It’s a beautiful day here in Portland Oregon. The sun is out, the sky is clear and it’s cold – perfect. For most of the day my mom and I were out wandering around downtown. We wanted to explore a different coffee shop. So far we have been to every coffee shop within a 10 mile radius from our house. I love exploring different coffee shops around us. They each have their own feel. We’ve been to Barista once before, a few years ago so we decided to go there again.
While we were standing inline to order, two young ladies came in through the door and stood behind us. I smiled at them, then turned back around to wait my turn and of course listened to their conversation. I like listening to the things people talk about. However the conversation these two friends were having, really made my stomach turn. It was the most negative conversation, but the funny thing was, they were talking bad about someone talking bad about them. They went on saying how conceited this person was and how he says terrible things about them. They mentioned he’s selfish and rude and doesn’t deserve to be with the girl he’s with. They even mentioned they were talking to other mutual friends about him and his terrible personality. Now I don’t know them or the guy, but it really makes me sick hearing people talk so poorly about another person, who also has feelings. I almost turned around and said “you know, you’re also saying terrible things about him behind his back. Doesn’t make it okay, and you end up being at his level. We are all better than that.” But I kept my mouth shut, sadly shook my head and prayed that they would release the hate and bitterness they have for this person and show them love and kindness.
I ordered my latte in a “for here” mug, sat down at a table with my mom and enjoyed a pleasant conversation. It really makes me sad how many people are judgemental towards others. If someone is mistreating you, don’t stoop to their level and judge them back. Show them kindness and love, “kill them with kindness”. I know what it is like to feel anger, bitterness and hate towards someone, I struggled with that for awhile. But you know what, It made me feel terrible, I hated myself for feeling those feelings. I hardly felt at peace, everything that person did made me angry. Feeling something like that is terrible, for that person and for yourself. I struggled with trying to feel at peace and to forgive, so much that I wanted to end my life and be down with it. I was surrounded by darkness, my thoughts were dark, and the light around me burned away, leaving ash. I was lost, scared, angry and confused. I first dealt with it by retreating, keeping to myself, avoiding this person (who was living in the same house). I couldn’t help but glare at them, my eyes filled with fire and hatred. It makes me sad knowing that I was like that and ever felt those feelings.
I started reading christian books, finding verses in the bible, prayed with all my heart for the darkness to leave me and I cried, sobbed my heart out hiding in the back of my closet for hours. Scared at what I had become. I live in a different state now with my mom. This person is still in our lives and always will be, my mom is married to him. Moving is what really help heal me, getting involved in our church, going to bible studies and praying. It’s been two years and these past few months is when I finally noticed the change. I don’t have the darkness in me anymore. I feel at peace, I have forgiven him and wake up every morning with forgiveness in my heart. Sometimes I will feel it creeping back in trying to take over me again, but I’m stronger now. I can block it and pray to keep the light in me.
There was another incident that happened today. (Strange, maybe I was suppose to run into these people so I realize how much better I feel without hate in my heart). After my mom and I had our coffee, we walked around downtown and explored different unique shops. By that time we were hungry so we walked 4 more blocks up and over to a little organic, vegan, gluten free cafe called Prasad, located inside a yoga studio. We placed our order; green drink called Grasshopper, my favorite (pictured above) and a salad with kale, sea vegetables, greens, carrots, avocado, quinoa, hemp seeds and a lemon ginger dressing. I grabbed our number and my mom asked me where we should sit, she pointed out 3 open spots. For some reason I choose the spot next to two ladies with no filter on their mouth what so ever.
The minute I sat down, the first lady says the F-word, I looked up at my mom and we both did awkward smiles to each other. While my mom and I sat in pleasant silence, eating, I started listening to these ladies conversation. Only one of them was mainly talking and it appears her favorite word is the F-word. “I F-ing hate the F-ing government, its like F-fing big brother all over again. Those F-ing stocks, they F-ing suck. I F-ing hate the F-ing health care.” Negative, negative, negative. Her friend was agreeing to everything by saying “F them”. My goodness. I finally looked up to look at them and when I saw their faces, they actually looked bitter and angry. I quickly looked away and sipped on my green drink.
I think this situation was a test for me. While I was sitting there, eating my healthy nourishing lunch, I was listening to negativing. These ladies were surrounded by darkness. When I first sat down by them and heard the first few F bombs, I immediately slowly started to feel angry, my eyes went into a little glare and my mouth got tight. However just as quickly as that happened, it quickly disappeared, FAST. My eyes brightened up, my lips relaxed and I felt the peace enter me again and I stayed that way. After we left, my mom and I were quite, I turned to her and said “it’s so sad how angry they were”. And that was that, we were put in a weird situation, we could’ve left and started talking negative about how negative they were. But that wouldn’t be right, or make us feel good. So we showed compassion and moved on.
Being in these two situations today really put me in a perspective as to how happy I am, I’m not that way anymore. I’ve come a long way from hating myself and everyone around me, to showing unconditional love and feeling at peace. It made me realize how I never, never want to be like that, and I’ll work hard on trying to learn from my mistakes and becoming a better person each day. I do have days where I get setback and really struggle, I’ll cry, feel lost and frustrated. But I also have bright days. More bright days than ever and more to come.
In a way, I thank those ladies for making me realize what I once was and what I am now. I now know that I have changed, and for the better. I never want to be the person I once was, it wasn’t me, it was darkness taking me over. Now I hope for these ladies to find peace in their hearts.
Love overcomes hate. Peace overcomes anger. Light overcomes darkness. Hope overcomes doubt.