I put on a pair of sneakers today.  I haven’t worn them in a long time, because, quite frankly, they stank.  I wore them a couple times without socks and, whew, I had to hide them out of smelling distance for a good long time.  But I noticed today that when I put them on, they smelled like sneakers, rubbery and leathery, not rank foot-odor-ee.

And it made me think about life.  Sometimes, I mess up big time.  I say that wrong thing at just the wrong time.  I try to be funny and hurt someone’s feelings.  I make a choice that limits my path.  And it stinks.  I stink.

But, here’s the cool thing:  After a while, the odor fades.  Sure you closed off the road that you thought led to paradise, but, look around.  This place isn’t so bad, is it?  Sure, you hurt your friend’s feelings, but hasn’t time and apology and working on doing better covered that smell with the sweet smell of forgiveness and the earthy smell of deeper roots?

Now, I’m not advocating that you keep doing the thing that stinks and just get used to the smell.  I’m saying replace that smelly habit with something more pleasant and then wait for the smell to fade.  And if you have people in your life who are still acting like you have a bad odor even after you’ve gotten rid of it, well maybe they’re a bad habit that needs to be replaced as well.