My act of kindness this week was not killing anyone.
The difference between me and people who actually do kill people is I never actually think about snuffing out a life. This week I just wanted to defend myself, in an angry tone, with a strongly worded text, and I didn’t. I listened and realized the attack wasn’t about me, it was about them, and in that moment of clarity, I calmed down.
A couple of difficult people passed through my life this week and made me question the future of humanity. I’m a theater teacher and I direct musicals for younger kids during the summer. Shockingly, there are stage parents who believe their child is the most talented kid in any room! This was my first time dealing with such vehement aggression on this topic. Not everyone was born to play Annie…if you are 14, 5’10”, or a male with your voice changing who can’t be heard 5 feet away, I probably will not cast you as the tiny orphan Annie. Especially if there is an 11-year-old with a Broadway belt available. Sigh. It’s over now and I am proud to say, in this particular instance, that I was patient. Not so much on the drive home, so by the time I got home it was time to retreat from reality.
One of my fave comfort movies is You’ve Got Mail. I rented it and retreated to the couch, applied a dog and a cat on feet and tummy and disappeared until this scene ↓virtually jumped out at me. Pretty sure this captures both sides of most difficult encounters.
Are you Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan when confronted by someone who belittles your existence? Do you become tongue-tied OR do you say the thing you most want to say only to be filled with remorse the second after you’ve said it? I am both and I’d love to hear from you how you handle challenging individuals. Seriously.
It seems there’s always someone, or something, trying to steal my joy. I’m a flawed human being. I’m reckless and clumsy so I’m almost always in pain which depresses me and makes being open and friendly just that much more challenging. But,I am determined to change the world one smile at a time, even if it kills me. We are all flawed humans surrounded by other flawed humans, thus making trying to change the world most likely, impossible.
I honestly do love to smile and to sincerely ask store clerks how they’re doing, to find the humor in every situation, to look into a student’s eyes to see what’s really going on under the surface, but it needs to be said, that sometimes I fail.
Here’s how I manage to leave my house, my tormented brain and body, and attempt to be a bright spot to those around me:
♥ I choose to believe everyone is doing their best, including me, knowing it isn’t always the case. We all get tired and frustrated and want to lash out.
We all seem to have an element of fear lurking just under the surface now in our country, and well, the world, which makes us careful and suspicious and is exhausting.
♥ It is vitally important to stop to play every day. I learned this from my father and it has sincerely saved my life more than once.
♥ Ideas for playing:
A quick game on your phone. Candy Crush and Tetris work for me. It turns out there is scientific proof games that include dropping columns help release anxiety and PTSD. Tetris and Trauma
A funny cat video: in fact, start your day with a funny cat video and everything else immediately becomes a lighter burden, maybe even burden-less. Sail Cat (no cats were harmed during this filming. WATCH THE EARS!) I laugh every single time I watch this.
Call and speak out loud to a friend you love.
Thank God for giving us a sense of what’s funny and the ability to laugh at our predicaments.
“I believe laughter is a sacred sound to God. It let’s Him know we are enjoying being His creation.” Tim Hansell
DANCE BREAK! Ask Alexa to play your favorite song and bust a move. This is my favorite personal coping mechanism and it works like magic.
That’s it for now. Hope this helps diffuse even one icky interaction.