Someone I love sent a message that generated a response in me that was a bit smart-mouthed. Honestly, there was nothing ‘a bit’ smart-mouthed about it. The retort was intended to counter the sting that I felt. Before I replied, I took a moment to consider the purpose of sending such a response to someone I loved. Someone whose presence in my life was important to me. Someone with whom I’d shared many laughs and heart-felt discussions. Someone I learned to trust. Although a part of me was amused at the thought of that remark, I had to ask myself a serious question: Where was the love in that response?
It only takes a second for our lives to change. It only takes a single turn for us to walk down a path unintended. It only takes one hurtful comment to start to unravel what took years to build. How we speak to others is an indication of how we value relationships and ultimately, how we value ourselves.
I could have justified sending that comment. I could have used my hurt as an excuse to be careless—even for a second. However, I wanted to my response to come from a loving place, not a cruel place. Instead of sending a hasty, thoughtless message, I considered my friend’s feelings and circumstances. I considered my friend. I realized that she had no intention of offending me. She was simply being honest. More importantly, when I considered my own circumstances, I realized that I was being sensitive. Had I responded prematurely, my intent would have been hurtful and the sentiment I conveyed would have been dishonest. Reflecting rather than reacting taught me a vital lesson: It is imperative to let love lead instead of fleeting, fickle feelings.