I’m usually pretty good at not taking things personally.

I’m usually pretty good at saying, “It’s okay.” And meaning it.

Shaking things off, letting them roll off my back, letting bygones be bygones, turning the other cheek, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Maybe it’s because I’m pretty sure the saying “You never know what someone else is going through” was invented to describe me and my erratic behavior at times. I know what it’s like to inadvertently step on others’ toes because I’m too physically and emotionally spent to watch where I’m going. So usually I’m pretty good at gladly allowing others the same grace.

Or maybe it’s because I’m usually pretty good at armoring-up in most situations. I tell myself that it’s perfectly normal for people to cancel plans at the last minute, rush through niceties, arrive late, forget to call. (I like to call this pragmatism, but it could also just be old-fashioned fear of getting hurt.)

In any case, today I got caught unexpectedly. Vulnerable, I felt my heart squeeze up with little girl tears collecting in my throat. I rushed to hit the Back button, to run away from the raw stinging flush of hurt.

If I were my own friend, I would counsel: Tell the truth when you’ve been hurt. Reach out. Don’t pretend. Clear the air.

I’m usually pretty good at giving advice. Too bad I’m not always brave enough to take it.

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