Accept my gift of love.


Dear Therese,

Recently someone I know sent me a really nasty e-mail out of the blue.  I admit I don’t know this person well, but it still came as quite a shock and surprised me at how much I am upset by this.  Should I write back?  If I do, what should I say?


Dear Surprised,

I don’t think it is going to come as any surprise that I am going to ask you to look at yourself in this situation.  Not because I think you have done anything to cause this particular situation, mind you, but to simply ask yourself what in this situation is your moment of growth.  Is this type of thing a usual trigger?  Does someone being upset with you usually cause you to be unusually effected?  Why do you worry so because this person was “mean” to you?  I am sure you can come up with others to ask yourself!

I ask these questions because what you are experiencing is actually quite normal.  What isn’t normal these days is to stop and understand that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, it matters how you accept what they say, and how you choose to feel and be in the aftermath of the words.  The children’s nursery rhyme had it right…sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me!

I heard a little story (paraphrasing here, of course) that tells of the Buddha teaching the wife of a wealthy man.  Her husband noticed that his wife had changed, and he did not like the change, so he found the Buddha and approached him in anger.  The Buddha simply held up his hand and said, “I do not accept your gift of anger.  Accept, instead, my gift of love.”  And walked away, leaving the man standing silent, not knowing what to say.


“Start telling the truth now and never stop. Begin by telling the truth to yourself about yourself. Then tell the truth to yourself about someone else. Then tell the truth about yourself to another. Then tell the truth about another to that other. Finally, tell the truth to everyone about everything. These are the 5 levels of truth telling. This is the five-fold path to freedom.” ~Neale Donald Walsch


Surprised, what would happen if you gave a response that told her, even though gently, how you felt when she used those hurtful words?  Not what you thought about them, but how you felt.  Would that harm, or example how to appropriately communicate?   I would suggest you respond with your gift of love.

I don’t know if you will see an instant change in the situation, although you may, but I do know that responding to her from the space of anger will not change anything.  Share the truth about your feelings, expecting nothing but the ability to share as your reward for doing so.  Plant the seed of example.  Then let the universe handle how and when it will grow.


(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of the global website at, which offers spiritual assistance from a team of Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less, and offers insight, suggestions, and companionship during moments of unbidden, unexpected, unwelcome change on the journey of life. She may be contacted at

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