The other day, I was talking with my wife. Someone came up, and we were talking about how this person can sometimes be tough to deal with. I said, “Sometimes loving them feels like trying to hug a porcupine.”
Ivy responded characteristically by saying, “Porcupines need love too.”
It’s easy to get caught up when someone is being frustrating. The natural tendency is to respond in kind, with a guarded attitude and harsh words. In these instances, though, it is important to stop and think. We need to respond appropriately instead of reacting instinctively.
This porcupine is a real person with real feelings; even if they aren’t being reasonable, we need to treat them with kindness.
We’re called to love people, not just love the people who are easy to love all the time.
The truth is, we’re all porcupines sometimes. I certainly know I am. My wife is too humble to tell you so, but she is good at loving me when I’m a porcupine. I think it is because she understands instinctively what it takes many years to realize; those who need love the most act out in the most unloving ways.
So next time someone frustrates you, remember to love them. Porcupines need love too.
How do you love the frustrating people in your life?
Image courtesy of Marie Hale.