Welcome back! Last week, we talked about what sprays between us when we speak. If you missed this blog I urge you to catch up by clicking HERE.
This week we will get a little personal. David and I lost two people we cared greatly about within a 12 hour period. One from a long illness, the other in their sleep.
Walking through the world after a loss is surreal. You don’t feel connected to anyone or anything. The world feels like it’s going too fast for you to catch up and you can literally walk through the store with tears streaming down your face and nobody even notices (unless you’re ugly crying and then maybe). You feel invisible and alone in your grief and pain.
Lately, people have seemed to be on edge. Rude, even. I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day, and a lady came up short one dollar on her tab. She turned red and said, “I’ll have to run to my car and look for change”. I literally heard the person behind me give out an exaggerated sigh with a “are you kidding me lady?” at the end. I stopped her and said, “Hey…you know what, just put your bill on mine. I’ve got this”. She looked shocked, then she cried. The checker asked me (after she left) if I “was really a nice person or just wanted to get through the line”. How incredibly sad is that?
I have no idea what her story was and I don’t care. She was in distress. She was red in the face, embarrassed, and rushed. Nothing else matters. Why do we need reasons? Why do we need to know the story? Why does paying her bill make me either selfish or a good person? Some would say I was “scammed”. If she was “scamming” me for a dollar then I’m just thankful I’ve never been so desperate as to have to do such a thing in my life.
Life in 2021 is not easy. For any of us. We are all facing issues on top of normal life issues. Going to the store isn’t just going to the store. It’s passing person after person who is walking wounded.
Death of someone close
Mortgage is late
Checking account is overdrawn
Not enough gas to get to work tomorrow
The unemployment check is late and the child support check is never coming
Pet was just euthanized
Living with domestic violence
Child is ill
Loved one is deployed
A single parent struggling to make ends meet
A new mother trying to breastfeed and getting little sleep
Daycare is too expensive
Having to choose between cough syrup and food
Loss of housing
The vehicle is close to dying
Small business is failing
Being bullied at school/work/online
Failing in school/college
Dealing with poor health/loss of use of the body
Being misunderstood in a relationship
Living with an unseen disability/seen disability
Parents worrying about their depressed child
Estrangement from someone you love
Loved one on hospice
All these things and so much more, are what you are passing by as you shop. “Not my problem,” you say? Let’s explore that line of thinking for a minute or two.
We are all connected in one way or another. When you hurt someone else, you are actually hurting yourself. We live collectively, not in isolation, and the ripples of energy that form from each and every interaction are what you absorb as you go about your daily business. It’s inescapable.
The quicksand you step into will also swallow those you grab onto as you sink. Your anger, fear, and sadness have a direct effect and impact on those around you, be it the ones you love or the victims you choose at the store. Your children also pay a heavy price for your attitude of isolation and selfishness.
A child watches their parents speed on a curvy country road, passing on the solid yellows, cursing the “slow” drivers as they pass them on a curve. That child grows up and takes this training into their life with them, standing in line at the grocery store and saying things like, “are you kidding me lady?” because someone is short a dollar. Always in a hurry, never feeling compassion for others.
The child’s relationships fail, one after the other. They can’t hold down a job, and they start drinking to combat their failures, blaming everyone else for their own lack of awareness. You taught them that when you could have taught them to have patience; to explore reasons that car may be going a bit slower than the others (new driver, elder heart, illness, fear of curvy roads). You could have given them tools to put into their backpack of life, but instead, you taught them how to fail.
Recognizing our desire to be rude or hurt others isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. It takes self-awareness and being able to take an inventory of one’s behaviors and belief systems. If you walk around thinking that what other people are doing is more important than what you are doing, then I would venture to bet your life is off track. As my dad would have said, “worry about yourself”. Worry about how YOU behave, not them. Worry about how YOU are responding to them, not the other way around.
And if you can’t help them. At least don’t hurt them. Pretty simple. We are all facing some type of stress in our lives, be it the good stress or the bad stress. Walk softly. Be gentle. Be kind. Be aware, but most of all, be a person who builds others up and encourages the ability of your neighbors to make it through this mess we call life.
There you have it, Dear Readers. You can do it. I have faith in you.
Have a fantastic week, and we will meet here again next Wednesday to share another Cup of Coffee.
Editors note: This blog is not a replacement for sound medical advice, and many diseases, disorders, and syndromes have symptoms that overlap. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose you. That said, if you think this blog may be helpful to others, please hit the Facebook Icon and share it on your personal pages. Thank you for reading us, we really do appreciate you!