Often people say the wrong things.
As we are expecting our 5th girl with only one boy I've heard some pretty thoughtless comments.
The commenters have said a variety of things from:
"I feel so sorry for you."
"Tell your husband to relax."
I've heard things from older people and from children, from neighbors and complete strangers. Usually I can feel their intent. Often they think that I may have not wanted this pregnancy, which couldn't be further from the truth. Sometimes they are just trying to make me laugh. My response is always the same. With kindness, I let them know how happy we are to welcome this little girl into our family. I hope they feel my sincere excitement for this new life. I hope they choose to cherish life a little more too.
Often I say the wrong things.
I can't count the nights I've laid in bed and thought, "Did I really say that?" Tears fall down my face as I realize that my words may have caused someone pain. I get so much satisfaction from making people laugh but it's not uncommon for my words to have the opposite effect.
I know I regret the thoughtless things I say. And so I choose to believe that others regret the hurtful things they say to me. We can choose to love those we are speaking with. Even when their words are cold, thoughtless or unkind. We can choose to see ourselves as them. We seek forgiveness, love and patience, so do they. When we choose love our hearts are light yet full. When we choose to hold a grudge we feel heavy yet empty.
If you come across someone who is unkind today, give them the benefit of a doubt. Let them know you hold no ill feelings. Choose love.
If someone's hurtful words are still ringing in your ears. Be understanding. Choose love.