The holiday stress is kicking in for many of us. Im seeing it with most of my clients. We feel like we might-- or maybe are-- losing our minds. And many of us are opening up and/or cracking open completely. And the old ways of doing things are outdated. So much to do- family- expectations- traditions- prep- errands- stress- more expectations. And some of it just doesn’t fit! Sometimes we may just want to check out, hide or scream but we are supposed to be feeling “festive,” so we put do the best we can and go through the motions; which is not a sustainable way to go about life. We’ve all been there, but we’ll all break if we continue to be there….
I want to share something that I experienced two years ago, that seems even more relevant today... not to gratify myself but to hopefully help you soften into the holiday madness, and to be kind to people these next few weeks. It’s totally cool to want to punch people in the throat-- but we can’t really do that in today’s society. :)
So tonight I was running errands and driving through a parking lot. I had just learned about a very sick family member and the sad drama that was surrounding it. My heart was full, sending love and prayers, and being grateful for all the blessings I have worked for in my life.
In front of me, two cars were waiting for the same parking spot. As the one entered, the other turned abruptly in front of me. She then backed up, threw it in park and rolled down her window to yell at the other person. She was blocking all the traffic, had two kids in her car, and maybe thought that it was pretty important to get her point across, even after I honked twice. I scanned the scene and noticed a big cross hanging from her rear view mirror, lots of Cubs paraphernalia, and a lot of details about everyone around. (I'm a born triage person) I was a little unnerved by the whole situation, but luckily (for her and many others) I was in a top notch mood. I was in the space of knowing what was really important in my life and had been singing, dancing, and smiling at everyone most of the day.
Traffic wasn't moving, so knowing I should do something, I put my car in park and walked to the woman's window. I gave it a knock because she couldn't hear me over her loud yelling.
She rolled down her window and was completely going off to me about what had happened. I reeled in my Viking (that kind of wanted to punch her in the throat, I won't lie...) and somehow calmly placed my hand on her shoulder and said: "I'm sorry that happened. I understand...but I saw the cross hanging from your mirror and thought you might want to think about what you are doing. Maybe pray for some comfort?"
Yeah, she wasn't having it. She seemed pretty pissed. So I summoned my peacemaker so I didn't pull an "Osborn" and quote some major scripture, or tell her what a shit she was being, or that it was a freaking parking space, really?!, that she had kids in her car, or that she was the reason people didn't like Christians...instead all the work that I've been doing on judgment helped me to say, "I'm sorry you are upset, I hope you can pray and calm yourself down."
I walked back to my car, the woman in the other car looked at me and shrugged her shoulders. I gave her a smile and a thumbs up, she returned both to me. And the car moved forward. And I didn't feel my adrenaline surge, my judgement turn into action, or like I was going to kill someone.
Who knows why this woman was so freaked out...but I've been there. I've spent a lot of my life being pissed off, being burnt out, feeling like the world is out to get me, and/or in a hurry and not have time for peeps foolishness. And I realized that being pissed off at her reaction was just going to ruin my day, and I was having a beautiful day!
I didn't feel like it was my place to prove to her or teach her anything, but I felt it was my place to be empowered and share some love if I could.
So...I saw my Viking and moral code judgement lessening today, and for that I am happy. Instead, I felt compassion, sadness, and love for this woman, just I did for my family situation of drama that is painful for so many.
Nobody is right or wrong, in my opinion. Just different perspectives and sometimes hard and painful stories.
And sometimes we get stressed and forget who we are. The embodiment of God/Universe/perfection in action. We are all the same...
Sometimes I forget and get into the "us vs them"...sometimes I let "separation" win. But it isn't true. We aren't separate. From each other, from this world, from nature, from whatever your God is. It's all the same, man.
I'd like to remember what we tell our kids: when somebody is mean, it isn't about you. They hurt inside. Love them anyway. Love thy "enemies," because there are no enemies? They are you...we are all one. <3
Hug and/or forgive everyone. Especially the ones who are being shits....