I went to a funeral today.
I don't like funerals. Even if you hardly know the person, they're so sad. And when you do know the person, even worse.
Today, I did know the person well. I've been her visiting teacher since I moved here almost 4 years ago. And she was one of THE sweetest people I've ever met.
Usually, you don't expect to be taught something at funerals. But today, I was taught a few things.
The first thing I was taught was to be proud of your accomplishments.
This woman's family talked about how proud she was of everything she did, no matter how small. It's a really, really good idea.
People can be so hard on themselves for all the stupid things they don't do right or don't do at all. (Hello, mother's guilt.)
You SHOULD be proud when you accomplish something. Anything. Give yourself some props! (And for some, getting a shower before noon is all you can expect.)
The second thing I learned was something my friend's husband said she used to say. She didn't like to talk about people badly. And she would say, "You don't know nothin' about it. So shut up."
Wouldn't it be nice if you could go through life and deal with all your problems and hardships while knowing people were backing you up and supporting you behind your back instead of having people gossip about you and belittle your problems when you're not around?
Yes. It would be. As I have learned.
It's amazing how rough a time you could be going through and there are still people--even people who supposedly love and care about you--who speak badly of you.
Shame on them.
And while it instantly made me think about those who have hurt me by talking about me and things they don't have a clue about...it also got me thinking about the people I might have crapped on without them knowing.
It's about guile.
A decade ago, a friend of mine told me that she thought I was a person without guile. But look down the road these ten years...and life...and trials...and stupid fools can turn a person sour.
I guess it takes constant reminding one-self that you are not as smart as you think you are. You don't know what you think you know. You've never walked in anyone else's shoes. Who are you to look down on anyone...especially loved ones?
So next time you get the urge to open your big mouth, just remember my friend's words...
YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHIN' ABOUT IT. SO SHUT UP!
I'm very grateful for knowing this woman and what I learned from her even after she passed away. I'll miss her.
She was one of the best ones.