When you’ve said something wrong.
Truth. There are several layers to that onion, some of which make us cry. I used to pride myself on witty double entendres that had a little sting to them. It was leftover behavior from childhood when we would mercilessly tease and name call those who were outliers. Often they were family members since we saw them the most.
One day, I was on the receiving end. It was a vulnerable day. I felt the sting of words directed at me like a paper cut that keeps reminding you of its painful presence with every bend. I made a vow to stop the cutting remarks. I took a second look at the pride I felt at being witty and now saw a new truth of pain I was unknowingly delivering. I had believed the smiles I had received. They were fake. I didn’t realize that back then. We learn to pretend, to display an emotion we do not feel in order to pass in society as acceptable, especially when we’re broken or vulnerable inside.
On that day, I made a vow to stop being sarcastic. Pain is a great teacher.
I still allow evil to override my lesson or vow sometimes, when it prompts me with an enticing barb. I recognize that the prompt is wrong and not taking the bait is the high road. Sometimes, I take the bait. We all do. We’re human. When I do, Love immediately steps in with “the look” that pierces me at my still point. You know what I’m talking about. Just about every parent has cultivated “the look” they give their children which warns them they’re about to push all the wrong buttons and make Mom or Dad really mad. I pull back if there’s time to do so, or make reparations quickly when the comment is already out of my mouth. I don’t want to cause pain, to myself or others. I’ve learned to do it quickly like tearing off a bandaid. Waiting to apologize because my pride must bend low is like pulling off a bandaid one hair at a time.
Afterwards, I sit in God’s lap for a while and let Him soothe my soul the way a mother strokes the head of her little ones. My pride is such a big baby.