I’m only responsible for me. Which helps when you have no idea what’s going on.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and sermons recently. I have a few pastors and teachers that really challenge me to be the best person I can be. I’ve been trying to take this seriously in how I relate to the people around me. I know I have blind spots in how I think about myself and my actions. Places I need to lean into and explore, spaces that need to be exposed to the light, repented of, and worked through with the grace of God.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I decided to be the best me and send G’s ex a short, sweet, and simple text message wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day and complimenting her on her kids. The response I got back hours later was pretty obscure. I was really unsure if it was an awkward yet selfish attempt at a friendly response back, or an outright slap to the face.

When I receive a text of this nature, I generally share them with the three most important people in my life: G, my mom, and my best friend. The good thing about this is you’re most likely to get a pretty varied response, which helps you process the text message in question.

G’s response is usually pretty close to my thoughts, although at times we can be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

My mother’s response is just like her. Logical, balanced, not given to bouts of emotion or irrational thought.

And then there’s my bestie.

This teeny, tiny red head has a fiery temper, the mouth of a seasoned sailor, and the heart of a lion. If you need someone to go to bat for you, beat someone up, or otherwise intimidate the ever living daylights out of another human, you send in this 5 foot 2 inch raging ball of magenta awesomeness. Her two hundred pound, 6’2″ brothers were terrified of her in high school. No joke.

I sent my bestie the screenshot of the text yesterday with the words ” thoughts?”

Her logical and completely unemotional response started with a ” WHAT THE F***!!!” and ended with similar expletives.

I concurred from her feedback that yes, my thought (along with G’s agreement) was that it was meant in a rather hurtful way. I continued this discussion about the text with an outraged best friend who in no uncertain terms laid out exactly what she thought, the special names she had chosen for G’s ex, an offer to induce violence, and of course, her unwavering, complete, and total support of me and my family.

Then I asked my mom what she thought. Being the rational and logical person that she is, she exhorted me to take the text message in an encouraging way. That perhaps this was her best effort and I should be thankful she responded at all.

Took the wind right out of my aggrieved sails.

I sent my mom’s words to my bestie. Her response was the best. And I quote:

“Ugh. Yes. So true. Ugh. Why!!!! I want to be mad and slap a b****!!! Fine I’ll play along and be nice…maybe.

Everyone needs a best friend like my BBF.

I’ll probably never know how the text was supposed to be interpreted, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. I’m going to keep doing what I feel is the right thing to do in all circumstances, even hard ones. Because regardless of what other people think of me, how they talk about me, how they act around me, I’m only responsible for me.

And there’s a lot of freedom in that.

H.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

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