It’s Not You, It’s Me

"Mom, you never say what I want to hear!"
“Mom, you never say what I want to hear!”

 

Last night, my daughter got frustrated with me (read: stomped off with a huff and slammed her bedroom door). The reason? I wasn’t giving her the answer she wanted.

She started by sharing with me some frustrations about a friend’s behavior. I totally understood where she was coming from and I knew that at her age, I would have responded the same way.

So I listened for a while, and I acknowledged her feelings and expressed that I could relate.

But that wasn’t enough. She needed to vent. A lot. And it kept going. And then I was frustrated.

Like, said and done, right? Why do we have to keep repeating?

Listen, I know sometimes I’m like that and my husband gets equally frustrated with me going on and on until I feel I’ve made my point and been heard well. And so now I see how agonizing it is to have to stay mired in a topic way longer than necessary.

But more than that, what I expressed to my lovely girl was that while yes, her friend’s behavior was annoying and misplaced, perhaps my daughter needed to try to show some compassion to her friend.

Why was she feeling threatened enough to be bossy? Understand with love that she was reacting to her own discomfort and while it wasn’t nice to be on the receiving end, she didn’t mean to be mean. She meant to show how hurt she was at feeling left out.

I know this is hard to follow without the gory details but the details are not the point. The point is this: when we get frustrated with others (their behavior, their statements, their decisions), it really isn’t about them.

It’s us.

Me.

Looking-for-solution-000058328040_LargeMy reaction is my own stuff.

Everyone else is entitled to do, say, and be however they feel is best for them. Said and done. Having nothing to do with us.

That’s the truth and we have to start looking it straight in the face.

I don’t have to be friends with people who annoy me. I also don’t have to be annoyed.

It takes practice and mastery, but it IS possible to not be bothered by another.

By anyone.

Really.

No, I couldn’t have seen it when I was in 7th grade, so I don’t really expect my daughter to see it. But wouldn’t it be great if we could learn younger and younger to leave other people in their own cloud of needs and stay strong and happy regardless of what someone else does or says?

If I could have learned how to steel myself and not react or be affected by others when I was very young, my life would have flowed so differently.

All the years I clung to my own insecurities and hurt feelings – why?

So unnecessary.

Sometimes, I sit in my home office and I am here ALL DAY LONG. I may go out for a run, leaf through the mail, take the cucumber peels to the compost pile in my yard.

Truth is always present in nature. That's where we need to go when things start spiraling out of control.
Truth is always present in nature. That’s where we need to go when things start spiraling out of control.

But as the day continues and I am stuck with myself in these familiar walls, the stories start to spin. Stories that include worries and anxieties, fears and unspoken issues. All because I am there by myself, not seeing the world as it is.

If I go outside and take a brisk walk in the cool air, or ride my bike up and down my familiar streets, everything looks different. I see the world as it really is. I calm down. I understand that I am here to effect change, to make a difference, to LOVE.

That is all, start to finish.

Money is an exchange of energy. Work is an exchange of energy and love. Relationships are REFLECTIONS of our souls, opportunities to GIVE.

Selfishness is a waste of time and grudges are baggage not worth carrying from moment to moment.

That’s the TRUTH. That’s all. And we all know it deep inside.

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