Last weekend, I received a text message from a woman who I consider my friend. She was upset because her son had been hurt by words and actions of some of my kids. She was angry and was reaching out in frustration.
When I received the text, I too was angry… the “momma bear” came out in me. I wanted to retaliate, because her child and another child in her family had been quite unkind to my kids on a number of occasions. In fact, I even wrote the text of what I wanted to say, I showed it to Dad and he suggested some changes (which was, basically to erase the whole last part). I sent her what I was “supposed” to say, but I was still angry in my heart and I felt like I needed to have resolution and to have it out with her.
Luckily the evening was very busy, we had come straight from Temple baptisms for Daniel’s 12 birthday, to Sultan’s soccer game at SkyView (where the offense took place), then home to start Daniel’s surprise party that Harmony had planned, and off to Mountain Crest for Caleb’s Variety Show. I had time to process things and work them out in my mind, and calm down. The next day I woke up wounded. The anger was mostly gone, but I felt really sad. I don’t think this friend had any idea how hurt I was. It made me wonder what wounds I had inflicted on others without realizing it.
I kept thinking of this quote by Brigham Young:
“he who takes offense when no offense was intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense was intended is usually a fool.”
The scripture from Jesus kept coming to my mind:
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
As I thought of this scripture, I thought, how would I want to be treated if I had been the one who had sent the initial text. The intention was to make me aware of some things that my kids needed to fix and work on. I want that, I really do. I thought if I had hurt someone’s feelings I would hope that person could forgive me. I realized that I needed to forgive. I needed to forgive my friend, I needed to forgiver her children, whether they are aware of the offences or not. I fell to my knees and and said a very sincere prayer, I prayed for them in their lives and prayed for their success and happiness. I prayed to feel love in my heart for them. It came, I did feel love and understanding for all of them. It was such a more satisfying and happy feeling than my anger and sadness had ever been.
I am so grateful for this experience.