The other day my Momma Jane and I got into a fight. We normally get along so well too…like crazy good. But in any relationship you are bound to have disagreements and I guess that’s what this was…more of a disagreement than a fight really.
Whenever you have a quarrel with your spouse, family member or friend, it stings. There is a part of you that wants to be right, heard and/or understood…or even all of the above. It doesn’t matter what Mom and I fought about, really…it just bummed me out that we fought. For me this wasn’t about a right or wrong thing with my mom either, it was that I wanted her to understand how I felt about something. For her, I think she felt more hurt by my being hurt by what she said when that wasn’t her intention.
I learned a couple of things about arguing the older I get.
- “Everyone sees things through their own filter.” When I was on the radio, we used to have a psychologist on our show, Dr. Richard Blue. He always said that and it was so so true! Too often, we want people to see everything through OUR filter but that’s not how life works. Everyone is different so we see things differently.
- Ask yourself, is it better to be right or is it better to be kind? Dr. Phil said that years ago when he was on Oprah and it stuck with me. I rely on this thinking often as difficult as it is.
When this happened with my mom, I was pretty irritated. (Yes, my mom reads my blog…sorry Mom, but I love you for letting me share this!! lol!) I didn’t want to go downstairs to her house because I felt like she should apologize to me, not the other way around. But sometimes you just have to “scheme of life it”. In that moment, ok, more like 30 minutes later, I realized that we just see things through a different filter and that’s ok. Just because she’s my mom and I’m her daughter doesn’t mean we are the same person who has the same thoughts. We have different views on many things and then we also have the same views on plenty of things but as long as we can talk about them without hurting the other, we are doing ok. And my mom and I are doing more than ok because 99% of the time, we have an AH-mazing relationship which makes me feel like a pretty lucky girl.
Having a disagreement with someone is hard though, especially on us women. I remember when my husband and I were doing premarital counseling before our wedding years ago, one of the things we learned was that if say both men and women each had a panel of lights on them keeping them going…after a fight, only a few lights on the men’s panel were burned out whereas on a woman’s panel, they were mostly ALL burned out because women are affected by arguments so differently AND much longer than men.
It’s true…if you are a woman, think about the last argument you had with anyone. Spouse, friend, co-worker, whoever. You didn’t just have the argument and never think about it again right? You probably tossed it around in your head for hours, talked it out with someone else until you were blue in the face and maybe even lost sleep over it. It hurts your heart and even your soul. It feels awful to be hurt by someone and sometimes it takes a while to get over it.
It’s also very difficult to tell someone how you are truly feeling, especially if it means you might hurt them. Sigh. I remember years ago, I had a girlfriend who I couldn’t be truthful with because I knew it meant hurting her so deeply and I couldn’t bear to do that. Instead, I distanced myself from her, which was hard too because it wasn’t that she was a bad person per se, I just knew that for my own well-being I needed to move on from that friendship. I knew it meant that she was gonna be mad at me and possibly hate me but I felt that it was better for her to hate me, than for me to hurt her and I had to make peace with that.
My husband and I try very hard to nip our arguments in the bud sooner rather than later because he knows I literally cannot rest if not. I think we’ve found ourselves apologizing quicker and talking it out sooner because we have realized how precious life is and we would much rather be laughing than quarreling. This goes hand in hand with one of my favorite and very famous Bible verses. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I try to read a page out of my devotional every night before I go to sleep. Sometimes it’s just a good reset for me, my brain and my heart. It reminds me to let things go and to always try and choose love. Forgive those who have hurt me and pray for them too. I like that I am also focusing on something positive before I drift off to sleep instead of letting negative things sneak in and take up real estate in my brain.
Because tomorrow is a new day and I can try again.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
XO Surviving Mommy