Friday, December 5, 2008

Not the best day

Have you ever had your feelings hurt when you were down? Ever asked for help, without revealing all the details, and been euphemistically slapped in the face?

As some of you know, I have been extremely ill recently. I had an "adverse reaction" to some asthma medication, followed by some back muscle trauma. I've spent most of my life being rather unwell, and I hate whiners, so I always just cover up my health problems by laughing and saying, "I'm sure I'll be fine." I try to be a very reliable person. I'm not a flake. I always do what I say I will do.

But today, I left a message with someone asking for a little help, and instead I got a lecture for my trouble. A lecture on personal responsibility, no less. So after spending a few hours with my feelings very hurt, I am trying to be a "Big Girl." An emotionally mature adult--"Be the better person" has always been my style. I'm struggling today to even *want* to be the better person.

So to pull myself out of this hurt, I'm trying to think of ways I can be more sensitive to the needs of others. More aware that they may not be telling me everything, but they still need help.

I remember the first time in my adult life when I realized I could be more sensitive. I had a 1 month old baby (my 3rd) and my youngest brother had just died unexpectedly. My sister-in-law had come to pick up me and my kids to take us to my parents' house. As we were driving, she accidentally stopped at a green light. (Much better, actually, than accidentally NOT stopping at a red light.) Suddenly we both realized it, and she said, "Oh, I better get moving!" She was pregnant at the time, and sick. It was a moment of clarity, in all that grief and shock, that perhaps sometimes when people did "dumb" things, there was a very good--but hidden from me--reason for it. I would like to think that I became more compassionate. More willing to give others the benefit of the doubt.

It's a little early for New Year's resolutions, but I hope I can turn this sad day into a reminder to be a little kinder to others. To give them credit for the good things they do and how hard they try.

I hope you'll join me in taking a moment today to give someone a break. Let someone in front of you in line. Be the one who smiles. Remember our Savior who suffered for us whether we "deserved" it or not. In this crazy, busy time of year, take time to do a little emotional good deed.