It’s been three days now since it happened, and tonight I sit here by myself at our dining table. I watch him from afar, eating his dinner in front of the television. I look down on mine, pick up my spoon. My hand begins to shake, almost spilling the chili. I drop the spoon, look at him. He doesn’t know. His chest rises and falls, matching the sinusoidal rhythm of the sounds of his laughter. It’s that TV show again. The one that makes him bend over in unstoppable laughter.
“Can you believe this guy?”
“What guy?” I ask. There’s no emotion in my voice. Inside, I’m writhing in suppressed fury.
“Samuel Gillinger,” he says. “This guy’s just hilarious, babe.”
I nod my head nonchalantly. Who cares? I don’t care about Gillinger. I’ve never cared. What I’m furious about is that the man who cares about Gillinger doesn’t care about me. Can’t he see that I’m on the dining table to be away from him? Can’t he see that I don’t care about what he’s watching? Doesn’t he know that all I can think of is what he said to me three days ago and how he hasn’t apologized yet? How could he say those words? It’s not too late to apologize. I’m here waiting with my spoon dipped in hot chilli soup. I’m seriously offended. Three days and forever.
The phrase “I’m offended” is all too familiar. Many times, we sweat the small stuff. We want to get offended at the slightest chance. It stimulates the attorney inside us, just dying to speak and lay out the court case. We want the jury to agree with us, to see the case from the eyes of an innocent victim.
People who know how to shrug offenses off their shoulders are blessed. It might be hard, but it’s something we all need to learn how to practice. If someone said or did something to hurt you, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she stopped loving you.
Don’t be quick to receive an offense from your loved ones (or anybody for that matter). You might have been sincerely offended, but don’t let the offense make a home in your body. Don’t keep a journal of wrong-doings or mathematical imputations of accusations. There’s no need. Let it go as soon as it comes. You’ll go a long way in loving when you don’t get offended easily.
Jennifer Erere Abayowa is a growing author and established blogger. She’s been writing on her blog, “Light-A-Lamp” under the pen name “Jaycee” since September 2006 and has gained over 37,000 visitors from 146 Countries around the world. Her website is www.lightherlamp.com. Her inspirational writings have attracted such awards as Most Inspiring blogger (2009), Best Religion Blog (2009 & 2010), and Best Personal Development Blog (2010)-Nigerian Blog Awards.
[Image by Dezzon Flickr]