That dog is always on the wrong side of the door, my grandmother would say as she opened it to let Pierre, her St.Bernard/collie mix, in or out– depending on which direction he was headed.
(I’m thinking Nana might have had a needy, spoiled dog, too).
What I seem to need these days is a t-shirt that reads, ‘who have I pissed off today?’ Honestly, you know how veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome might react to the sound of a car backfiring by diving to the ground for cover? That’s what happens for me every time my email box ‘pings’ to say I’ve got mail.
For the past 10 days, there has not been one day that I didn’t have someone writing to me about how my actions have hurt/disappointed/angered or otherwise upset them. At least one– sometimes more. This is not a particularly normal situation for me and it is truly starting to wear me down. There are people, I suppose, who love this kind of highly emotional discourse and create whole lives around it– I am thinking of provocative journalists, for example– or bloggers– who proudly store their daily catch of invective in a folder titled Hate Mail.
Alas, I have never been one to seek out conflict. Quite the opposite, actually. So all of this unhappy communication is causing me to reflect on what I am doing and where I am going, who I want to work with, who I don’t want to work with, how I want to be in the world and how I don’t want to be in the world.
Although I was aware of the wide range of life changes and creative risks I was embarking on last Spring– there is simply no way I could have anticipated the kinds of experiences I have been living through these past six weeks. No way.
It’s not all bad and, please know, in some cases I have made genuine mistakes that I am absolutely responsible for– so this is in no way a lament as if I am some sort of victim. Not at all. I own all of it. It’s just more surprising and perplexing as if I just got home from a wild shopping spree and keep pulling weird shit out of my bag thinking, “I bought this? What was I thinking? Was I drunk?”
Possibly some of this discord is due to how far-reaching my work is stretching out these days. Once upon a time, I had a very small circle of people that I interacted with– today, not so much with the small. And, as we all know, the larger the crowd, the greater the number of people you will piss off, displease, or simply not connect with. The percentage of people you cannot please will not change, its just the number of them has increased.
Either way, lots to learn. All of this provides a tremendous opportunity for me to grow up and out of some rather immature/naive approaches to life. It is crucial to me that I do not get cynical or defensive as a result of all of this– and that is what I am watching out for most because the simple truth is that there is SO much beauty and light and love and goodness in the world. And, let it be said, for every nastygram I have received, there have been nine other sweet, kind, delightful and spirited messages waiting for me.
A big part of how I am changing is to keep my focus on the good, correct/address errors and then move on– simply move on. (As opposed to old behavior or fixating on the problem and investing inordinate energy to try and make it all better). Because if there’s anything I do know is that not only am I not responsible for anyone else’s happiness, how a person chooses to experience life is entirely on them.
So that’s what’s going on with me today— another spectacular day of sweet, sunny morning. Wish I could go for a swim but have to head into town for a meeting and then later this afternoon my niece LAUREN–she of the porch painting/apartment making beauty– is coming up for a visit before heading back to college. I am thrilled and can’t wait to just bask in her gentle energies.
Hope your day unfolds in the best way possible–