Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28
When an irritating piece of sand becomes lodged inside their shells, oysters produce a secretion which eventually becomes a pearl.
Whether you walk or roll you will be in difficult situations with irritating people from time to time. With prayer and forgiveness, you can turn the irritant into a lesson to be learned, a pearl of wisdom, so to speak! Here is my story:
One day I went to a restaurant for lunch with my husband and his daughter. When it was time to leave, I looked for a clear path to the exit, which was not the most direct route, and rolled around the dining area. She said I should have asked someone to get up and move their chair so that I could fit my wheelchair through the crowded dining area. I said I was not going to interrupt someone’s lunch for my convenience, since it was not big deal for me to roll.
A few months later, she brought up the subject again. I told her I did not want to talk about it, it happened so long ago. She continued, saying that she would not mind it if she had to get up and move for a wheelchair. I told her that as long as I had a choice, I prefer not to inconvenience people.
The conversation went downhill from there. Maybe it would have been better had I simply hung up on her. But I did not want to be rude, and I am only human and so I found myself saying, “Don’t tell me what to do, especially since you are not in a wheelchair!” She hung up on me.
Upon reflection, I realized that she had no right to judge my behavior, let alone get on my case about it whether she was in a wheelchair or not. Her efforts to try to convince me that I should have done it her way showed a total lack of empathy and maturity. I was so angry! When a week passed and I did not receive an apology I was livid.
How do I get over this and move on? By forgiving her and praying for her happiness for 30 days, an idea I heard on a radio show hosted by Marianne Williamson. So I did this – it was really hard at first, but it really worked! Even though I was angry, I prayed for her happiness. A truly humbling action. Eventually my attitude changed from anger to acceptance.
I have no feelings of ill will towards this person, but I do not go out to restaurants with her any more. It was only a matter of time before she again felt the need to convince me that I needed to see the world through her eyes. She was right, I was wrong, and that was that. Life is too short to debate the small stuff.
I still pray for her happiness – until she learns to agree to disagree and accept that there are different strokes for different folks, how happy can she be?
As for me, I am happily rolling around enjoying myself. I have since learned to make sure that the hostess seats me at a table that is not in the center of the dining area. . . . . .