Each day, I make choices. Some of those choices are simple - what outfit to wear or what to make for dinner that evening. Other choices seem like they should be simple, but are sometimes very difficult.
I was recently in a situation where someone sent an email to a group I'm associated with that was rude, cruel, and untruthful. It hurt many group members' feelings. Personally, I was so angry, my arm twitched for over an hour. Even several hours after reading the email, there was a slow burn in my gut. I knew I needed to make a choice - one that may seem simple, but was really quite difficult.
How was I going to react to this situation?
My first instinct was to lash back out, but I immediately knew that would be the very worst thing to do.
My next thought was to calm down, then write an email nicely correcting each issue. I knew that if I did so, it would start a volley of emails, the results of which would most certainly be unpleasant.
I consulted with my husband, who understood my feelings and let me vent without judging my initial angry response. Then together, we talked about choices and consequences. It took several hours of mulling over before I finally decided to do nothing at all. To just let the battle begin and end right there.
I felt better after making that choice. But inside, I was still upset and concerned. The real end of the battle didn't come until I finally got on my knees and prayed. Through tears of pain and anger, I poured out my feelings about the situation. Until finally, I felt peace.
Peace that I had made the right decision, but not only that. A peace that allowed me to find forgiveness for the creator of all the tension and anger, and to just let the whole situation go.
Our lives are filled with choices. Many of them are simple and take very little contemplation on our part. But every so often, we are in a situation that tests our patience and character. The choices we make in these situations are reflected back onto the most important part of our lives - our family.
When I'm angry or hurt, I tend to have a much smaller amount of patience for those I love most - my kids and husband. Is it worth holding onto that anger or grudge? Do I want my kids to learn to react that way?
I'm grateful for the miracle of forgiveness - for the peace it brings to me, my family, and my relationships with others.
This morning, Meridian Magazine included this video about forgiveness. I was filled with peace as I watched it, knowing I was on the right path. Sometimes it's not easy to forgive - but it is worth it. I hope you enjoy this video and that you may be able to let go of any grudges that are holding you back as well.
President James E. Faust's last General Conference talk before he passed away - Forgiveness - The Greatest Gift.
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