I made a jaunt to Green Forest, Arkansas, last Saturday. The sun was shining. The fog lifted. I sang old country tunes at the top of my lungs the whole way there. I left home at 9 a.m. and meandered through Jenkins, Shell Knob, Berryville and finally arrived at my destination: Hair Techniques.
My cousin, Cheryl, has a little beauty shop on the main drag. Her mother, my Aunt Helen, came down and we shared lunch and conversation while Cheryl worked on making me beautiful. (I don’t need your comments here.) She juggled a few phone calls, emails and walk-ins. She does some real estate work on the side.
Somewhere in the conversation as we were all telling tales of drama, people being mean and hurting those we love, Cheryl said something about looking at past hurts, regrets and events as just part of the journey that took her to where she is today. She even made the comment “I’m thankful those things happened.” Wow! While Aunt Helen and I both nodded in agreement, we both laughed at how hard it is to forgive those who hurt those you love. And, sometimes, depending on the person and the actions, it’s hard to EVER get over it, my aunt stated. I nodded some more.
Cheryl and I are the same age. We have always tried to keep in touch with one another in some form or fashion—living only 60 miles apart. We have shared stories, letters, emails and heartbreak, but most of all we share a lot of joy. I appreciate her work ethic and her sense of duty when it comes to her children. She has a daughter in college and a son in high school. Both share some of their mother’s spunk and class. She is quick to tell you what she thinks; but she is just as quick to move on—refusing to dwell on anything negative. I have heard her say more than once: “Well, you’re just gonna have to get over it,” with her hint of a southern drawl draping over her words like icing on a cake.
I thought about that conversation most of the way home later that afternoon. Am I thankful for past hurts, painful memories and events that were vindictive, mean-spirited and just plain awful? I’ve learned from them…yes. I’ve used the stories to help others know that I’ve been where they’ve been. I’ve never been one to sweep anything under the proverbial rug. But, am I always grateful for the whole journey? Am I grateful for those turds who seem intent on making others miserable or spreading ill-intentioned gossip behind their backs? Am I thankful for the drama that brings tears to the eyes of a friend or anger to the heart of an innocent child? Honestly, no. Probably not. I’m going to fix that, though.
Then I saw a Facebook post this week from my niece-in-law, Diana Estes. She mentioned her 10-year-old daughter Hannah’s wise words of looking at people with our hearts—not our eyes. If we look at those who upset us or hurt us through God’s eyes—with our hearts, we probably can see past the piercings, the tattoos, the bad choices or the angry body language, I guess. It made a lot of sense to me and I promised myself I’d practice it for a few days—to see if it would improve my outlook. Two ladies made an impact on me this week and they don’t even know it. What’s more—neither one has a clue that I’m sharing their words with you.
Have a great week. Enjoy the journey—all of it.(Kim McCully-Mobley is a local cowgirl, gypsy, pirate, rebel with a flair for writing, photography and history. She is an educator, storyteller, historian, public speaker and consultant. She and her family own The Ozarkian Spirit, a small company founded to help preserve and protect the culture, climate and history of the Ozarks region and its people. For more information about their projects, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)