When I was a teenager, my high-school principal, a God-fearing Christian man (he didn’t judge or condemn those who held different thoughts and beliefs than he did as far as I know), sat me down and had a talk with me. God knows why he liked me. I was an utter mess and not always very nice, and he’d pulled me into his office one afternoon because he thought I was going through “something.” Instead of punishing me, he taught me the phrase and the meaning behind the words “And this too shall pass.”
Who knows why I was in trouble. I don’t even remember why he taught me this phrase. Maybe he was hoping that whatever I was going through “would pass” sooner rather than later if he planted that seed into my head. Sometimes you just learn something and that sticks with you even if you don’t remember the reason why you learned it in the first place…as one does.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME
That phrase fascinated me…the meaning behind the words…”this too shall pass.” It reminds me to remember that however bad it gets (sometimes it gets really, really bad), it will get better at some point in the future. (The fact that it might not be in my lifetime before it gets better…that is something to consider…I mean the saying doesn’t say when!) In good times, it reminds me to fully enjoy those wonderful moments because they won’t last forever either.
In my life, this phrase has helped me get through a lot. Still does. I share it when I feel it’s appropriate.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
“This too shall pass,” has been attributed to different cultures and faiths. However, I’m not going to research and hunt down the very first time this phrase was uttered or emblazoned on a ring or written in a script. Someone else can do that. I’m going to give credit to my principal who taught this to me in a moment of my crisis and his kindness.
Thank you, kind sir, wherever you are!
IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER BLOGGER
The reason I bring this up is because I offered this phrase as part of my larger response to a blogger’s question on a different blog. The blogger had asked,
Why do some people ask how you are and then when you tell them, instead of just acknowledging with empathy how you’re feeling (if you’re going through a difficult time), that person tries to put some kind of positive spin on what you said? It feels dismissive and like they don’t understand what you’re going through as a human being; that they aren’t hearing what you are saying.
So, I just paraphrased this blogger’s question. Out of respect for her and her blog, I’ll keep her out of it…because this blogger is freaking awesome, asks the most thought-provoking questions, and my life is so much better and richer for her blogging. I’m writing about what happened to me on her comment section by someone else, not her; and of course, I’m not looking to create any kind of trouble here or on her blog.
Also, while I don’t think anyone would…sometimes what I think and what people do are two different things. I would NEVER want someone to look someone else up and say anything negative because of what I’m writing. That’s not the point of why I’m writing this. I’ve already handled the situation. So please…thank you if you feel for me (if you do), but I want this to end after this post. I do hope you understand.
A RESPONSE TO MY RESPONSE FROM ANOTHER RESPONDER
So I wrote my response to this awesome blogger to try and answer her question in my own long-winded way (sorry, blogger friend); and then one of her readers took it upon herself to respond to me as in, “Hey Wayward,” or however she stated it to get my attention. This reader then proceeded to tell what “This too shall pass” meant to her in the past and present.
She also said she was going through a difficult time and explained how (and yeah, definitely a difficult time) and she worked herself up into a rant, which I think was very good for her because she got a bunch of her frustration out of her system. I think the phrase, “This too shall pass,” was the impetus for her response.
I took issue with what this commenter suggested I’d said and meant about things I didn’t say or mean to my/our blogger friend. It was weird because what she appeared to be accusing me of was actually the opposite of what I said and meant. I went back and re-read my comment a couple of times to see if I’d made any mistakes or typos. I hadn’t. Why she was suggesting I’d said things such as, I was telling people to feel better or smile when they didn’t feel like it…or some such nonsense, I haven’t a clue. I kind of called her out when I asked, “Where did you get that I said any of those things? Apparently, I didn’t make myself clear.”
Obviously, she doesn’t know me or she wouldn’t have made those remarks. I’m not sure if she’d even read my full response. Ugh! I did tell her I was glad she was able to get her thoughts out; that was important. I knew she was going through a trying time; but hey, so was I and clearly, this blogger, whose site we were on, was going through a hard time as well.
