FRED, remembering

I’ve had some unexpected challenges this week that have tested my ability and desire to be civilized and forgiving. I’ll just say it was something out of my control, our family is bearing the brunt of it, and we’ve seen no remorse, nor any attempt at contact from the perpetrators.

It’s one of those situations where someone dished it out and you just have to take it, for the moment, even though every impulse is to claw and scratch. Of course, that’s not a very productive reaction, and it’s not me. It might feel good, but then where are you?

That’s how it is, though, when something swings uninvited into your life and blindsides you. Being powerless is the worst feeling possible.

I’ve prayed and meditated a lot over the past few days for patience and perspective. And for wisdom to choose my steps carefully, looking at the long view, and not just how I feel today. It’s important for me to model behavior for my kids, no matter how old they are. Because what they see me do, they will do.

So I have been reaching deep to perpetuate the turn-the-other-cheek philosophy as I’ve thought about the people who have made me who I am. My parents, of course. Friends and relatives. Some teachers. And some people I never knew, but wished I had. Like Mother Teresa, for example. Or Ghandi.

Then I ran across an article a friend posted on Facebook about Fred Rogers. Laugh if you will, but I have always loved Mr. Rogers. He may have passed into memory, but his messages haven’t and I think often of the way he gently accepted everybody with quiet grace and made them feel special. I always did, even if just a little girl on the other side of the TV screen.

Our issue is far from resolved. But as I read that story this morning, and looked at old Rogers’ familiar friendly face, I found some little measure of hope that even though I can do nothing to alter current circumstances, I can control how I respond to them.

And when I thought about that, I knew that while I may not be in a great place right now, I probably will feel better as I move through it, and think some more about that example, and how I, in turn, want to be perceived.


About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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4 Responses to FRED, remembering

  1. cmoonmaura says:

    I have a suggestion for a topic to be written about: Just Say No.

    As frustrating as being told No can be, I admire those who have the courage to say it. And their honesty frees you to move on and not put false hope in them.

    Be it in relationships or simple favors.

  2. Michele says:

    cmoonmaura, it’s great to see you here! thanks for popping in! that is a good idea and definitely something to think about. i know in my life learning to say no has not been easy. but i’m getting better at it so that when i do say yes i can really focus on it.

  3. mmm61 says:

    Interestingly, we’ve had a similar experience this week. We were blindsided by the complete misinterpretation of a series of events. Consequences followed and we were powerless to defend ourselves. We went through disbelief, anger, anxiety, a whole range of emotions, and finally, we tried to understand the whole things from the others’ perspective and saw how they came to the conclusions they arrived at. We looked at what we ultimately wanted the outcome to be. We wanted to try to preserve the relationships, so we offered an apology. We still don’t know how it will all turn out, but we did the best that we could do.

  4. Michele says:

    it is very humbling, mmm61. and particularly poignant to be occuring during lent, i think. i’m taking it one step at a time. one decision at a time.

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