Honor the human in front of you

I try to live by this statement. Have you ever been shopping or eating with a friend and they are rude to the staff? They don't make eye contact or they order people around? Does it embarrass you? 

I was out recently when I witnessed a friend display actions that saddened me. Not only was her tone forceful, but she used her body-language to intimidate. I couldn't believe what I was watching and knew immediately that I had to speak on it. Because I've worked retail all my life, I'm pretty sensitive to impolite behavior toward those of service. When I had the chance, I gently asked my friend, "Is that how you want to show up?" A small statement that challenges the listener to consider their responsibility. We all have a responsibility to treat everyone with kindness, including strangers. The conversation went deeper as my friend reflected on her actions. However, I learned that this was a part of who she is and to make a change would involve a lot of work and patience. 

So can you imagine that a similar scenario happened with me- no less than a week later?  I made plans with someone, had an image of how everything would play out, arrived in a happy space, ready to make it happen when BOOM! I was unexpectedly thrust into a room full of people, some new faces, some old. The arrangement didn't proceed as depicted in my head and I was immediately flustered. In this nervous state, I came across forceful and rude. The home owner clearly took notice and later commented that I appeared bossy. Ouch! After speaking about it with a good friend, I came to realize that I missed an opportunity to grow with this scenario.

Yes, I was confused and there was clearly a level of miscommunication here. What saddens me most is the fact that I had a choice as to how I would handle myself and in a second my ego presented itself first. I was nervous and felt on display and completely out of my element. But here's the kicker...I'm never out of my element.  I can successfully walk into a room full of complete strangers and make friends, yet in this example, I  wasn't able to keep peace. So we talked about it, then talked about it some more. You see, something didn't sit well within me. I own that I misrepresented myself and pray that I will someday get a Do-Over.

It's about taking a beat. I didn't take a beat that day. In my haste to get moving, I came across as dominate and unkind. Ouch-again. 

But here's where this essay is going...

A Course In Miracles says that guilt is the central problem of the world. The idea of our own guilt, the idea of our self- forgiveness is more difficult than forgiving other people. I sit in this space every time I relive that moment. I beat myself up for allowing unfamiliar circumstances to take me to the dark side. But I realize that I am human and still have work to do. I can say that my actions set the standard for the evenings events. But had I relaxed and allowed the process to flow, I wouldn't be writing this right now. So, in fact, this was a wonderful moment of growth for me. I've worked so hard on myself only to realize that there's still work to do (there always will be). The self-forgiving aspect of life encourages us to acknowledge our responsibility and act accordingly. Honestly communicating about it and digging into the grit is a step for me; one I'll appreciate as I move further into the depths of self-forgiveness. 

But I still want a Do-Over...

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