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Are You Offended?

Everyday of our lives we are presented with choices: what we will eat, where we work, what clothes we will wear, what we will make for dinner. Although it may not seem like it, whether or not we get offended is a choice as well.

Offense defined is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.

The key word here is "perceived". My perceptions are everything. I can perceive what I want to perceive, I can choose to believe what I want to believe.

If I am often finding myself offended, I am probably only viewing the world through pretty narrow lenses. I am probably, unconsciously, not taking into consideration what may or may not be happening with the other person or situation I am offended by.

Part of letting go of unforgiveness and resentment, is learning how not to take offense.

If someone hurts me, annoys me or tries me in some way, the question to ask is: What about me allows this person to hurt, offend or annoy me? Why do I allow my peace to be stolen? Why do I allow myself to stay in a situation where I am consistently hurt? What are my perceptions, values, judgments, beliefs that created the offense. Am I taking into consideration that the other person is also suffering, struggling and doing the best they can?

Maybe my perception of the situation has not considered all of the facts, maybe I am not looking at the whole picture, maybe there is more to the story then I know. May be my perceptions, or my level of consciousness needs to be heightened and expanded.

Initial evaluations are often reactions. Reactions are an initial response to a stimulus. Often we are not even sure what the stimulus is that we are reacting to. Our reaction may be connected to a past event that caused us pain and we are unaware that we have not healed in that area.

Taking the time to understand where and what our reactions are about can significantly decrease resentment and offense. We can begin to ask ourselves: "Do I need to take this personally, is this really about me?" If you take the time to understand your reactions to offense and what it my be about for you, you will be better equipped to let go of resentment and keep your peace in the future.

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