You know those moments in life when you're gifted an awesome opportunity to love and support your friend, but instead you blow it? Yeah, that just happened to me. I had one of my dearest friends reach out and share something incredibly personal to her and rather than embrace and support her decision, I opted for the "judgmental" category, shutting her down and making her cry.
It was like a scene in a movie where you wish that you could literally rewind time. I wanted to go back, sit myself down and duct tape my mouth shut. It was 10 minutes into our conversation when I realized my epic faux pas and I spent the next 10 minutes profusely apologizing, trying to undo the damage.
Maybe it's the pit in my stomach that serves as a reminder of my mistake, but it's an important life lesson. Despite her gracious forgiveness and our adorable smiley face texts that ended the evening, I still feel like I've been punched in the gut. I spent the majority of the past few days replaying it in my head. Much like Romeo and Juliet, I already know the ending, but wish I could just rewrite it.
The only thing that gives me peace is the saying my dad preached growing up, "You learn the true content of a person not when they are flying, but in the midst of their biggest mistakes. He explained that while no one expects perfection, it's the immediate steps after a mistake when you get to see what someone is really made of. I don't know if you've ever said something you didn't mean, reacted out of fear or projected your own insecurities into a situation thereby injecting chaos, judgment and criticism instead of love, support and encouragement, but the good news is that if you have, you're not alone.
The only thing you can do after it happens is apologize, clean up your mess as quickly as you can and let your actions speak louder than your mistake. We're not meant to be perfect, but when we trip over our own shoes, we have to pick ourselves back up. May we all have the courage to admit our flaws and when our humanity defies our grace and our compassion, may we get back on the bandwagon and ignore our ego. Humility arrives in so many different packages and it's up to us to learn from those golden life lessons and be better as a result. So, live, learn, and above all else, love.
Image courtesy of Mcfc.co.uk