Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Better Way
My sister Tami told me awhile ago that she watched this show on Animal Planet regarding animals that were the most ruthless killers. And #1 on the list? Cats. (At least I think it was number one.) They kill just for the thrill of it.
The other day Jace informed me that one time not too long ago they rescued a little chipmunk from Sparti. He said it was a piece of work getting that little chipmunk free but they finally managed and it scurried off into the bushes--free at last. Thank God I'm free at last!
Last night I had just brushed my teeth and was going to bed. All of the lights were off in the house as Roy was already in bed and I was the last one up. So as I was walking gingerly down the hallway as I couldn't see anything, I accidentally barely stepped on Sparti's paw. It was so slight and the moment I felt a wee bit of fur underneath my foot, I quickly picked my foot up. But honestly--you would have thought I killed him. He gave out this pathetic little squeal and quickly scurried downstairs as fast as he could. I had turned the light on just in time to see him look back up at me with those eyes that said You're mean.
(I recognize I'm humanizing a cat.)
But honestly I find that comical. Here he is, one of the most ruthless killers on the planet, and yet he throws a fit if he experiences a slight bit of discomfort. I just want to pick him up and say How do you think that chipmunk felt when you sunk your teeth into his neck?
Somehow I just don't think he'd care.
Sometimes I think we are ruthless killers. My other sister Lori said the other day that we all have our own bag of rocks to carry. We don't know how someone's bag of rocks feels on their back. We don't know their burdens, their heartaches and stresses. And we don't know that if we were them, we'd do it any differently.
That, in my opinion, is the great equalizer in life.
Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me.
I too am guilty of judging others. There are people I simply don't like. They annoy me. I don't get them. But the truth is, that's my problem, not theirs. My annoyance says more about me than it says about them. They are just living their lives, doing the best they can--regardless of my perspection. And if it doesn't make sense to me or their actions don't fit the mold that I think they should, well...that's irrelevant.
It's none of my business. And it's none of their business how I feel. And I guess what I mean by that is...they don't need to know that they annoy me. Because the truth is, who is to say that if I were them, I'd be any different?
I heard one time that when someone rubs us wrong, it's because we see something in them that we have ourselves. One time I decided to see if that were true so I wrote down the qualities of people that annoy me: cocky, self-involved, judgmental, harsh...
I am capable of all of the above. I too do a great job of being self-involved and harsh and judgmental at times.
I don't think we are called to be everyone's best friend. But I do think we are called to kindness. I think we are far too often vicious killers with our words that tear down and destroy.
Yesterday I was telling my mom a story about how someone trash-talked a person in my family who is so very dear to me and how hurtful it was. After I hung up the phone, I felt frustrated and angry inside. But then I remembered I can't control how others feel. I can only control me.
And I instantly felt better.
Ultimately we can't control what others think or say or do. We can only control ourselves. And I don't want to be a cat: only concerned about my own pain. I want to let go of the daggers in my heart and choose a better way.
I choose kindness.
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