Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb. Some days you can’t shake your bad vibes. Those days where you wake up and first things first you step in a suspicious wet spot on the carpet. Then while doing the dishes you told your husband to do, you catch your roommate’s cat about to shit on the floor in his favorite place to be a dick. The cat’s favorite spot to be a dick, not the roommate. Just wanted to make that clear. You shoo the furry bastard out of the way but realize it reeks of cat shit still from the last time. So sweep and mop all before you’ve even smelt coffee. I leave the room for a moment and he’s now shit on the carpet instead. Final straw, you lash out and drag the cat over to it and …well fuck how do you punish a cat for shitting on the rug when really he’s trying to communicate that something in his life is not working for him? So move on, back to finishing breakfast. Over fried eye, but the yoke is still too runny. Burnt toast. An orange, you know gotta keep it sunny. Arrange the balancing act that is my meal and with two steps it all comes crashing down. Don’t panic… girl do not fucking panic. Getting pissed and yelling at this won’t solve a god damn thing. You can curse all the things that went wrong in the morning that lead you to rush or you can simply breath and accept the facts. The facts are: the dish is broken, you will have to remake the egg if you still want to eat one, the toast and oranges are salvageable. Any emotion you want to feel is fine but no amount of feeling one way or another is going to change the situation so why bother getting worked up?
Now I’m not advocating a life of emotional celibacy, achieving monk level mastery of Zen, or moving to Vulcan to study being logical and how to style your hair like Elvira. Emotions are instinctual, they are a deeply engrained part of our behavior. Love came from the need to keep a mother from eating her young. Fear came from wanting not to die. Everything else is a detail. We often use our emotions to make choices when we lack the knowledge to make informed choices. At least I do anyway. That’s what usually gets me in trouble, especially once I’ve convinced myself of some grander conspiracy. Oh the elaborate plots that have been launched against me that all turned out to have been a mere miscommunication or misunderstanding. More often than not it’s just poor timing.
So my morning goes on. When my husband gets up, he’s bleary and groggy but he’s already talking a mile a minute. At least it feels to me. I’m about an hour and a half behind now in my daily routine to becoming a pleasant and functional human being and I’m so not in the mood to be asked a million questions. The morning goes on and as I spitefully drink my cold coffee and curse his laid back nature. Why doesn’t he care? Why didn’t he come rushing to my aid when the plate shattered with such a loud crash? Why isn’t he apologizing to me or jumping up right away to finish his dishes. What a terrible person, I can’t believe I married such a lazy, insensitive prick. I’m going to say something. I’m going to stand up for myself. I put on my most convincing not-enraged face and ask “So hey, when were you planning to do the dishes?”
He looks at me with confusion, “Was it not just that plate and that pot?” I want to scream. You mean to tell me he’s only done the side of the sink that had less dishes. “Oh no, those must have been Pete’s. I meant the other ones.” He apologizes but I’m not listening. I’m too busy listening to the screaming little tyrant in my head. Finally I speak.
“Honey, I think I need to go take a time out.”
Yup, I went and put myself in time out. I got up and took a short shower and let go of my attachment to being right in this situation. I let the hot water run over my shoulders, releasing the tension from every clenched muscle. I washed my hair with my favorite lavender shampoo, followed by a luscious conditioner, shaved the prickle from my legs, and just calmed the fuck down. I came out and kissed him on the head. “How are you,” he asked. “Much better,” I purred. In that ten minutes of time I removed myself from a potentially volatile moment and brought myself back to the place of calm and balance I try to make my center. I was able to rethink the situation. I found the forgiveness I would want him, anyone, to give to me if I had made a mistake. I treated him with love and respect and was able to pay attention to the voice of reason explaining to me all the ways that this sort of keeping score will destroy a home. It is important to keep balance in the give and take of relationship but if you spend all your time tallying up the deeds, you lose sight of the big picture. As for feeling bombarded, it’s time for me to take a page from my own soap box speeches. I talk all the time that the sensitive need to toughen up, but when it comes to someone invading my comfort zone I become defensive. This defensiveness breaks down communication faster than teeth in a jar of Coca-cola. Is it really so much of a pain to be present with my husband, even if the subject matter bores me to tears. Am I going to be so disdainful to my children when they are so excited over some piece of trivial knowledge that is so great and vast and brand new to them? No, practice now on someone who will always forgive you and will always give you the space to need to return to center. And Jack so is that person. There is nothing I can do in his eyes to take me from this pedestal. He always challenges me to put forth my best, steers me away from my panics, reminds me when I am taking something too serious and forgives me when my temper fails me.
It may have been a case of waking on the wrong side of the bed or hormonal shift, but I just had low vibes the whole day. That funk you can’t shake. When you don’t feel like being nice. These are the days we train for! We practice patience and forgiveness in good times but when we feel injustice towards ourselves we must remember to work twice as hard. We must be patient with and forgive not only others but ourselves. It’s easy to be all lovey dovey when there’s a spring in your step and the wind to your back. No. In times of pain, of strife, these become the heaviest loads we must lift but we must lift them in order to lift ourselves. It’s like trying to run a race after leg day. It sucks and if you push too hard you will hurt yourself but through listening and proper pacing you can do it. In times of emotional stress, slow down. Make choices one at a time, delay making any major decisions until you can think calmly and logically.
After all, kid, you’re only human.