Sunday, July 5, 2009

To Be Offended, or Not to be Offended--That is the CHOICE

A million things a day could offend me. If I let them. It's funny, really, how much energy people spend just being ticked off or ruffled by somebody else's words or actions. Who has the time?

The author of a very popular blog that I follow announced a few days ago that she would be taking a break from blogging. The post that heralded her hiatus was self-deprecating, all in good humor, proclaiming her need to rejuvenate and find her voice again, and now she is dealing with readers who are calling it quits because they just can't take her. . .her what? Her style? Her 'snarkiness'? Her view of the world? Her self-proclaimed 'professional narcissism?

Who cares, people? What's a blog anyway, if not one's own personal shrine? Get over it.

Some readers protectively responded to the disgruntled comments with things like, "If you don't like what you read, don't read!" That's fine advice, I suppose. But when you really adore someone, can't you just adore all of them? Do you have to go looking for a reason to stop adoring? Is every ounce of you just so adorable?

Wait, is this becoming personal?

But seriously, why can't we all just get along? Let cJane be cJane, for heaven's sakes! She's a pro at it! It's the perfect gig for her! Take it all with a grain of salt and see her soul, that blessed soul. Cut her some slack. She never once claimed to be humble. That's part of her charm!

And the rest of us?

I try very hard to not be offended. I'm quite aware of my own shortcomings. I'm painfully aware of how many times I have said the wrong things, or haven't said the right things. I have to allow others at least the same amount of foibles as I have dancing around me.

I just wish that when I am willing to offer charity and a little lee-way to others, that it could be returned. That the forgiveness I am willing to extend could be thrown in my direction every now and then. That maybe something about me could be adored enough to allow the rest to be endured.

And not just me, but all of us. I'm even talking to myself here. Life is so short, so the cliche goes, and why spend one nanosecond of it all bent out of shape? It's exhausting and debilitating.

I've known people who have chosen to stop coming to church, any church, because they had become offended by something someone did or said. I've known people who have left professions that they loved and felt fulfilled by because of some offense. I've known people who have abandoned long friendships because one day somebody said the wrong thing and that just broke everything. It seems silly to me. Especially when we're all so imperfect and in need of so much forgiveness ourselves.

Not to say that we have to endure prolonged injustice or abuse, but we all know that legitimate injustice is not at the heart of most hearts marinating in seething offense. Most of the time it's silly stuff. Inconsequential stuff. Sometimes we stay offended, forgetting what the original incident even was!

It just feels good to brush it off. Let it go. Forgive. Forget about it.

And it's a choice.


Luisa Perkins said...

I wish there were spiritual/emotional Bactine.

It is a choice, and often a hard choice; good for you for making it yet again.

I have never read cJane--yet more evidence of this comfy rock under which I live! :D

All my hugs, sweets.

* said...

Yep, it is a choice, to be offended, to take offense, and our reaction to every single thing in life.

Great post, loved the venting nature of it, and I feel better, just reading it & knowing this post is out there.


Andrea said...

I just found your blog through another blogs blogroll and love your blog and this post. So true.

Abby said...

Great post, Jenna.

I'm pretty dang sensitive and sometimes I'll read something the wrong way and take offense when there was none intended. I'll vent about it to whoever I vent to and sometimes they see what I see and sometimes they say "I don't see anything wrong with that" and sometimes I'll just need to read and re-read whatever it is to get over it and see the harmlessness that was there all along.

Sometimes we all just need to stop being so dang sensitive.

Rachel Sue said...

You knoe, I agree with you. Everyone lives different lives and everyone is entitled to make their own choices.

Annette Lyon said...

So, so true--and very well said. love how you think and put things into words.

Carina said...

It's perhaps one of the silliest things to ever engage in--being offended by a blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm unsure if others can sense it from your posts but I hope you know that you are far more... interesting, complex, intelligent, beautiful, kind, and genuine <--- (that word has a lot of meaning packed into it via synonyms) than both "nie" and her sister "cjane". They both have Vanity stamped to their foreheads and are plain as ever. A lot of women are secretly jealous of them but I hope you aren’t because you don’t need to be. Hope you’re having a really good day, you deserve it.

Heather said...

Another great post, Jenna! (I've been back-track reading as I just love your writing style and thoughts!) I too just love, love, love reading Cjane's and Nie's blogs - what a talented family - so happy to see Cjane blogging again and Stephanie and her husband's recovery from their tragic accident has been heartwarming...I feel grateful to be able to read the inspirational blogs of such women (yourself included) if I could just stop reading and start writing my own ha ha Have a great day!