To Forbear

03 December 2022


There is a space no longer than the blink of an eye, between event and reaction. It is there that all manner of sacred possibility resides.

The person on the end of the phone had just launched a bomb targeted at my inner peace. I gasped out loud. Words of retaliation marched to the tip of my tongue.

The clock in my small business office ticked seconds. My grasp on the receiver of the phone was anger tight and cradled so close that my ear hurt. Clenched muscles in my forearm and wrist propped up my forehead as tears swelled in my eyes. They blurred my view of the stack of client charts in front of me on the desk. A Tic-Tac mint sat next to the roller wheel of my desk chair. The soft light of the lamp failed to warm the freeze that numbed my bones.

I was about to say, “F*** you! How dare you!” when an inner voice guided me to forbear, to wait a split second before I unleashed a torrent of protest. I ducked under my psychological umbrella and let intolerant words beat against it, while I remained dry underneath.

“I can hear the pain in your voice,” I said, instead, to the caller. I was surprised by my own words! In a flash, the office space brightened and warmed. My inner landscape was still, a glassine river at sunrise. “Given what you’re going through, I imagine that you’re exhausted.”

A split second of forbearance was enough. Enough time for me to remember that hurt people hurt people and that free people free people. The former is a wisdom shared often by my husband, Bill Pettit, and the latter, a wisdom shared often by my late husband, Jim Pfeffer. Forbearance brokered a space to pivot.

The person on the end of the line burst into tears. Her sobs ended with an apology, “I’m so sorry I was mean to you,” she said. “I am so overwhelmed at what I’m dealing with.”

Forbearance widened the space for generosity of Spirit to step in and sweep aside personal thinking. And to inhabit and expand the pause with compassion and tenderness. Forbearance created a space of love. In a fragment of time, forbearance transformed a connection.

© Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D., 2022
Photo by Marc Kleen, courtesy of

#lindasandelpettit #advent #adventreflections #hope #love #beauty #grief #forgiveness #Christmaswisdom #spirituality

Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D. inspires intuitive-creative women healers to use their healing modalities, speaking voices, and written words to unfold and share the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine. Her podcast, The Intuitive Way of Love, debuts December 8th.

Linda offers sanctuaries, intimate small-group programs, to women healers who want to bring spirituality into their work, and to women writers who are ready to share, get feedback, revise, and publish.

Through her Apprentice’s Way individual all-in-one mentorship program, Linda encourages her clients’ spiritual evolution, psychological health, effective writing, messaging, marketing, and content creation.

Visit to learn more about her programs and array of masterclasses and courses.

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