SENSE OF OFFENSE, SENSE OF DEFENSE
Who is sensitive and does not easily get offended? Who is sensitive and not readily become suspicious of what others really mean? Sensitivity gives us better capability and capacity to empathize and understand. But it also makes life harder when we put inappropriate meaning (and feeling!) to what another says or do. Or when we are over sensitive to the waiter and waitresses who we asked water from and haven’t given us water after three requests (Hugot na naman Ninang! “At the moment dear!!”)
I think I’m one of the more sensitive ones. Though most women are. It helps me feel and discern needs around me. Somehow I think it comes with being a wife and a mother–extraordinary sense. But focused on the wrong need it was built for, sensitivity will be an ordeal more than a tool for good.
A sense of offense comes when we are more sensitive to our needs than that of others. I’m not saying that we should ignore our needs. I say, we look after our needs (get your own water Ninang? “I was tempted!”) more than expect others to fill them. Don’t we get offended when others don’t respond in a way we want them? But Sensitivity is made for defense; at least the sensitivity of women. It is to defend our children when they have a hard time coping with the challenges of adolescence (and probably give them their need for space and self-actualization). It is not for us to be offended by a hint of their irritation when we ask them a question. It is to defend our husband from the pressures of providing for us (and give them a complement for a day of hardwork.) It is not to be offended when they miss noticing our haircut, or forget to hold our hands in the mall, or seemingly ignore our efforts putting our household in order. It is to defend our friends from their own weakness of giving sharp remarks (and make them feel accepted. I still love you friend!). It is not for us to be offended and harbor grudges.
A word, a look, a no-word, a no-look– most women are affected. We are sensitive. We have such a wealth of experience (joy and pain of wide spectrum), and emotions both repressed and expressed, that we can interpret the subtlest flutter of the eyelid (haughty eyes? Baka napuwing lang Ninang?), twitching of the lips (irritation? Kulang sa calcium Ninang?), the softest sound of a vowel (galit ka?), the most innocent of comments (oops!), and the absence of all of these (!) to be offensive. And this “sense of offense” becomes heightened at certain times of the month (PMS Ninang? 😋). We are gifted!
Like every gift, our sensitivity should be to defend those in need around us. Sometimes the offense that we feel may be the hostile remarks and the piercing looks these people have received in the past, or the frustration and disappointment they are currently confronted with or can’t get over in their lives (or Baka wala lang talaga Ninang! “Hmmmmm..”). Defend yourself from their “offense” (give them the benefit of the doubt!). Defend them from their heartaches (ignore! Or better yet, show kindness.). The faculties and abilities given us are meant for good. Channel your sensitivity for good. Your sense of offense can be your line of defense.. For you, your loved ones, and others. 😋 (I can feel you Ninang! 🤔😚🤗😋)
— Sensitive Ninang thoughts (Feel mo? Feel ko!)
“Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:23-27)
“Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you–
for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.” (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22)
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)
“Therefore, as Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)