What a different feeling it is to have behaved well in a situation when everything inside me was screaming to do the exact opposite. My dream had finally come true...I was approached by my exhusband's, very currently exgirlfriend, to unload every dirty detail I know about him.
Our situation...we have been separated for going on 5 years as a result of years of bad behavior on both our part, but mainly my alcoholism and my coming out towards the end of our marriage. They got together, I believe before we actually broke up and she was our children's Catholic school preschool teacher...hence, I had quite a bit of resentment there. I have wanted to tell her all the bullshit I know about this man for years and how angry I was that she had anything to do with the breakup of our supposed 'happy family'.
Finally, I had my chance. Instead, something miraculous happened. I paused and asked for my will not to be done in this situation. As the result of some very good advise, I chose to email her (Thanks S...much love and respect. You are one of the most inspirational women I know! I would have never gotten it without you and will be eternally grateful). Instead of unloading the mess, I was able to console her on their breakup, say I had no info on him, and wish her the best.
WTF...who's words were those. Definitely not my first instinct. What I have learned, over these almost six years of sobriety, is that I don't have to always act on that self destructive, I want to hurt you or myself, first instinct. I can pause and come from a place of kindness and love. I can only imagine how differently I would be feeling today if I had engaged in a mess of shit talking and getting even. Instead, she thanked me for my inspiration words and said she wished we could have gotten to know each other.
First of all...me???...inspiration words. Who would have ever thought that an ex of my ex would be saying that to me. Second, I never thought that I would actually genuinely care about someone that I had felt such resentment towards. Things can change...if I change. I definitely cannot control other people or their behaviors, but I can control how I choose to act in a situation. For today, I chose to act with love and kindness. Tomorrow, we'll see. With results like this though, I can't imagine wanting to do it any other way.