So, it has been a long couple of weeks… and counting! On the way home from the grocery store the other day I was at a stop light waiting for my turn to go. I was running on empty (emotionally, physically and my gas tank was in need of a top off as well). I just wanted to get home and put a long and super crappy day to rest!
A lady pulled up next to me at the light and was turning right. Because I have an SUV and she had a little brown economy car, I was blocking her view of traffic coming from the left, which she needed to be able to see in order to make her right turn on a red light. I watched as she inched her way past me craning her neck around my car and communicating her frustration with me and my inability to forsee her need to be able to see around me, very loudly through her facial expressions and hand gestures. Finally she looked over and made eye contact with me, giving me an incredibly nasty look. THAT. WAS. IT. That was the end of my patience. I had NOTHING left in the way of grace. Before I even realized what was happening, I looked right out of my open passenger window into her open driver window and yelled, “IS THERE A PROBLEM?!” Her face instantly went from hateful to shocked and then straight back to hateful. We stared each other down for a few seconds until her light turned green. With a fuming shake of her head and some mumbling of what I am sure was a hateful retort, she sped into traffic. I threw my own little fit all the way home about how I was so over this stupid day and I was so sick of people and their ridiculous attitudes until I had worked myself into a nice frenzy. As I pulled into the garage and turned off the car, I finally allowed myself to take a deep breath, close my eyes and think about what I had just done… OH MY GOSH, WHAT HAD I JUST DONE?!?!? I could not believe I had just acted like a total two year old! I wanted to turn around and find the woman in the little brown economy car and convince her that I was so sorry, that I am NOT that person, who was obviously possessed, that had just yelled at her through my car window!! Yikes. It was time for me to take a chill pill and gain a little perspective. If there was ever a moment in time I wished I could have a do-over on that one would rank in the top 5 for sure!
It is so easy to allow ourselves to react emotionally especially when our emotions are heightened or we are tired or are experiencing trials in our lives. There is no easy way to handle situations when people are being nasty to us for no reason, which is why it is important for us to be constantly aware of where our hearts are. I had allowed my circumstances to consume me and bury me in frustration, anger and bitterness to the point that my heart was so full of those things that those things were seeping out of me and effecting everyone I was coming in contact with. That isn’t who I want to be, that isn’t the effect I want to have on people’s lives. I am racked with shame that now I am forever “the nasty lady at the stoplight” in that woman’s mind. Ugh! I really wish I could take that moment back. But I can’t, so lesson learned! I need to be more aware of where my heart is and focus on being intentional in my words and actions, especially when all I want to do is become the devil to some stranger who, for all I know, is having a crappy day of her own! That or keep my windows rolled up when driving in a bad mood…
Either way, if you happen to be the lady in the little brown economy car who got your head bit off by the psycho woman in the SUV, please accept my humble apology! I really am a nice person… most of the time… I promise!
What about you, what was your last “I wish I could take that moment back” experience?
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