She responded back (again, I paraphrase) by telling me that I shouldn’t take what she said personally; that what she wrote wasn’t meant to be personal. The woman stated that she was not feeling well when she wrote it and she was triggered by the phrase. She admitted that she couldn’t blame me for something that she said came from King Solomon. Then she ended with an “Lol.”
Whatever. I dropped it.
TALK ABOUT TIMING!
So today, my friend Lilibeth texted me without even knowing about the interaction I’d had the day before with the commenter. Ack!!!! —
My friend Lilibeth sent me the above because we’d been discussing earlier in the week some of the things people have said to us throughout the years that have been mind boggling. Some of these words were mean, hurtful, dismissive and even downright cruel. Some were complete falsehoods. The questions and speculations about who, what and why people say these things came up in our conversation. We were discussing this because this ties into what I’m currently writing about in my book. (Will my book ever get finished??!!!!) Anyway, Lilibeth thought this blurb/comment was helpful; and she sent this along with her thoughts that when she’s kind to those who aren’t, it made her feel better.
Okay. I can see that.
DIFFERENT PEOPLE, DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES
Our back-and-forth conversation through text was interesting. I told Lilibeth I’d tried to set the record straight with this commenter, but I was nice about it. However, I really didn’t like this woman’s comeback to me. I thought the woman was out-of-line and she should have apologized.
Lilibeth thought I should just let it go.
OH, THE IRONY!
I thought, well, yeah, I thought I did; except I re-thought about it after Lilibeth sent me this blurb/comment (don’t know where she found it), and that brought yesterday’s interaction back to mind. It’s not that Lilibeth was trying to bring up something annoying. She didn’t even know anything had happened. We’d just had different experiences. However, I like irony and this commenter provided it when —
On one hand, she’d suggested that I shouldn’t tell others how to feel, but on the other hand, isn’t that what she’d just done to me in her second response when she’d said that I shouldn’t take it personally? Doesn’t that equate that I shouldn’t let it bother me because she hadn’t intended what she wrote to me…even though she addressed it as though it were? As if telling others “how to feel” was my point of view and what I was doing in my comment — even though I’m not, I wouldn’t, I didn’t?!!! WTF, lady? I mean, how would she feel if someone did that to her?
Apparently, this woman also thinks I can read her mind and figure out what she means rather than what she actually wrote. No thank you. And just out of curiosity, are others who read her comment also supposed to be mind readers?
Irony, though…gotta love it.
I agree with the commenter that one shouldn’t tell others how to feel. Hell, I spent a lot of money getting an education to become a therapist (not that this commenter knew that), and that’s like Rule #1 you learn when getting your master’s in counseling. So I kind of bring that to the table wherever I am (usually) — not to tell people how to feel. Anyway, when I’m on someone else’s blog, the fact that I have a therapist’s academic background isn’t usually known or anyone’s business. That info’s relevant now only to address the fact of why I wouldn’t tell someone else how to feel — if I didn’t just intuitively know that to begin with, then I certainly learned it through training.
If the commenter’s second response was simply something along the lines of, “Let me apologize. I addressed this to you and I shouldn’t have done that. I was triggered by ‘This too shall pass’, and what I wrote came out the wrong way. I’m so sorry,” there wouldn’t be an issue.
If she’d said anything like that, then my thoughts would have been — hey, no harm done. You had a moment. It happens to us all. It’s all good on my end.
But she didn’t.
She might be very nice to most people, but that didn’t come across to me. From what I got out of our exchange, she didn’t show any empathy, manners or accountability for what she wrote and did…and didn’t do.
Break the cycle? Sure. Of course. But sometimes, I don’t think the cycle breaks with everyone.
TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE OR JUST RIGHT?
I think Lilibeth thinks I’m making too much out of this, but I told Lilibeth that I pay attention to what people write, what they say, how they say it and what they don’t say, along with their attitude and their body language. Gift or curse? Whatever it is doesn’t make me ultra-sensitive. It makes me attentive. Call it my counselor training at work.
