Temperance is NOT one of my strong suits. I don't mean temperance with food and drink, but when it comes to SAYING things or THINKING things. I have been working on tempering my words but as I recently confessed, I have major fails a lot. Most of the time, when I say things I do have a motive of love, but not all the time. So temperance in those times that I don't is especially important.
I recently had a small blip in my day that really irritated and hurt me. Someone was just so rude and disrespectful to me in a sneaky way, and I really just didn't even know at first how to handle it. Then I realized, temperance has to take place here. Not only am I simply exhausted from life in general, and more specifically crappy hurtful behavior and drama from specific people, but I just felt it strongly on my heart that I had to let it go. I had to. For my own sanity and for the sake of a peaceful last few weeks of my pregnancy, I just had to drop it wherever it would lay and move away from it as fast as possible. I also know God has been moving within me so much lately, in response to my prayers that He break me as much as He needs to and continue to make me what He wants me to be. I'm sure this is part of that. Temperance (self-control) is a Fruit of the Spirit. Who doesn't need more temperance?
Temperance of my words was fairly easy. Temperance of my thoughts, not so much. I had righteous anger but it still detracted from my life in those moments and I found it really hard to focus on my day. I may have succeeded in not saying anything to the person, but my thoughts had a field day. I had to journal a little, and bake, and attempt to get it out of my head. I also talked A LOT to my very close friend because she is so honest and wise, and because that helped me to not talk to the person. I also sought council from a really awesome group of Catholic women who helped me to stay on the path of righteousness and just pray, instead of going off on the person. These women are the type that will let you know if you're being ridiculous, will be honest with you a hundred percent, and won't allow any sort of tearing down of other people to take place in any form. They will pray for and with you. They will help you to see all sides, and point you in the direction of holiness. I needed their council and was so grateful for it. I know that usually, when you have an issue with someone, you are supposed to talk to the person about it. But this was not one of those cases. Nothing good could have come of it. They had already broken my trust when they didn't come to me with their issue and instead did what they did, and I was left knowing that I couldn't trust them any longer with anything. Which made me especially sad because I had been trying to make efforts to build a real friendship, and I was proven yet again that sometimes, I'm just an idiot for giving people a second chance. Sometimes, the benefit of the doubt isn't always the right thing to bare in mind.
I have to be somewhat thankful for this event, though. I try to seek the positive even in the most crappy situations so this must be it: I realized the person's true colors. Here I was, thinking that my attempts, slow but steady, were actually working toward building something solid. I was so fearful to begin this feat, with good reason, but convinced myself that everyone deserves a second chance. But this particular event made me realize that no, not everyone does and in fact, as I would cement a layer of solidarity, this person would come beneath it and muck it back out before it had time to dry. Little by little, it was crumbling and I guess there was only a matter of time. So I'm grateful that it was something rather small that opened my eyes instead of something major.
I also have to be thankful because my first (lately) real serious and conscious effort at tempering my words to someone who has hurt me led to my being able to do it with several other people on matters that weren't major, nothing hurtful exchanged, but just topics in general that are hard. (See link about talking too much, at the top) It felt freeing! I was really proud of myself. And I was grateful to the Lord. It's not always going to be easy to do so, especially when it's about something important or related to God's truth. But I know that the more I work on it, the easier it will become. I pray that I can get to a point where wisdom kicks in and I can always know the right thing to say at the right time, and more importantly, know when not to say anything at all.