I hear the verbal blast, each and every one! I hear the comments you make about him, so casually cutting me to the bone without feeling. As you make these comments, I feel judged. You judge me based on what you believe is to be the absurdity of our way of life. As soon as your venomous words begin, there is something like an explosion in my brain. Like the flash of a bomb, the majority of the damage is immediate and irreparable. You have just callously insulted my husband, my hero, the man who would lay his life down to save yours, a law enforcement officer, the entire blue family, and what we all stand for, in ONE single verbal blast!
Deflecting the verbal blast
As you do this, my mind races with so many thoughts about the things he must do, far too often, so you may have the privilege of being dismissive, naïve, and insulting. Since I’ve given myself a thousand lectures over the years about never engaging in these conversations with you, the challenge to remain calm is exhausting. I am fueled with the leftover hurt, and damage, from the last explosion I experienced. Remember? Was it you? Or was it was someone else? Either way, it was the last time someone casually insulted, or judged, someone in our blue family without knowing the facts.
But, today is a new day! This is the first day of the rest of MY LIFE. Today there is an opportunity for me to change courses, because there are different paths from which to choose. Today, I finally understand I AM BLESSED BEYOND BELIEF! From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every one of you who acts, or speaks, so ignorantly about our law enforcement officers and their families. You are the ones who showed me there was a fork ahead. Consequently, we all have the power to choose how we respond during tumultuous times. How will I respond to you for the rest of MY life?
Today, the answer permeated every cell in my body and mind, as I was flooded with peace during prayer. How could I possibly be upset with the things you say? Your verbal blast in the form of a bloated, cocky comment is proof our law enforcement officers are doing so well. I made a choice and married into this life, I chose to become the wife of a sheepdog, but you did not. You will probably never understand why we live the way we do, but now it is clear to me just how beautiful that is! Truly, from the depths of my being, I am happy for you, and even a little envious, at times, of your innocence.
A great spiritual teacher once told me our greatest enemies are our closest friends because they will often side with us, agree with us, and defend us. He then explained those we call our enemies are our greatest teachers in life, for they are the ones who challenge our minds, beliefs, and emotions. As a result, this allows us to learn new and different ways to respond to adversity in our lives.
I no longer see you as my enemy, for you have challenged my spirit to grow. You have taught me to see the statements you make, the very ones I used to think were ridiculous and ignorant, as somehow beautiful. Now when I hear, or read, negative comments directed at all law enforcement officers, I can smile on the inside and remember that you have been sheltered, you have been protected, the majority of threats against you have been removed without you even knowing they were there to begin with.
(Photo courtesy Patricia Landfair)