Monday, June 25, 2012

To the girl in the red pants

I've been seriously debating whether or not to write about this, mainly because I no longer hurt from it and it seems stupid to dredge up old feelings. I landed on a yes because I feel like I learned a huge lesson from it.

The central part of visiting California was for my husband and father-in-law to go to the U.S. Open at the Olympic club. I went for one day and they went for two. I'll keep the synapses short: it was a long day walking up and down the side of a mountain. Cellphones were banned. I wasn't exactly the happiest of campers.

We started following some golfers and I noticed a girl who was watching the same group. She was very pretty, very thin and was wearing the same bright red J.Crew pants as I was. I started thinking about how I wished I looked like that girl. I've never been a skinny girl. I wear a size 10 and most days I'm comfortable with that. I'm quite chesty and my shape has always been a big part of what makes me, me. But sometime when I'm on vacation and there are hundreds of pictures being snapped, I get a little down on the way I happened to look in that instance.

Later in the day, I noticed the girl in the red pants glancing at me. She was hanging out with 2 middle aged guys, and all of a sudden I heard one of them make a really mean remark about that "other girl in the red pants." This continued for a few minutes, each of them taking their jabs; apparently they had, for a split second, mistaken me for her in the crowd. Then they stopped because they realized I could hear everything they were saying.

I probably don't have to tell you how that affected me. I burst into tears. Jared grabbed me by the hand and we walked as far away as possible and I cried and cried. It doesn't matter how confident you feel, when someone says hurtful things like that it really rips your guts out.

The rest of the day i contemplated all the mean things I could go up and say to these people. All the ways I could embarrass and shame them. But I never said anything.

This made me have a huge reality check. How many times have I made off handed cutting remarks about a stranger? How often have I callously judged another person? I really want to be better, and I definitely have been since that day at the Olympic Club.

This is what I looked like that day. I snapped this crappy cell picture after we got home late. I don't think I look all that bad. I'm not crying in the photo, just red from a sunburn and making a weird face.

Like I said, I don't feel the anguish I felt that day anymore. I feel sadness that I have been  the girl in the red pants more then once. Here is a great quote from Dieter F. Uchdorf, a leader in my church:

"This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters."

No comments:

Post a Comment