And yea, I could read into what the commenter said as an apology without the words “apology” or “I’m sorry” actually stated. Usually, though, when a person states something that way, it’s because they want to look like they’re apologizing when they’re really not. She didn’t say she screwed up or that she was sorry. She made excuses and then, apparently, assumed that I’d just understand. You know what they say about “assume” don’t you?
Anyway, I can count on three fingers at the moment when I’ve had three different people say or write or do some kind of bullshit that makes me think, WTF? Why would you say, do or think that towards me or about me? And that’s just within the last month! Nary an apology from any of them. Also, just so everyone knows, whatever negative thing you think about me, it’s really none of my business and I don’t need to know. That’s also referred to as, “If you don’t tell me what you really think about me, I won’t tell you what I really think about you!” LOL. 🙂
So I have several questions for y’all, à la my blogger friend who poses the best questions ever. I probably need to work on my questions, but please answer whatever strikes your fancy…or bring up something else…if you wanna. Here goes —
- What do you think about the “hurt people, hurt people” blurb/comment that Lilibeth texted me? Do you agree or disagree with this and why?
- Are there any exceptions to what you think about this?
- How do you deal with people who do and say stupid shit that’s intended toward you? I presume most if not all of us have had this happen. If not, dear God, how did you get out of that in life? Please let me rub your belly for good luck, ‘k?
- If you don’t do anything at all when someone says something shitty to you, is there a reason for that? (Of course there is. I’d love to hear it because I want all sides to this!)
- If you don’t let it get to you or it just doesn’t bother you, how do you do this exactly? Do you spin it? Do you think about it in a different way? Please tell me how you do this…if you’d be so kind.
- Do you think that people who apologize without using the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” really mean it or are they just cleverly trying to get out of their situation when they were called out?
Silly me, I think rude behavior is getting worse as the 21st Century moves forward. I’m probably old-fashioned because I think that when you wrong someone, even slight someone, you should apologize using the words “I’m sorry or I apologize”…and I get that when lawsuits get involved, parties are supposed to refrain from saying anything and you’re never supposed to admit guilt or apologize…but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about when someone just says/writes something shitty to you or “aggrieves” you, even if they are feeling bad, having a bad day, whatever excuse they have — once they realize what they’ve done, shouldn’t they apologize? If not, why not?
Okay, also, whatever else you have to add to this dialogue, please do. I’m listening…
YEAH, I KNOW…GO AHEAD, SAY IT ANYWAY
Also, okay, I have to say it because it’s just begging to be said: I know all of this will pass, but in the meantime…let’s make hay out of this while the sun/moon doth shine…I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Love you all and sparkle on in your own badass ways, my Wayward Friends!
PS — Oh, also, in case you don’t know this already — I’m not a counselor/therapist. I went through the entire graduate-level schooling and graduated, but then I decided to write a damned book instead. So I’m not licensed. I did go through two practicums while in school, so I have worked with clients in the past…but until you’re licensed and go through an even longer internship, yeah…not a bonafide therapist…at least not in Texas. Geez, I hope my book pays off!
And Music — because we all need music…well, I need music…
If I could I’d buy each of you a coke…if you wanted it!
And not exactly what I had in mind, but what the hell, I haven’t played this before and I like Skynyrd, so…
Lastly, with all apologies…or not.
For those of you who would like to comment but don’t seem to be able to on my site —
If you are coming to my blog via your WordPress Reader function, try clicking on my site via https://waywardsparkles.com/ . This will take you to my homepage and from there, you can click on my newest post or another post and then you should be able to comment without any further trouble.
Or you should be able to just type in Wayward Sparkles and my site should come up on your browser. If that doesn’t seem to work, try coming in through a different internet source. For instance, if you usually come in through Google and can’t comment, try Yahoo or vice versa or through some other browser. I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing from you!