Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tread Softly

In preparation for a conversation that I really didn't want to have, I sat in silence for 20 minutes this afternoon. In those 20 minutes I opened myself up to what God might have to say to me. I was struggling with wanting to blast this person. Into my head came the phrase tread softly. That's the only thing that surfaced in the 20 minutes that felt like guidance. And it kept surfacing. At the end of 20 minutes the person I wanted to speak with arrived but not by themselves so the opportunity to speak to them vanished. I was relieved. I don't tread softly very well. I'm more likely to stomp all over the place. I am open to learning a different way. I have always envied people who were diplomatic, who get their point across with diplomacy and firmness. This past week Fr. Charlie ran several scenarios past me - giving me an opportunity to learn how to approach this situation differently - in a way that would get my point across and yet do no harm. He knows my style is more like a bull in a china shop. He has, after all, been hearing my confessions for nearly 4 years already.

In the end I had to step back and take a look at what was pissing me off. I sat there and did a step 4 in my head. I had to admit to myself that it had nothing to do with the other person. It was my stuff. My issues. My reactions. As much as I wanted to desperately point fingers I knew I would be side stepping my part if I did that.So it turned out to be a blessing to not have the opportunity to speak to this person in private. Our paths will continue to cross on a regular basis. Normally I would just avoid someone who triggers me, someone I don't like and would rather not be around. But that is not about to happen any time soon. I know my advice to someone else in this situation would be that the person who irritates you to no end is your best teacher. Embrace the opportunity. To quote Kathleen Norris from the previous post

"For grace to be grace, it must give us things we didn't know we needed and take us to places where we didn't want to go."

Lord, oh Lord, have mercy.


Jim said...

I like the definition of grace here, for I've always seen it, not as a dismissal of my sins, but as a condescending on His part to abide in me as I am in an attempt to take me to greater than I am...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that quote. An apt reminder. :)