Not too long ago, I experienced a bit of dread. In a public gathering, a casual acquaintance approached me and in a short amount of time, lamblasted me with both barrels wide open accusing me of something I’d not done. To say the least, it was unsettling, knocked me back and for a while, robbed me of the emotional equilibrium I normally enjoy in life.
Being falsely accused, misunderstood, or blamed is uncomfortable. Adrenaline will course through our bodies, our mouths may go dry, we may feel like turning tail and running or socking them with a right hook.
For certain I wanted to set things right, defend myself and somehow convince my accuser that they were wrong. Above all, I wanted to be understood. But I knew that whatever I said, my words would only fall on deaf ears. My opponent did not approach me in order to converse. Instead, they only wanted someone to blame and they chose me.
Those who incriminate dump and go, leaving a foul pile of falsehoods in their wake. The words they fling, in truth, do not belong to us. Yet, when they finish spewing their concocted scenario, we are left wondering and perhaps even doubting our innocence. Are we really guilty of what they just said about us?
I’d like to say that I did not experience any doubts or fear from the experience, but I did. For two days, I replayed the scene and battled against my imagination, which at times, ran wild.
Can this person ruin my reputation? What will others think of me if they spread this rumor and others actually believe them? Am I in danger of being physically harmed by this person? Why are they blaming me for something I’ve not done?
Fighting against doubts is a very real battle ground. It is not one I like to frequent and yet at times, it cannot be avoided. And though I knew I was not to blame for this person’s apparent pain, still, I had the responsibility to sort through the emotions these accusations brought up in me.
I did not want to feel hate, vengeance, or intimidation. Instead, I wanted to feel like my confident and cheery self again. And after two days, the truth finally dawned on me. I was not to blame for this person’s pain. But I had no power to change their mind about me. And if rumors about me spread, I could not control what others thought of me. All I could do was to continue to walk uprightly.
Why bother learning from dread? As much as I’d like to avoid fear, dread and false accusations, and as much as I’d like to ignore the emotions that surface in the wake of being dumped on, I can’t. Instead, such encounters are a cause to pause, and to examine Who and what I believe in and why. Thankfully, Indisputable Truth holds me up every time.