It’s been a very stressful, sobering and insightful day for me today. And one where I learnt a valuable lesson.
I’ve always been very passive and very meek. If someone was nasty to me I would get upset and “hide” rather than address the issue.
And even at 38 years old it’s still something I struggle with – to be direct and to speak up for myself.
Today I heard – on the grapevine – that someone had said something hurtful about me.
And I reacted a way I never have before. I was hurt, and indignant and for the first time I wanted to say my piece. And I did – very directly. I contacted the person who was supposed to have said this about me, and I told them what I thought. And immediately ended the friendship.
And in some ways I was very proud of myself for taking a stance, and for the first time ever (and I do mean ever) tackling something head on and saying a few words.
The only problem?
I was wrong.
It was apparently a case of interpretation of what was said, and not a verbatim quote by the person who overheard as I had thought.
And I’m deeply deeply ashamed.
I went against my very valued Buddhist belief of not gossiping, and of speaking with kindness and understanding.
And in the process I hurt the person I accused, as well as the person who confided in me as to what was said.
I apologised to both parties, but of course the damage has been done.
Trying to learn from it though, I realised that there’s a reason I have always acted cautiously and not lashed out like I did. I acted without having the full story, and without giving the benefit of the doubt. And I also broke someone’s trust (unintentionally).
I was not nasty, and at least said my piece in a civil manner. But it was wrong regardless.
I feel sick about it still, but I feel determined to learn a valuable lesson from it, and watch my words – and mouth – more carefully.
Try meditating on “Who was the “I” who felt offended? I made the same misstep myself only this afternoon, so no criticism here, i assure you. 🙂
Oh dear …can you not apologise ? Is this person forgiving ? Hopefully we all learn from mistakes just remember ‘if they are talking about you it is unlikely they are talking about anyone else’ 😏
Thank you so much Cherry for your reply :). I did apologise, and thankfully they said they understood. But I was aghast, and it was a great reminder to me to be more careful with my words and actions. I hate that it happened, but I’m grateful that I could learn from it 🙂
When trying to act from compassion, remember that you must always remember wisdom. One without the other is dangerous. Compassion by itself leaves you poor and unable to help further. Acting wisely with out compassion is cold and uncaring. This delicate balance is our Buddhist goal.
Such very sound wisdom right there, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate your thoughts on this _/\_