Evil Words Part 1 (Confrontation) The title doesn't rhyme, sorry. Today has been full of harsh words. So full of hurt that it seems to reflect on, and magnify previous days that seem akin to it. We live in a world that rarely uses sticks and stones, well, most people reading this don't, but rather uses the pen and words to inflict hurt and control.
Until It Bleeds I've always been an unintentionally oblivious person to words, even if they did hurt. The more oblivious, the more vicious the words rising in crescendo and frequency until I'd demonstrate the proper response: cry, hit, lash out, look ashamed. We've all been hurt by someone with words. We've all hurt someone like this, too, maybe not with words, but with many, many other things. We hurt others until we're (temporarily) satisfied by their exhibition that they've felt the force of our unkindness.
Childhood A life-long friend of mine, Bonny, knew how to hurt my feelings with words and often would. Back then I thought it was for no apparent reason. I wasn't perfect either, but when I was mad I was mad and it made sense in the moment: someone hit me, hurt me, took a toy; I got mad. I was feeling cranky, evil or mean: I acted it and did unkind things. Bonny's emotions seemed to be more complicated than mine; when she got mad or hurt by anyone she waited, stalking for something to release her anger on. By the time an opportunity arose, any target was useful and I was often the one available. Sometimes it was button-pushing under her breath, more often it came in the form of a loud joke that seemed just bit unkind to the many other listening ears around, but she knew, better than anyone, the words she was using would hurt me.
Sometimes the words took a long time to soak in, because I simply wasn't as clever as her, more frequently they hit just consciously enough to make my tummy hurt and upset me. Sometimes I would get mad, lashing out, until I learned that others saw her as innocent and me unreasonably hot-headed. "Rolli's so dramatic" I would hear adults and kids tossing aside my seemingly ridiculous tears. Bonny was a ton smarter than me, socially. I eased tummy-hurting with food (my fault; not Bonny's).
Hide It got to the point that most of the time I could sense she was in a mood and would just try to hide from her. The more people around, the more I hid: the more people, the more likely it was Bonny might take advantage and try to publicly shame me. We had fun together 92% of the time, don't get me wrong. I've done awful things, certainly, but today's topic is Evil Words, not short-temperedness, selfishness, foot-in-mouth disease; and the billion other things that I've used as an excuse for hurting others.
Confrontation Years later, I finally got together with this friend and she did it again: purposefully ridiculed me in front of a group of people that laughed awkwardly at my expense. We were all adults, everyone could see through the behavior now a bit. A lot of people laughed because they didn't know what else to do, others just looked down. I went into another room and someone wise and kind enough came to acknowledge the moment of ridicule. That person was braver than I and forced Bonny to come speak with me. It was like we were two children being forced to shake hands and say sorry. We were both simply that immature about handling our emotions, really. I felt stupid when I told her forthrightly I wouldn't put up with it anymore, but it was better than eating it down and gaining back some of that that hard-lost weight. She admitted she didn't know why she took her anger out on me. She apologized. That little piece of distrust and dishonesty in our relationship began to heal.
Avoid I'm blogging about this to avoid thinking about something else. I'm not following my own thoughts on confrontation, but often enough there is too much confrontation and we need to forget things that seem unfair and remember how beautifully unfair God's approval of us is. Oh I am grateful I can rest in that approval. I can't convince anyone of anything else. That knowledge should make me happy. It doesn't at all! Simple knowledge doesn't prevent me running like a hamster, trying get that wheel to take me somewhere new: "I'll convince them. I'll make them understand!" It is a miserable wheel. The Spirit of God brings me rest and confidence and peaceful joy continuously bubbling like a quiet fountain in a wood. Happiness can make it's leave for a short time, it is as fickle as me, anyway ^_^