So, it’s the beginning of a new year and a new season in mine and Estela’s lives…
As you champions already know, we have recently just moved back to Cape Town, South Africa. My home-town and the most beautiful city in the world and man has it been an adventure! From jumping through all the right hoops with emigration and chasing after the right visa’s, to staying with friends kind enough to host us until we can find a decent place of our own to call home (Dec/Jan is definitely not the right time of year to look for a place to stay!!! Hahaha.)
Anyway, I would like to say that moving home has been all moonlight and roses… however I would be lying… yes it has had been adventure, excitement and victories and memories, however, as with any new venture or endevour worth experiencing… there have been challenges as well.
So, where was I? Oh yes, challenges??? I received my very first (and I am sure not last,) piece of ‘hate-mail’ via email this weekend past… and yes I am not over-exaggerating when I use the word ‘hate’. Upon reading it, I could practically smell the poison dripping from the text. It was not meant to be constructive and it certainly communicated in no uncertain terms what this ‘fan’ (Hahaha) of mine thought of me!
Without mentioning any names or shaming the person by exposing what was said, I am just going to say that this particular person gave me advice and upon examining it, I decided not to take it (partly because some of it was illegal and also partly because I did not think the rest would benefit me long-term.)
Whoever 1st said, ‘stick and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ must have been delusional or just not human. The fact is, words do hurt, they are very powerful tools that can be used to build up… or destructive weapons that can be used to tear down.
So how did I react?
At first, as would be expected from any normal, homo-sapien with a heart beat… I was hurt and taken a back. I started asking questions like, “how dare they?” “Do they have any clue..?” I initially felt helpless and like a victim. (Never, judge your strength or your ability to bounce back by your initial reaction. We are all human and we all have a heart and feelings…) However I went to bed and the next morning I started asking a whole different series of questions:
I first asked myself, what of what this person had said was true… what could I change (attitudes, thoughts or habits) from this feedback [no matter how vindictive or malicious.] There is always something to take away from any conversation and to miss this would be to miss an opportunity of growth.
I then reminded myself that hurting people, hurt people and so I began the process of trying to step out of my shoes and into their shoes! It’s amazing what insights you can have, about an argument or person, when you get out of your own way and see things through some body else’s point of view.
I am not saying ignore or excuse the other person or their behavior, however I am saying forgive! You cannot be responsible for people and their reactions, but I have learned… that I am MOST CERTAINLY responsible for my reactions and how I act in response to them!
“UNFORGIVENESS is like drinking POISON…
& HOPING that the other person dies!”
Just a thought 😉
Your fellow hero and friends…
Wez & Estela