A few nights ago, Spell Girl asked me a hypothetical question. "Mommy, if you were in the Hunger Games, do you think you'd win?" And immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever, I said, "Oh no, I'd probably be the first one out." The fact is, I would probably run straight for the cornucopia of weapons and supplies knowing that I wouldn't make it out. (Except that I'm a chicken and scared to death of pain, so maybe I wouldn't do that after all. But then, there's that nightlock...) Anyway, the point of all that is that I'm not a fighter or a survivor or a competitor. I couldn't last a day on any of those reality shows. If it gets hard, I give up. If it looks scary, I quit. If someone says something mean, I curl up in a small ball on the couch and just cry.
So, on Thursday at 5:00am, when I read a frustrating email, my day was finished before it started. I cried. And then I called the Scout Master and cried some more. And then I spent two hours staring blankly at the TV. By 8:00pm, I still hadn't managed to shake that discouraged, defeated feeling. I let that email color my entire day. The next day wasn't much better. I was still sad. Those words were still ringing in my ears all day and my discouragement was pushing me toward permanent changes. On Saturday, my sadness and discouragement had been replaced by frustration and anger. I spent the ENTIRE day rehearsing what I was going to say to the emailer at church today. I felt like my anger was justified because I had been unjustly accused of something and not even given the opportunity to respond.
This morning, everything was a little less intense. I wasn't as sure of my plan of attack, but I went to church feeling confident that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. The talks in Sacrament were all wonderful...as usual. We have two cute new missionaries who both introduced themselves and bore their testimonies. A sister in the RS Presidency who I love, gave a wonderful talk on personal revelation. And then another sister I love played Abide With Me on the piano. (Have I mentioned that I LOVE that hymn??) And then, my very favorite High Councilman spoke (He's my favorite because he grew up in Hawaii and always starts his talks with,"ALOOOOHA!") His talk was based almost entirely on that Brad Wilcox talk on grace. (I think I've heard that talk quoted and paraphrased at least 10 times in the last three months. It's a great one.) So, at the end of an incredible Sacrament, I was a little conflicted about what to do next. My original plan was to meet the emailer in the hallway and speak my mind. But now, I also wanted to talk to all the speakers and the pianist and tell them how much I loved what they had done.
And then, the miraculous happened...I thought about all the times in this blog that I've talked about leaving beautiful footprints. And I thought that confronting my emailer wouldn't be as beautiful as going up to the stand and telling all those speakers how much they inspired me today. So I walked toward the stand. And I left the emailer alone. I already know what my intentions were (and what they weren't) and I already know my character. I didn't need to spend time trying to convince someone else of it. Instead, I gave my RS Pres friend a hug and told her I loved her. And I gave the pianist a hug and told her how much I LOVE that hymn and how glad I was that she played it today. And I let the emailer go throughout the day without any incident from me.
I've been a bridge burner at times in my life. I've been scary and confrontational. I've been feisty and disrespectful. And in the past, I've made permanent, irreparable decisions based on emotion and a momentary lapse of self control. I don't want to do that anymore. It's time to Arise and Shine Forth and do something different. It's time to stand for something better. It's time to be a survivor. Today was a good day. It was a little tiny step in a direction that I want to go. Hopefully there will be more of them.