Have you ever had one of those times when you wished you could have a do-over? When it would be nice if you could hit “rewind” and change how you responded to something or someone?

I’ve had one of those recently. An action I did in good humor was the wrong thing at the wrong time–although I had done it before with this individual, there were some stresses I was not aware of at the time, and it ended up not being taken well. Well, honestly…the individual felt I embarrassed both him and some friends, and it’s created a rift.

I’m hoping that eventually I can build bridges, but right now it’s too soon. I’ve asked a mutual friend to share my distress at having hurt this person…and at the moment that’s all I can do.

I think that because we’re human we’re all going to have times we wish we could have a do-over. It’s not because we’ve set out to intentionally hurt someone, but sometimes our actions and the stresses in someone else’s life collide (or vice versa).

So how to react to those times?

I’ll have to admit that I’ve been struggling a bit with that. I’m aware that I just ended up being the “trigger person” in this situation–the explosion was building and it was going to happen sooner or later. I just didn’t want to be the trigger. If I had done it intentionally, that would be one thing–but I didn’t. So am I going to let it eat at me? beat myself over the head about it? In the past, I probably would have. But that doesn’t help anybody…

All I can do is express my regret and hope that eventually there will be forgiveness…and allow the situation to be a learning experience, a reminder that I need to think a little more about how my actions might be taken.

And if I’m on the receiving end–and that does happen–I hope to give another the benefit of the doubt and give them the grace and forgiveness I would like for myself.