So much of my life has been fretting over stupid things I've said and done. We all say things occasionally we wish we could take back right afterwards -- if only life had an UNDO menu choice like Microsoft Word does.
But, lately, I've been fretting over things I DIDN'T say.
I was recently in Texas with a client at a dinner of eight people, when they started talking about football. One person commented, "Did you hear that Michael Sam, the defensive lineman from Missouri, said that he is gay?"
One of the guests, a Pastor said, "Well, some people make bad moral choices."
In the moment, several things went through my head to do and say, including throwing down my napkin in anger and saying, "I'll wait in the car, since I don't want to eat with homophobes!"
But it was very cold outside. The moment passed. And I said NOTHING.
The next day, I did my speech, politely smiled at the Pastor and went home -- but I couldn't let go of the situation and what I didn't say. My inaction turned to self-hatred; it's not too pleasant to think of yourself as a coward.
I needed a do-over.
That's when I realized that very often, we all have a chance to fix our mistakes and we don't need to get stuck in a negative story. And thinking about it more, I realized that speaking with hate isn't effective or healing. And so, I emailed him, telling him about my dilemma, and how I wondered if he had people in his congregation who were gay, or who had gay children. I offered to talk about the topic with him, so that he could better serve his congregation.
Whether or not he takes me up on my offer is a moot point. What I realized is that there is usually an opportunity for a do-over for our behavior. Sometimes a simple action, an apology, or a conversation can rid us of embarrassment, or worse, a feeling of self-hatred.
I would love to know, what stupid things have you done -- and were you able to do a do-over?