June 15, 2006

It is often not about you

I know I am behind on my music posts, but this has been an interesting week. Monday started out a bit rough. Mostly misunderstandings and miscommunications. I am often reminded of how common it is that what feels like a personal attack is often a reflection of someone else's anxiety. That was certainly the case on Monday. The oddest damn things said. Had I responded to them as if they were about me, it would have been horrible.

I know more to not take those things personally. Today, something similar happened. A grandmother in yoga started talking about those poor people who "don't have kids." I kept quiet--understanding it was about her. She certainly meant no insult. I know that as well as I know anything. I still felt it.

Tonight, I went to my neighbors to say hi. Their 100 pound lab--a dog almost as close to me as my own--barrelled into me, knocking me around like a rag doll. A few bruises and scrapes are all. But what a perfect example. That dog wouldn't hurt me if it meant survival. This dog is as sweet as they come. He couldn't possibly intend to cause me harm. I know that as well as I know anything.

It feels like that is a lot of my struggle. Hurts inflicted that are no more intended that my dog friend. The bruises and scrapes are real--no doubt. But the intent is a big issue.

I constantly strive to not take offense in situations like this morning. Sometimes it is hard. Maybe it takes a 100 pound dog to remind me.

Now, where is that Ibuprofen?


Anonymous said...

Most people are so involved in their own minds and problems that they fail to recognize how their behavior affects those around them. Your story of the nice grandmother carrying on about her grandkids, reminded me of a time about 10 years ago in my own life when I did a similar thing. I had been in a women’s bible study group (progressive Christian) where everyone had gotten pretty close and began sharing feelings and trusting one another. At some point the issue of infertility was raised, and I shared my painful experience of trying for years to get pregnant. I prayed so much during those years, most especially in the last year. When I finally got pregnant, I wanted to believe that this prayer had some how made a difference. I wanted to believe that God had listened to me. So I told the women that I believed my prayers had been answered. One of the older ladies said, “So what does that mean for the other women, the ones who still haven’t gotten pregnant? Do you really think God answered your prayers and not theirs?” In that moment, this older woman just woke me up. Although it was rather embarrassing for me, I sudden realized how my comments were hurtful. What if one of the other women was struggling to get pregnant? What if one of the old ladies had never been able to have kids? I was so self-absorbed I had failed to notice. I realized in that moment that praying for outcomes made very little sense. Since that time I’ve prayed for strength to get through what life sends my way. The old lady did me a huge favor that day, she opened my mind. I began to realize that all these interactions I was having with people, where I was getting my feelings hurt, or getting really mad at them, had absolutely nothing to do with me. Most people are just walking around spewing out all the garbage that is spinning around inside of their heads. I still do it myself, but I fight it all the time. I also began to understand that when my feelings got hurt by the random blabbing of others, that this was an opportunity to discover what was really going on in my own mind. Your blog is awesome Streak, keep it up.

Streak said...

One of the nicest comments here. thank you.