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Freedom in Restraint

That sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? Let me explain.

Years ago I texted a concern to a friend about someone. Well ... I thought I sent that concern to my friend. To my horror, I accidentally sent it to the 'someone' I was concerned about. To say I was sick when I found out is truly an understatement. I was mortified that I'd hurt someone and embarrassed by my words ... words that reflected assumptions and slanted observations, not facts. That someone was gracious about my error, although I know that it couldn't have been easy reading that critical message.

After I apologized, I vowed right then and there that I would never, ever, say an unkind word about anyone, whether by text or by mouth, ever again. It's not an easy task and sometimes I fail. But overall, I've held firmly to that pledge.

Now, when a family member, friend, or coworker acts oddly toward me, my conscience is clear. Their behaviour most likely has nothing to do with me, but possibly another situation they're dealing with. I can face them and ask if they're okay, not worry if the thing I said the other day at coffee break has gotten back to them. Or that my text was sent to the wrong person.

Restraint is not easy especially when we are the victim of unkind words ourselves. But grounding me is the memory of my horrible blunder that caused pain to someone I care about. I never, ever, want to go there again.

I challenge you to make restraint your mission. I can vouch for the freedom it brings.

A Beautiful Outlook

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