There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

(3 years old me)

(My mom and I (2016))

Believe it or not my mom used to say this all the time when I was a girl. Whenever she had something to do but wanted to change the way she did it, she’d say there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I found the meaning of this saying to be true. There is always more than one way to do anything. Although the saying is a visual nightmare, I thank God for her because we really learned how to deal with situations without compromising our integrity.

We’ve all been in situations with family or friends who hurt us. Some retaliate by doing the worst thing possible because we listen to our anger instead of our heart. I just went through a situation with a family member where I actually did this. If you knew what happened, you wouldn’t blame me for my first reaction. But that is not the point of the post. I can’t say I believe my response was wrong but it may have been harsher than necessary for the offense. After a week or so and praying about the situation, I could hear my mom’s saying there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Then I knew what to do. I took a different approach to the situation and got some shadowed results. I say shadow because I have to wait for the results of my decision. I have to see if it will work out in my favor. I thought about it and realized I should’ve tried this first and then if no results did something else.

My point of telling this experience is not to air family dirty laundry, but to show that we have to think about the consequences of the decisions we make every day. Whether good or bad, we should wait until the initial anger subsides before retaliating. I know that’s easier said than done, especially since I’m preaching to the choir (myself). But change is only possible if you make it for yourself. No one can change another person regardless of how much they try. Harsh consequences for bad decisions is not always the way to go when family and friends are involved. We may do something we can’t undo. I’m glad my decision was not permanent and did not affect anyone’s life negatively before I changed my mind. I’m grateful to the support I received but next time I’m going to take my own advice and pray first, calm down, take some time, and then make a decision when I’m hurt.

I have this quirk about myself where I can’t hold grudges. I’m still upset and will be for a while because I felt betrayed and was shocked that this even happened. But I don’t hold ill will toward the person. In fact, I really wish them the best and hope they change their ways and become the great person I thought they were in my mind. I hope they are able to see who’s really there for them and separate themselves from bad influences. My love will never change regardless of what they do. That’s just who I am.

It seems that I get hurt for looking for the best in people. I’ve had so much bad happen to me this year and now this, that I told myself I’m not doing that anymore. But I think the point of getting through bad things is to not let them change the good in you. People will try you and life will try you but before you step out of character to deal with it, remember that usually, your first plan of the attack immediately after an incident is not the right one. Take some time. Think and pray. Then remember what I told you that my momma always says that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Then choose the wisest way to deal with the person, not the most hurtful. I hope this helps someone in conflict who’s broken hearted and kind to remain kind.

Written by: Valerie Furr-Collins
(cc, October 19, 2018)

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