People have bad days. People get busy. I get that. I am pretty sure they don't intend to use me as a punching bag or a doormat, right? So why does it feel that way?
And what skills do I need to sidestep their reactions to the world, to encounter them, observe them, and NOT absorb them?
When I close my eyes, and take a deep breath and think about the hurtful moments of the day, Jesus' words about the lilies neither toiling nor weeping come to mind. And I irreverently roll my eyes. It isn't quite that easy, is it?
Breathe in. Breathe out. A minute, an hour, a day at a time, right?
It might be time to retreat from the world, something Jesus was quite good at. Time to close the door, or my eyes, or my mind. To pray for a little peace, a little respite, a little patience to endure the brunt of someone else's pain and frustration misfired at me.
And I hope, too, to find grace in those moments for the "other" on the edge. Grace for them and for myself so that I don't sink into self-doubt.
I grew up singing a song by Glen Campbell in the youth choir:
Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder,
To the faults of those around me
Let me praise a little more.
And God, I pray those words are also on the hearts of those around me.
Meanwhile, I pray to sidestep punches thrown. They aren't mine to receive.