catholic joke), I tend to think this looks more like when I am praying for peace, asking for God’s forgiveness, and asking for help to be obedient in His will — except that I am trying to step over the dead friendship I have created to get to God’s blessing.
You pretty much have to address the friends with whom you must reconcile. FIRST.
So I did.
I called “that” friend. The one who said something to me early in the day and it messed with me all day long. I said, “hey you know when you said this and that? It hurt me and made me feel yucky.”
She was SO grateful that I called because as it turns out, she had only shared a teeny tiny snippet of the full story. As I listened, I used my hazmat suit and gloves to clean up the chemical warfare carnage that I had created in my mind.
At the end of the call I felt SO much better.
And I also had more work do to… yup, more sand.
As it turns out, when you allow that atomic bomb to be built and to detonate in your mind, you create a World War II recreation in your own family by throwing up all over the people you love the most… and the cat would like for me to share this with you:
I had to go home and apologize to my husband for letting my chemical mess burn him, and I had to ask for his forgiveness. He happens to be a pretty amazing guy who understood, forgave, and got the yard blower out to help clean up my sandy mess.