I'm a 36 year old IT Manager at a University in Providence, RI who is currently discerning a priestly vocation.

Words

Words

Be gentle to all and stern with yourself.
— Saint Teresa of Ávila

Brothers & Sisters,

As we journey through this first week of Lent, I'd like to take a moment and reflect on the emotional thread that runs through our lives and everything we do. The thing is we tiptoe down this delicate strand and forces all around us push one way or another, so much so that falling is inevitable. So many of us try to throw our balance the other way, talk back, do and say things we don't mean to try and tip the scales, so we don't fall. It rarely ever works, and the fall is often much more painful that it would have been at the outset.

I for one feel that I am relatively harsh on myself after confrontations and am almost always the first one to call, send a message, or go and talk to the person(s) and apologize. I usually go through the event in my head and look at where I could have been a better person, learn from it and reach out to the other person. Dwelling on things doesn't help anyone and can be far more damaging to a relationship than not confronting the issue at hand. Showing humility to the other person might also get them to calm down enough to have a sensible conversation and begin to repair the emotional thread in both of you that has been tattered.

Our words carry so much weight and can be weapons that we don't realize are hurtful until they escape our lips. I'd like to guess that 9 out of the 10 things we say when yelling at one another we don't mean and would never speak to each other if our emotions weren't through the roof. When we enter that state of recklessness nothing good can come from it and often times it's better to walk away than try to be the one to have the last word.

The thing is, we're all human, and we're going to have confrontations throughout our lives. But we can try and be the humble ones, and diffuse the situation rather than escalate it. Be hard on yourself, and learn from that but when you find yourself being pushed emotionally put the stick down, observe the situation you're in and find a way out if you can.

Speak softly and don't carry a big stick.

Yours,
Jeff

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

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