This morning, I had an interaction with someone close to me that triggered a disproportionate amount of anger and frustration. I didn't express it directly (and, given the context, I think that was the right choice). I made myself get outside and tried to walk it off. It took several hours and lots and lots of writing before I began to calm down. This particular relationship is one of the biggest gifts in my life, yet there are certain triggers that knock me off my feet. I know from experience not to react, but rather to take the time to get centered again and, if necessary, respond.
While I was walking very intensely (pausing only to type angry notes into my Notes app on my phone), I went into - you guessed it! - a washroom. I swear, my giving history is measured in washrooms. Anyway, I once again wrote on a Post-it note exactly what I wanted to hear: "BREATHE. Everything is exactly as it should be at this moment." I didn't believe a word of it, except maybe "breathe," and I wasn't feeling generous enough to add "Have a wonderful day!" but I left it there. Here's the thing: when I take that approach to Post-it notes (when I'm feeling down and write what I wish someone would say to me)... it works. It still took another hour or so to fully clear the anger out of my system, but I really think that note was a catalyst.
On the walk, I left a dollar coin on a wall. It's chest-high, next to a lamppost, so I expect a dog-owner will find it :)
I went to get a salad at the grocery store, and this time, I did give the cashier the gift card to pass along to someone else. She hadn't done it before, so I had to explain it a bit, but then she got into the idea. It didn't open me up like it usually does, and I didn't immediately buy another one. There's still some anxiety around money. But I was still glad to do it.
I thought that was it, though later I saw a teenage boy trying to take a picture of what looked like his grandparents. I asked if they wanted a picture all together, and it turned out they didn't know the older man; he'd just... walked up and posed with the woman. So I said I'd take a picture of whoever wanted to be in it - which turned out to be the woman and boy.
By that point, the anger had left my body and mind. Acceptance is a magic thing. Acceptance feels better than resistance. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I have a choice - my mind or body just surges into resistance, and I'm pulled under, but when I can reach acceptance, it's like an oasis. Acceptance of people, situations, feelings... all of it. So much easier said than done.
My sister, who I usually talk with a couple times a week (and email every day) is on vacation, and so it's been a few days since we've had the kind of contact we usually do. I've really missed her - which is funny, considering she lives in the opposite corner of North America. Today, I was really feeling like I could use her advice, but I knew she was on the road (and for her own reasons, she wouldn't want to talk). As it turned out, she did have a quick window in which to call, and that was a great gift to me.
It was a beautiful day, and once I calmed down, I spent the rest of it on the waterfront, reading the manuscript I'm editing (or more accurately, assessing).
Hope you all had good Sundays - Cheers!