A Recurring Theme

I have found that when I don’t learn a lesson the first time, it will come back around.  The second time it will be a little more potent and recognizable.  And if I still haven’t learned the lesson, it will nearly slap me in the face. 

This is what has been slapping in me in the face lately:

     People don’t always communicate with me the way I want and
     need them to.  They don’t always love me the way I want and 
     need them to. 

     I can attempt to educate them about how I would like to be 
     treated or I can choose to let their hurtful behavior fall away, 
     understanding that it’s really about them.

Up until this point, when I have had a really negative interaction with someone I have stewed about little barbs or things left unsaid, sometimes for days.

This facilitates the old comfortable victim mentality.  We all know how useless that mentality is.

Then there are the antagonists of forgiveness, resentment and fear.  I am well-acquainted with resentment.  It makes me feel justified in my actions when I'm unable to dig up the real reason behind my choices.  Fortunately, like victimhood, I can quickly recognize the danger of harboring resentment and find a way to let go of its lingering nastiness.

I can have a positive or a negative interpretation of something, but the situation will still have happened.  How I feel about it doesn’t change it.  It might allow me to feel some power and authority over my own emotions, but it does not change the thing itself.

Using lessons from The Four Agreements (a concise and powerful little book from the 90s):

I cannot know the all the reasons behind someone’s actions, and I shouldn’t assume I do.  I can simply choose my words and actions thoughtfully and do my best.

When all else fails, I try to remember that without that opposition, I may not have learned the things I did. 

Now I just need to wait for the next interaction that gives me a chance to practice this new behavior.

Several hours later...

Thank you grumpy lady in line at the neighborhood deli.  Your facial expression and sharp words reflect what's going on inside of you and I hope you find peace.

This is what I'm going to practice this week:

The key is to remain vulnerable enough to love wholly, and to deflect the pain that wasn't yours to begin with.

When a concept is too hard to grasp, drawing a picture has always helped my kids understand it and see it in their heads the way they need to.  Why not a "stick me" picture to help me visualize the way I want to be?

Drawing also inspired by Eilat Aviram's blog So You Think Parenting is About the Children?

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