I was thinking of what to write at the end of 2015. I could write a blog post that reflected on the year, I even could do a Top Ten Favorite Posts (which is coming in the new year *wink*) or just do another post on how much I hated new year’s resolutions *evil grin*
Instead I decided to do ‘gift’ my readers & followers with a blog post I wrote some months ago, but didn’t post because 1) it might be too controversial 2) step on some toes 3) is not considered ‘nice’ of a romance author to say/write. (This I’ve found in recent months to be a crock. And boring *smile*) So here it is, I’m choosing to end 2016 with a BANG. Literally! Hold on to your seats!
A Valuable Lesson…
I’ve always considered myself someone who couldn’t be surprised by much. I didn’t grow up with a golden spoon in the mouth, so I don’t have this expectation of ‘life should be easy’. And then of course I decided a couple of years ago to take the path less travelled, to become a published author.
I expected the naysayers, the ones who wanted me to stick to the familiar more lucrative path my education had given me, I took the rejection letters from publishers while I learned about my craft and took courage from those who’ve gone before me and had success stories. In a nutshell, I’m prepared for the upstream of this life I’ve chosen.
But even jaded folk like me can be served with a heart stopping blindside.
Gossip is something I never considered myself to be exempted from, not even malicious gossip, but in recent years I’ve become ‘complacent’, I’ve relaxed, let down my ‘guard’ so to speak. I thought my skin’s become thicker; I’ve got a forehead like a diamond and any spiteful gossip spread about me, would fall off my back (as it should). But this time, this tale came from a source I hadn’t expected *smile*
And isn’t that how it always is, why it’s called a blindside, because it comes from someone you’d least expect. You never thought they would stoop that low, that they would have more dignity than that, that if they had a problem with you, they’d be mature enough to address it directly to you, instead of discussing you, damaging your reputation.
You hear the story from the fourth, fifth person who’ve heard it from some other source. By the time it gets to you it’s been blown out of proportion intentionally or not, that person who started the tale has tainted you. They’ve turned you into someone you’re not.
And you’re sitting on the sidelines wondering, why’s this person looking at me funny? Why’s that one not responding to me the way they used to? You write it off as maybe they had a bad day, we all have those. If you’re me and you have stuff happening around you that’s weighty and needs your attention, what the rumor spreading person considered an ‘issue’, had long since faded in your mind.
But then the story finds its way to you in all its gory detail with some added bonuses because everyone’s got an opinion…and you wonder, ‘did I really cause this? Am I that important? How could this…be turned into that? Whose truth is being told here?”
I’m ashamed to say I did not handle it well, the moment the story crashed into me, I went off. (Short people, with short fuses, I’m one of those *smile*) I was so flabbergasted. My shock translated into this verbal speech of indignation, that lucky for me only two people were privy to. I had to apologize to them afterward because it wasn’t their fault. They weren’t the cause, though they were feeling all the effects.
After I calmed down…after I’d said my piece and then some, I went into my room, closed the door and burst into tears. Not because I was angry anymore, but because I couldn’t believe how low people would go to make themselves look good, that they would use you to win ‘popularity’, to get that ‘vote’, support.
I knew, without having prayed or talked to God that I had to confront this, but I didn’t know in what way. Then I looked at my phone, the person responsible had texted me. (Yeah I know, God works in mysteries ways!) I sat down, after I put on Bethel Music’s Draw Near, and… said I was sorry.
Surprised? *laughs* Yeah, me too. I said sorry for the incident that caused this snowball effect. I apologized that I’d made this person feel so pressured that they had to share what happened with others. I really just let them know that I recognized my part in the mess and how it has resulted into the tale.
I set them and myself free…
I chose to forgive and to say sorry…and let them choose if they wanted to forgive me or not…
I took away the power of a malicious rumor and turned it into something positive…
I hold no grudges…
But most of all, I learned a valuable lesson that you can’t get comfortable in the place you are, I guess that’s why it’s called a ‘comfort zone’ not because it’s without strive, but because you’ve become accustomed to the level of strive and it takes struggles from a different kind to make you realize it. So be vigilant. But also be wise enough to know that the blindside has come to propel you into a new phase of life, a different level of maturity. New insight into who you are as a person, what you can endure. The strength of character you have.
*And this is what wish for you in 2016, the kind of year that develops the kind of strength of character that propels you out of your comfort zone.