Saturday, September 26, 2009

Within Me

"I'm going to have a stupendous, wonderful, incredible day!"

We're standing in line at the checkout counter as he tells me this and I look at him while thinking a rather sarcastic, "I'm happy for you."
There have been wind warnings for days now
and windy weather makes my lungs hurt.
My shoulders haven't stopped throbbing for 48 hours and my fatigue level is off the charts. I cannot seem to muster a good attitude, or gain perspective, I simply want to sleep.

He'd asked me earlier how I was and when I replied that I was tired, it was windy out there, but otherwise okay, he had countered with, "It's a beautiful day outside."

I look outside at the 50km/hr wind gusts and think rah, rah, rah.

I paid for my purchases and we parted ways.
I sat in my car feeling irritable as hell.
I watched him walk to his vehicle and get on with his stupendous day.
In all the time I have known him
we have yet to have a conversation
where I felt like we related
as one human being to another.

I put my car in gear and get on with my day.
This time, as I'm heading into the next store,
I see someone who is dear to my heart,
who has been pivotal in my journey.
Someone I believed who was placed in my path
several years ago by God, for my good.
I haven't seen him in nearly six months.

We ducked out of the wind and chatted. I told him about my summer, the stress, the emotional pain, the incredible opportunity for growth and change. He looked at me and said warmly, "It's exciting, isn't it?" His question caught me off guard and I stopped to think about it. I told him I would never willingly sign up for that kind of pain again
and I was continually humbled by the opportunities presented to me for growth.
Tears threatened to overflow as gratitude washed over me.

As we parted ways I told him that on a day like today, when it was so windy, I was grateful for warm house to go home to. He kind of harrumphed at me and I had to chuckle at how my irritation had faded.

Next stop was my home group AA meeting.
Just before the meeting started,
another group member came in.
He took one look at me and said,
"I'm going to give you a hug."
I told him I was really tired
and he told me with a measure of compassion
that the tiredness would pass.
It was comforting to be treated
with kindness.

Three different encounters,
two felt life giving and one soul sucking.
Although it hasn't escaped my notice
that's the second time in less than 10 days
where someone's happy, happy outlook
has gotten under my skin.
Oh, don't you just love it when you realize once again,
that the problem lies within you, not within them?!

Here's hoping I wake up rested and pain free tomorrow.


Steve E. said...

Me, too--I mean I also hope you wake up fully rested and possibly that the winds have receded.

When I read your blogs I am so much more cognizant of my own breathing. How difficult it must be to have that curtailed, how ever much or little. I think of you often, and others--who I've met either through you or Big Jenn.

We pray for you Hope.

Black Pete said...

May I say, yes and no, to your last statement about people with a happy attitude getting under your skin and how it's all "in yourself". I do that, too; get irritated. But I have identified one key difference between how I respond to the one and the other, and that is: credibility, in a word.

In other words, someone who really, in my view (and of course that's subjective!) hasn't really been down the road of pain and who comes across as a positivist--smile, smile, smile, etc; this one gets under my skin. But one who i know has truly "been there", or arguably a lot worse than i have been, can say the same thing--and I won't bristle. Why? They've earned the right to say it.

I don't have to agree with them on a given day, but they're authentic, where the other person is not. If, down the road, i discover that the first, irritating type has in fact earned that right, then I'll change my mind. That's happened, sometimes, too.

Note, Hopester, that the two who spoke the words that you accepted are fellow travelers, people who you know have "been there", and who have earned the right to be blunt with you, and cheer you on. It doesn't look like you have established that relationship as yet with the first person you encountered. It might happen someday, and it might never.

Black Pete said...

Oh, and may I add that the telling phrase "with compassion" adds another difference between the two types of people: the presence or absence of compassion tells you where they are coming from. Pollyannas have none; neither are they empathetic.

Tall Kay said...

Life is so much more difficult when we're sick and tired. I hope you got lots of rest and today the winds have stopped. A good nights sleep can seem to solve so many things!

enchantedoak said...

iT TOOK MY bumbled brain 10 minutes to find your comments section, so all the wise words hve flown. Don't let the turkeys down, my dad used to say. Those who reach out to you are the real people; the rest are aliens.

enchantedoak said...

I left out an important word on my dad's words of wisdom:
Don't let the turkeys GET you down.

Marsha said...

I've been horribly tired lately myself.

Ellie said...

Oh, do I relate to this. I had a similar encounter with someone last week, when it was cold and rainy and I was in a negative mental space... all I wanted was, I dunno, a little sympathy? He was going on and on about how the rain helps mother earth grow, etc. - and I'm thinking 'blah, blah, blah'... and then I get frustrated because I know it's me, not him.

I'm sorry you're not feeling well - sending you prayers that you feel better soon.

Daisy said...

BP said it well. There's a reason some of the Little Mary Sunshines get under our skin. And then, eventually, God gives me a little shove and I remember how I must have been a royal pain in the *ss at least a couple of times in my life with my own Pollyanna attitude. But, in the meantime, I know what you mean. ;)