My family is having a feud. It is rotten and uncomfortable. There is a great deal of "he said" and "she said" going around. Facts are distorted and the truth is becoming harder to recognize. Everyone is trying to defend themselves while drawing lines in the sand. It makes my stomach churn and my bones ache. I am a peacemaker by nature and conflict makes me want to hurl.
While bile builds in my throat I find I am at the center of the conflict. I made an error and that error was pounced upon and strewn about. I have apologized - because what else can I do? I admitted fault and ducked my head ashamed of my myself. But, my apology was not accepted. And, social media is now alive with passive aggressive posts that make me wonder if they are meant for me?
What can we do when we stumble but try to move on? Next time I trample toes I hope they are not attached to a wild, angry boar frothing at the mouth with eyes glinting of joy because they got me. I have never professed to be perfect but rather a perfect mess. It makes my heart hurt that family members delight in my slip. They are joyful that I fell from an imaginary pedestal I never felt I graced.
My error wasn't tragic or life altering. It was a slip of the tongue that caused a great deal of hurt feelings against the one person I always try to walk delicately around. I said mean words in confidence and that confidence was a ruse. When the trust was broken all manner of wild beasts tore loose.
I felt betrayed but I know I should have kept my words in check. With the help of my amazing husband the knife has been removed from my back and I understand that the ones who condemn me are not my judge. My Judge is high up in the Heavens and He forgives. Even when we mess up He forgives.
I have one close friend I confided all this mess too and she said her heart hurt that I was so dogged by a ridiculous thing. She said the punishment I have been dealt of silence and whispers behind my back does not fit the crime. The fact that it is family is what makes it difficult. Families are remarkably resilient so maybe we will come through this better than we were before but I know it will take an incredibly long time to mend these wounds. I made the first slice but the gash was ripped open by others and covered in salt. I could only watch it unfold in mouth-gaping wonder.
Time will tell how this story will play out. The good thing is I learned a hard lesson about true friendship and the dangers of a spiteful tongue. If nothing else, both needed to resonate with me...and resonate they did! Life will go on and I will walk a little wiser and a little more cautiously. My trust will no longer be given freely and while that may seem sad, it is probably the wisest move of all.
Onward and upward! I can't change people's perspective or feelings but I can change my own. It is time to forgive myself. It is time to pull myself up and dust myself off and say, "Well, it wasn't fun but the lesson was learned. The damage is done and I have remorse but it is time to move on. To all this nonsense I bid a hearty ado!"