i’m not sure if you know this about me but i was a collegiate athlete. don’t go Googling my stats or whatever – it’s nothing impressive, but i played soccer for a huge chunk of my life. freaking love that game.

wanna know one of the biggest life lessons i learned from that game? here it is…

usually the person who gets in trouble isn’t the initial offender. it’s the one who retaliates. it’s the one who lets their anger get the best of them and lashes out. they get the call. they get caught. they do the time.

i’ve had my share of times on both sides of that coin. i’ve been the girl committing the fouls that doesn’t get caught. i’ve been the girl who’s so irritated with someone’s repeated lashings that i return the favor. so i definitely know from experience… i’ve been caught WAY more times in the latter than the former. it’s not the instigator that collects the cards on the field, and i’ll be danged if that’s not the case in life as well.

now…. i’m just gonna be honest for a second – doesn’t that just tick you off?!?! because i know it does me. sometimes i’m so convinced that i need to serve justice that i’m about one breath away from giving someone all of the pieces of my mind. not just one of them. but that ain’t it, people.

it’s hard. it’s like one of the hardest things i’ve ever tried to learn how to do. but it’s a necessary skill. people are wild. people are delusional. they’re entitled. their opinions and ways of life are vastly different than our own. and they’re pretty good at telling you allllll about it. they think they know you when they don’t have a clue. whatever the case may be… they’re digging their own graves just fine without our help.

i learned a long time ago, too, from all of my dealings with my mother and her addictions – you will never be able to reason with unreasonable people. it just never sinks in. their thought patterns don’t fire on the same cylinders, they can’t see the same reality, and their glasses are always a deluded shade of rose. they see things in their own way and there’s really nothing we can do to change that. besides not retaliate. that’s the main goal – whatever you do…. don’t. retaliate.

what dirt does someone really have on a non-reactionary human? unless they make it up entirely, the correct answer should be none. i mean, sure, some people have made some lies up about me, but that’s on them. i know it’s not the truth – therefore, they have nothing on me. go ahead and fabricate all you want, but you’re not going to take some reaction i say out of context and paint me in any one-sided light…. because there’s no reaction. there’s nothing to judge. there’s nothing to twist.

at the end of the day we’re all just people doing the best we can. i truly believe that. it’s tempting to think otherwise because it’s such a wild world, but we’re all troubled in our own regard i guess. some more than others, and i’m certainly not the least of the bunch.

here’s my challenge to you this week – when you’re tempted to react… don’t. in traffic. in the parking lot. when someone says something you can’t stand. just… don’t. honestly, i’m telling you – this is just like the point of forgiveness… it’s more for you than for them. protecting our own mental space is the only thing we really have control over, and you’ll be doing yourself a HUGE favor if you can just…. leave it. let it be. let them do whatever, say whatever, be whatever and just… don’t. <3