Two days ago I was at one of my favorite stores, because some of the most delicious things were on sale.
Me and sales go together like cinnamon rolls and sunday morning. It's just meant to be.
So there I was, ready to stock up on the best Sweet Potato chips in all the land when I see the shelf is empty.
Salt and Vinegar. Sour cream and onion. Barbeque. Lame. Lame. Lame!
It's really embarrassing to be found crying in aisle 7 over sweet potato chips, but sometimes real life just smacks you around a little too much and what you thought was an already awful week has immediately turned into devastation beyond measure. Someone had gotten there before me and cleaned that shelf out real good. Not even a crumb left.
The kind sales boy told me if I came back the next day, they would surely be restocked.
Last night I walked into Sunflower Market with my head held high and proceeded to find that my beloved Sweet Potato chips had indeed been replenished. So I did what any irrational woman at 10pm would do.
I purchased every single one.
Yup I have now become that person. The one I despised less than one day earlier for clearing off that shelf like she was preparing for Armageddon knowing that it could not be survived without the appropriate snacks.
I did also acquire some Pirates Booty and a bar of some delicious smelling soap during my sweet potato escapade, so it wasn't all with the purpose of ruining someone else's day.
But then, in a moment of self-assessment I found myself wondering how often this happens.
How often do I get frustrated, because of something someone has done, only to find myself at some point doing the exact same thing? And of course justifying myself all the way home, because this was different, right? I was in need of those chips and that other person was just a jerk out to offend me with their selfishness.
What an interesting predicament we have here..do I accept this realization? That I am no better than the person who wronged me hours before?
Alright, I know I'm just speaking about chips here, but do you get it?
this story I read a few years ago about a woman who stayed angry at her husband for YEARS, because he always splashed toothpaste onto the bathroom mirror. She later realizes he wasn't the only one...
And I also recalled a story told to me by a woman who heard that glue sticks were on sale at a craft store so she went and bought all FIFTY of them. The cashier saw all those glue sticks and commented that she hoped there were some left, because she knew of people who wanted to buy some too. The woman just smiled and laughed as she bought every last one. Pretty cruel, but karma did return the favor as it turned out later than all the glue sticks melted and were deemed completely unusable.
I know that these are all very small things. Chips, toothpaste, glue..
But I think it's obvious there's something bigger going on here.
I recently heard some very poignant thoughts concerning this bigger picture I'm talking about..
"Jesus taught: “Forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not … [stands] condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin”3 and “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”4
Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable—when applied to someone else. We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us.
But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt."
I have listened to this talk almost every day for the last week. And lucky for me, probably because I have all these thoughts about "mercy" and "forgiveness" and "not judging others" going on in my head, I finally saw in myself what was being talked about.
It's a painful process to accept that you are possibly hurting others in the same way that some hurt you.
I think today is a good day to be better than we were yesterday. You aren't perfect. Neither are the people around you.
Accept it. Self-Assess. Correct your attitude. Stay Humble.
And find someone to hug.