By Dr. T
Actions speak louder than words, is an age-old idiom that has huge significance when taken to heart. Some may look at it as a rather cliché expression, but in these days and times it speaks volumes. My grandmother would always say it this way, “Watch what you say because I’m sure gonna SEE what you Do!” The utter truth of those words ring crystal clear once you have invested your time, energy and trust in someone who completely disappoints you because what they said did not match up with what they actually ended up doing. There were all of the promises of things that were to come, big plans about what was going to happen with proposals and visions galore, but when the time came for the actualization of those promises to materialize…nothing happened. Nada. Zippo. Epic nothingness. The disappointment begins to evolve into feelings of betrayal and then resentment because the trust you invested was denigrated seemingly without a thought or acknowledgement of any accountability. You are left holding the empty promises feeling foolish for having trusted in the promises made or in the person who made them.
How to recover from the great disappointment we often feel when we put our belief in certain people? How do we move beyond the letdown we are now experiencing because of the hope we had in those we trusted or belief in people we ascribed with tremendous integrity or character? We could retreat from everybody altogether; hold on to the growing resentment until it turns into bitterness and anger that begins to eat away at us from the inside out. We could avoid placing our trust in people from here on out! We could confront the person or people with the betrayal we feel in hopes of some kind of reconciliation and take on the risk of being misunderstood or worse blamed for ever trusting them in the first place. None of these are good options. And yet, being human and imperfect as all human beings are, we could just forgive them.
We could choose to forgive them because, had we so offended someone we cared for or violated their trust whether intentional or not, we would want to be forgiven. We would hope to receive that same benefit of the doubt and not be completely cut off and utterly cast aside. We would want to be given another chance to restore our reputation and fractured integrity within that relationship or community. When we forgive we release ourselves from holding on to pain, doubt and misunderstanding. We then give ourselves the freedom, the liberty to heal from our injuries, to begin the process of recovery rather than staying in those uncomfortable, life-draining spaces. We can let go of bitterness, doubt, and resentment and move on with our lives recognizing the past but not allowing it to stop us or keep us in bondage.
We must remember to be careful of where we put our trust. Ultimately, we cannot control what other people do or don’t do and sometimes we inadvertently set ourselves up for disappointment. Remember people are fallible and will, at times, disappoint you. Don’t dwell on that point or you might become afraid of allowing yourself to be vulnerable or authentically human. Just recognize all you can do is watch what you say…cuz other folks are SEEING what you DO! Let your WORD be true to who you are…simply DO what you say you’re gonna DO or don’t SAY anything at all.