A woman crowed at me today, after I rang up her groceries.
What was going through my mind? Ohhh a myriad of things…
I have a frigging college degree don’t speak to me like that! … Don’t speak to ANY human being like that! … You want me to THANK YOU for being rude to me for the past five minutes? … I’m starting my own business and you probably just look at me like I’m some high schooler here to serve you… What on earth could have happened to you to make you this way … Compassion … HAG …
Save for the last one, most of the smattering of thoughts were somewhat productive in their own right. The jumble of thoughts led me to reply very simply, “You’re being a little rude to me…”
Just as she squawked, “No I’m not,” the woman behind her said, “A little??”
Ah, decent humanity coming to my aide.
I decided then and there that I’m going to continue standing up for myself, and stand up for myself more often. Just because I’m currently in a line of work where “the customer is always right,” does not give anyone the right to treat or speak to me like I’m a frigging minion. Heck no, H2O.
I realized in retrospect that the old Sara would have blinked and probably apologized. Instead, though, I just looked at the woman straight on. My mouth stayed shut. Her fit ensued. I wasn’t glaring at her but simply watching her. Marveling at how a person could be so unhappy that they go out into the world bent on taking out their misery on unsuspecting strangers. When it finally came time for me to say something, I was pleased that it wasn’t an apology that I uttered. It all happened so fast that I couldn’t have articulated a planned reply, but I’m grateful that what I did manage to say was not only the truth, but it was in defense of myself. Woo! Self pat on the back.
I think it’s so important that we only apologize if we’re truly sorry for something. I say that all the time and I believe it. But it’s hard. We’re conditioned to be apologetic. While knowing how and when to apologize is essential to being a polite and caring human being, being faithful to one’s own Truth is just as essential. I’m calling for us all to hone in on what that divine Truth is and what it means to speak only truthful words. It’s harder than it sounds. But when it happens, it feels miraculous and it fuels the fire of Truth within.
Speaking of miracles, the other day something miraculous happened. Well, miraculous for me, at least.
I left for work. It was a Saturday, so I knew there’d be less traffic and I’d be on time or even early. But as I merged onto the freeway and peaked the first little hill, I saw traffic was at a standstill. I was plugged into my headphones leaving my mom a voice message when I saw the traffic and my sentence was mutilated with, “What the ———,” there’s not supposed to be traffic on a Saturday! My phone jingled in my lap. A text message. An alert from my traffic app (which had given me the green light, all’s clear signal upon checking it all morning and again just as I was leaving) letting me know that a tractor had overturned blocking all four lanes of traffic. Um, yeah, I see that.
After a subdued eye roll at the belatedness of my technology (first world problems?), my mind immediately scrolled through the facts of the situation:
- I was going to be late.
- I’m not supposed to be late because I surpassed the number of overlooked tardies in a fixed amount of time and need to go three months without accumulating three more tardies (side note: I was never ONCE late until I moved in March. I guess one doesn’t have reason to be late when one lives walking distance from work, but still. Freeway commuting…I have nothing nice to say about it so I will move on).
- I’d already used up one tardy with the bloody thumb incident, so this would be number two.
- If I ended up with a warning, then I ended up with a warning. “It is what it is.” This was out of my hands.
- I had a great podcast on my iPhone I was excited about.
You want to know what happened next? I made a decision. I made a decision not to stress. It was as simple as that, really. I just…decided not to engage in the stress-fest that typically ensues upon the discovery of unexpected traffic. I called work, calmly, and then I plugged back into my podcast and took a deep breath.
I told you it was miraculous!
I didn’t focus on not stressing, it wasn’t even all that purposeful. I just…didn’t. I thought to myself if I’m late I’m late, there’s nothing I can do about it. Whatever happens will happen.
THEN you know what happened? Apparently the tractor (which looked more like a tiny little Amish contraption upon driving by the wreckage) was moved to the side of the freeway and, vroom, traffic was free flowing like any Saturday morning commuter would expect.
And I got to work on time. Albeit with a little jog…
So that’s what can happen when you resign to fate and simply go with the flow? Rather than fighting the rapids, thrashing against the current, refusing to surrender to what is and clinging to what should be. “Should” is a word that has no place in our vocabulary. A man I know once said that to me. He’s a therapist and fellow homeopathy nerd. “The words ‘should’ and ‘ought’ have no place in our lives,” he said. I cocked my head to the side. I realized then that he was right. If we spoke without should’s and ought’s, what would life be like? What would our mindset be like?
I should do that. I should not go there. I should but I don’t want to. I ought not eat this. You ought to go to work.
We could do and not do all of those things without the should’s and ought’s. Easily. All they do is add an element of “I’m not doing it well enough,” to the picture. It’s unnecessary! I haven’t fully cut these words from my vocabulary, just yet, but it’s been on my mind for the past year.
I will do that. I will not go there. I don’t want to. I won’t eat this. You can/will/must go to work.
There are other words to use! Words that give the sentence and thought a whole different vibration. Powerful, right?
Very much like not apologizing when apology isn’t due…
If we apologize when we’re not truly apologetic, not truly sorry, the vibration of the experience, thought and verbal resonance is altered. Shifted. Damaged, frankly. The internal vibration that we carry within us, that sacred, sacred vibration, is marred by the untruth. So, why not just get more comfortable with being honest? Because we like to “bandaid” human experiences. Goodness forbid uncomfortable tension accumulate in the air! We like to swat it away with, “I’m sorry’s” and “should’s” and “ought’s.”
Let’s not. Let’s be revolutionary in listening to, and speaking, our Truth. Let us be radical in our self love and the love we emanate into the Universe. Let us be radiant in our acceptance of ourselves, and our Truth. Love for ourselves. Love for our lives. Love for one another.
“Because true love means never having to say you’re sorry…”