So the other day while I was out catching some Pokémon in the snow (no laughing 😛) I saw a mother and what looked to be her 4 or 5 year old son walking together. He had no gloves on and was very loudly crying because his hands hurt.
Hurriedly and in an effort to calm him, she was telling him not to cry because he was a “big boy” and that it was “okay”. Her pestering him with reasons why he shouldn’t be crying continued as they walked past me and out of sight. I couldn’t help but want to hug the boy and tell him I knew how much his hands hurt. (I had foolishly left my gloves at home as well.)
Sometimes we may cynically think that choosing to say “I understand. It really stinks that your hands are so cold! Let’s get home quickly!” in stead of “It’s okay, you’re a big boy. You don’t need to cry!” doesn’t matter in the long run; that putting so much effort into changing a few words is really wasted energy over small details, but it’s not.
How you grew up thinking about your emotions, your body, your desires… Much of it came directly from the thoughtless words of the grown-ups around you.
This isn’t to condemn, because we all know we’ve said thoughtless things, SO often.
My hope is that we stop making excuses for it. We are allowed to recognize our hurt, and to say “I was told I was okay when I wasn’t and now I every time I get upset, I feel like I have to rush to the part when it’s okay, and I never actually work through the part where I’m NOT okay.”
We are allowed to admit “I’ve said thoughtless things to my child/husband/friend, and that wasn’t okay. But I want to do better because I care about the people in my life, and want to show them the grace and compassion that has so often been lacking in my life.
We’re not responsible for the ways others have treated us, but we are responsible for the way we treat others. Praise Jesus that there is grace for us, even when we’re way less than thoughtful with the people around us.
Until next time,