Do you notice how some people can make the simplest things into a hot mess? You’re thinking of someone aren’t you? Perhaps it’s the woman in line in front of you at the store who looks shocked when the clerk asks for her credit card. This simple request is then followed by a few minutes of searching through a bag the size of Rhode Island that hasn’t been cleaned out since the Carter administration. Or, maybe you’re thinking of the time it takes your spouse or partner to decide where to go to dinner…or to even decide whether or not s/he even wants to go out to eat. Maddening, isn’t it?
My friend, Linda, and I were watching a scene like this one day during the boarding of an aircraft. We just stood there shaking our heads at the amount of time it took this man to find his seat, stow his bag, fold his coat and peruse the surrounding passengers. Linda is a former surgical nurse. She looked at me and said, “You know, it’s not brain surgery. I’ve seen brain surgery and this ain’t it.”
It might be ego-stroking to stick our noses up in the air at what we deem to be the ridiculous actions of others. We’re so much more together then they are. And, infinitely more superior than those minions less fortunate than us, aren’t we? Poor lambs.
I find that I can think those thoughts just long enough to fall flat on my pious face. Can you relate? When we find ourselves on the other side of the fence how do we react?
One way is to stay in our high-bustled judgment by finding someone else to blame. After all, we couldn’t have tripped up without someone having stuck his foot out in front of us, right? Riiiiiiight…..
The other way might be to admit we aren’t always as together as we might like to admit, that we don’t always plan ahead and that, as much as we wish it was true, we make mistakes. Hopefully these ego-bruising moments can also be a tool to have more compassion for others.
We will have the types of experiences that I described above. People, sometimes those closest to us, are going to irritate the heck out of us. Whether we chose to react out of frustration or act out of love is entirely up to us. The right choice should be clear, considering the very different outcomes we know will result from those two options. I mean, how difficult is this anyway? After all, it’s not brain surgery. Linda’s seen that and this ain’t it.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,