Last Friday night at 8pm, I answered the phone and heard these words.
“Erica. On Monday I will have power of attorney for my mother’s condo. On Tuesday I will circulate a petition to have you fired.”
Then the line went dead.
I could tell you that I had literally had two interactions with him ever—both that evening as I worked on resolving a plumbing situation in the building I manage. I could repeat to you the conversations we had, the same conversations I’ve gone over in my head a hundred times since then.
But I’ve got something that the man on the other end of the line clearly didn’t have (at least not in that moment): perspective.
My ears and neck burned and my legs felt detached from my body as I turned to my husband and repeated the words I had just heard on the phone.
The old me would have been crushed.
Or in truth—maybe the new me was crushed too. But I handled it better.
I sent a simple email to the people I work for. I cried (but not for long), I texted my mom and sister for a dose of empathy, and I settled in with Ryan for an episode of Parenthood.
People are mean (sometimes).
But living with your whole heart means you have so much more to hold on to than a rash man’s idle threat…or a stranger who comments on your parenting…or a family member who pushes buttons you’d rather no one knew about.
A wholehearted person isn’t going to put their self-worth on the line when someone wants to stir up a small firestorm.
It’s not worth it.
I’ve got a family that loves me and that fills me up with purpose (enough to get me out of bed every morning at 7am!). I have faith that I am known and loved by a higher power. I have a whole life in front of me, an empty canvas ready to be filled with beach trips and simple acts of service, berry picking and family building, kissing (my husband, obviously) and chocolate chip cookie making.
Last Friday night, I was tempted to leave our bedroom window closed tight rather than cracking it like I normally would. My instinct was to block out, protect.
But I resisted. I’m living all in. I slept with the window open. (And you can too.)
Linked up with Grace at Home and On Your Heart.
Good for you! Way to not let him get to you. Mean people do suck.
Oh my dear girl, you have touched my soul in my little universe!! Our neighbor (who I have taken amazing treats to and shared my first year peaches!) decided to complain to our HOA over a trivial matter. I cried, I paced, I was HURT! It took too long to get past it…now your have illuminated me! I choose to live wholehearted…it is a freeing thing. THANKS Erica
Alane—your comments always strike a chord in my heart. Thank you! It’s much harder when the person is someone you have befriended. I’m so sorry. But you are right about how freeing it is to let go. Best wishes!
Oh my – I am sorry that you had “ugly” people in your life. You sound so strong and resolved. I don’t like mean people – I can’t stand them – but you are an incredibly strong woman – and what a beautiful example you are setting for your family! Crack that window, girl! 🙂
You’re right, life is so much more than allowing the negativity and those who hurt us to have control over us. I so admire your for the way you responded, for sharing your experience here, and for moving on! I love the idea of living whole heartedly.
(And when I was done managing our complex, I was so relieved to be able to go to bed at night or be at home any time and not feel any obligation to answer the door, my phone, etc. What freedom! So huge kudos to you for sticking to it for so long.)
Oh man do I love this. It is something I struggle with, letting people’s actions effect my self-worth. A best friend becoming distant, a friend accusing me of something I didn’t do. I could go on. But you’re right. I need to start noticing what I do have, fix my perspective and let it go. Thank you!
I’m so sorry. But I am glad you had support when you needed it. what an idiot. 🙁
Haha, good call, Heather! 😉 Thanks.
Oh how I can relate!! Someday let’s be friends in ‘real’ life. I think we’d have plenty to talk about. 🙂
Thanks so much, Jen! I would LOVE that!
I am so, so sorry you had to go through this, Erica. But I love the way you handled the situation. You’re so blessed to have a loving family to lean on when the little(and big)things threaten to steal your joy.
I love this: “A wholehearted person isn’t going to put their self-worth on the line when someone wants to stir up a small firestorm”.
When someone says hurtful things, whether it be family, a friend or a stranger I tend to replay the conversation over and over in my mind. I often fall into the trap of allowing people words and actions affect how I view myself.
I am trying to break the habit. I keep telling myself, most of the time it has to do with whatever they are dealing with and it has nothing to do with me.
Thanks so much for being so open and honest!
Hi Donna! It’s great to hear from you again! I was just looking through your fall reads post and adding some great stuff to my list! Thanks! I did NOT know the writers of Half the Sky had a follow-up out! I gotta get my hands on that. And I just finished Attachments recently and really enjoyed it. You have a good night!
Thanks for stopping by the blog.:) I am glad you found some inspiration from my fall reads post. I am currently alternating between The Accidental Creative and The Attachments. I’m loving them both!
Keep in touch,
Beautiful post, Erica. It can be so hard, but it is so worth it. I hope the situation resolves itself quickly though!
Stopping by from the link up! What an incredible post, it really gives me a lot of perspective 🙂 Thank you so much! I hope the situation your in resolves quickly!
I’ll definitely be following along more, you’re an incredible writer and I love your insight!
Hi Tawnya! I’m so glad you said hello so that we could connect! Your blog, your family, and your photography are all gorgeous!
The situation, thankfully, is pretty well resolved, but it definitely took over my thoughts for a couple of days there! Letting go is harder than in sounds, right? 😉
Thanks so much for your sweet words, and let’s keep in touch!
Stefanie @ Calledhis.com
Wow, what a powerful post! The ending, especially, really got me.
I’m a person who really, really struggles with the cruel words of other people. I am a sensitive person who struggles with anxiety, so unkind words can pretty much unhinge me.
I don’t know where I’d be without God. I really, really don’t. I think his grace is the only thing that enables me any sense of ‘letting go’.
But I still fail at it, DAILY. This post is a much-needed reminder 🙂
What a wonderful perspective. I feel like we often hear it’s important to choose not to be offended, but it’s a whole lot easier said than done when someone is straight-out mean. Making the choice to rise above shows so much strength. Thank you for sharing:)
I’m so sorry about this. How unkind! You should never have had to deal with that, and that kind of treatment of you was so out-of-line. You handled it well, though.
By the way, I am an INFJ, too, or was when I took the Myers-Briggs in grad school (I haven’t used it since and am no expert on it). Interesting!
You’re so sweet, Leigh. It definitely surprised me, but it turned out just fine. No ripples to speak of. (Thankfully.) Still miss you here! The building was WAY better when you were in it. 🙂
I love that you’re an INFJ too! I’m not too surprised, as it was always so easy to connect and talk about real things with you.