I had kind of a bad day yesterday. It started off bad, got a little better, and then got worse. I didn’t much sleep; I woke up today and haven’t been in my normal mindset since. If I am in a bad mood my patience is very short. Today, I got a call that my wife’s car needed a jump (more good news) and I drove to jump the car and follow her home. On my way back home I am driving through a parking lot in which according to one lady’s opinion I didn’t drive to her code of the unspoken law of parking lot driving and she let me know it.
If I am being honest, to say I wanted to retaliate would be an understatement.
I drove about a quarter of a mile, biting my tongue, and realized that my parking lot friend may have had just as bad of a day as I had. Sure, there is the possibility that she was just a grumpy person that is disappointed in some miserable decisions that she may have made for her life, but she may not. So if I had given in to my impulses and said something, the possibilities of two hurting people further hurting as a result.
I have found, if I look back in the time, I have fallen into this trap often, very often.
It isn’t often a traffic incident, although, I do admit my struggle, at times, with that. What I notice in various counseling sessions, in meeting with people, in talking with people who are having trouble in their marriages, in talking to parents with children that are hard to handle is that when someone hurts their retaliation to the pain they feel is often to inflict pain. As I have often heard before…
…hurt people, hurt people.
Think of it. I am in no way an abusive to animals, but I have seen in various ways, in my various travels seen animals that have gotten hurt. How do they react? For a dog, they growl and prepare for whatever the next infliction of pain may be with bare teeth ready to bite. A cat reacts with hissing claws bare ready to slice into whatever may be attacking the cat. We as humans have different defense mechanisms, and words are often the weapon of choice.
So as we launch these verbal bombs at each other, one must wonder…where does it end? Pain perpetuates pain, the cycle continues.
I thought of my parking lot friend later today, I felt a little overwhelmed. If she were having a bad day, how could I have helped her situation? It is likely that I couldn’t. There are many who are hurting from whatever the case may be. There will be situations that I can help in; there will be those that I cannot. The point is to look for those situations that I can help stop the cycle. Whether it is by my actions or by leading others to do so…
…but I am not a good example; I am a recovering hurt person as well. I have hurt so many as well. My hope is that the Spirit will lead me and calm my angered heart in times that I am fired up. He will guide me to those that are hurting and give me words to speak that I can help others.
I appreciate your prayers in this matter as it is my hope to grow in this and work towards becoming part of the answer and not an addition to an already ominous problem.
Peace to you.