After my new book, Live Your YOUlogy, was released, I received an email from a friend that I’ve known for many, many years. In her online letter, she talked about one incident in particular from long ago.
She had just given birth to her son and the circumcision ceremony would of course be happening within the next few days. For whatever reason, her father-in-law was being rather insistent about who was going to hold the newborn child at the event. The problem was that her husband wasn’t standing up to his dad and this was creating a rift in her marriage. My friend was getting angrier and angrier at this man that was supposed to be her partner in life yet couldn’t stand up for her, and she was unsure how to even go on.
Certainly, she loved her husband and wanted to stay married to him forever, but she couldn’t get past his lack of action over something that she considered to be so important. To her, it was as if he was choosing his father over her, and this bothered her dearly.
When we spoke about it way back then, my response to her was simple. “You love him, so forgive him.” In my eyes, even though she was hurt by his action, or lack of action, her only option was to forgive him and let it go.
In her email, my friend revealed how these six little words changed her perspective. They shifted her thought process of one that involved being at a complete impasse with the man she loved to one of understanding and letting go.
Little did I realize at the time how much impact my words had on my friend.
Seemingly, they gave her comfort and peace during a time that she was struggling. They helped her get through what felt like an impossible situation, allowing her to do what was ultimately right for her and her family without being stuck on that one incident in that one point in time.
This is true many times in life, where you don’t necessarily know how your words and actions have affected people. And rarely are you fortunate enough to find out years later, like I did with my good friend’s email.
Case in point: if you think back to all of the people who have affected you and maybe changed your perspective or changed your course of action in a positive way, do they know? Does your favorite teacher from high school realize that he is the one that got you so excited about the subject that he taught that you chose that for your career? Does the person that hands you your coffee at the coffee shop every day know that she make you happy because she is just so friendly and kind?
Remember these instances as you go about life as you never know who you are going to impact. However, one thing is for sure. If you do the right thing, someone is sure to notice. They may not tell you today, tomorrow, or ever what it meant to them, but they will know. And you will know too.