I was mad about something this week, for sure, or maybe I was angry at someone? It could have easily been both, but how much of that anger is my own fault? When dealing with anger, we have two options: to proceed in anger or to reconcile by privately pointing out the offense to the perceived offender.
Interestingly enough, most of us would instead choose to proceed in anger, disrupting our own peace rather than confronting our offender/s with our perception of their offense and giving ourselves and the potential wrong-doer the opportunity to set matters straight.
Or it is concluding that this is not a situation that will result in the common ground required to recognize the differences of opinion and reconcile them. At least in this encounter, we can leave knowing we attempted to address the situation lovingly. What more should we ask of ourselves than to love one another. Not all relationships are meant to last, but that doesn’t mean we can’t love at a distance.
The best is when something occurs that sets me off instantly, regardless of whether or not I do the exact same thing, and the end result being that person is just as offended as I am as it’s happening to me. So silly, for example, cars pulling into the crosswalk as drivers attempt to make a right on red while ignoring the pedestrians trying to arrive at their beer safely.
Wife ordered me a Pint Whacker, a Brewery X staple IPA. It was awaiting my arrival, and the head would soon dissipate as I lied about my departing the house 5min ago. In reality, I was enjoying watching our animals bask in the Saturday afternoon sun.
Crosswalks are always fun, especially when I’m walking alone. As I cross the street, I have the strangest urge to look through every vehicle’s windshield and wait for the passengers to see me seeing them. In my head, I’m affirming to myself that the passengers of these vehicles know I mean business. You know, as I cross the street prepared for a battle to break out at a moment’s notice like most normal people do when they cross the street.
Behold, an intruder, she’s encroached in my lane. Well, strange woman in a grey 90’s VW Jetta, you’ve met your match. Prepare for battle. In a split second, she went all out in her attempts to disarm me. Without hesitation, she went for it all. Holding nothing back, she unleashes her special weapon, a smile.
The smile, simple yet highly effective. She, with perfect precision, tilted her head forward in shame, momentarily resting her forehead on the steering wheel before glancing back at me to mouth the words, “I’m sorry.”
She was laying it on thick, this one. I was mortally wounded by her kindness and can’t even remember which weapon I was reaching for before being struck with her precise blow. Instead, I could only smile in return and wave the whole thing off by mouthing back, it’s ok. She had a male passenger to her right who patted her on the back and joined in on the laughs and intolerable politeness. So I moved my anger his way in an attempt to justify his back rub. Clearly, he wanted something in return.
Have I told you all I’m flawed? Well, I am, work in progress.
But seriously, how easy was that. Sometimes we choose to navigate this life believing that some people only want the worst for us. They did that on purpose, only to hurt me. Grey VW lady pulled into that crosswalk because she wanted to ensure I knew that Black people aren’t welcome in the crossing walks of Dana Point, Ca. Grey VW lady pulled into that crosswalk because she knew I left the house 5min after I said I would, so I’m deserving of this cruel punishment of navigating the final 15ft to beerdom.
I wasn’t even having a bad day, but imagine if I had been and how much harder it would be to refrain from seeing the worst in others. Or worse, seeing the worst in the people closest to me, who love me the most.
That morning started like most of our Saturdays. I awoke to a near-perfect 65 deg summer morning, sun striping our bed and faces through the plantation shutters that escape to the patio. Wife and I have found that starting a Saturday morning with the free, generous, and reciprocal blessing of sex in our marriage is always a good idea. Did I mention it’s always a good idea? Because it’s true, in our lives.
I then made a cup of coffee and turned a few pages in my recent book endeavor. I followed up my reading with a jog around the golf course overlooking a beautiful Strands beach coastline. I showered and kissed my wife as we part to have her annual birthday lunch with a friend and me to lunch with a young man to discuss his potential future in the military.
What a morning, and to think, I almost shut it down, and it was barely noon.