Someone cut me off while i was speaking to them on the phone this morning. It did not feel good. They had asked me about myself and so I felt the opening was there to actually tell them something about myself. As I was in full swing sharing my story with this new friend, she said abruptly, ‘I have to go.’ and we wound up the conversation quickly. I put the phone down feeling slighted. It was a familiar feeling. I am a good listener and I love people, so I often find myself listening more than I share. Sometimes it is true and real and loving, this listening of mine, and sometimes it is me hiding from myself or who I am with.
And yet, something was triggered deep within me when she told me she had to go. I found myself getting out of my chair, and heading into the house mumbling to myself, “Why does this happen to me?” I was taking it personally and feeling a bit sorry for myself; the ‘Oh, poor me trap’ opening it’s gaping jaws. Before I could plummet fully into the abyss of self pity I heard a beautiful voice within me say, “It doesn’t happen TO you, it just happens.”
And suddenly I was able to see that this new friend did not intend to DO anything TO me. She simply had to go. Yes, it was right in the middle of a sentence but that did not matter to her at the time. And that is about her. Not me. It is not personal to me. She did not slight me. She did not reject me. She was where she was doing what she was doing.
That is not to say that I want to cultivate this behavior either in myself or someone else. I intend to create relationships with people who are practicing presence. And the first relationship that I intend to focus upon in that way is my relationship with myself. I intend to be present for myself. So I ask myself this morning, “How am I cutting myself off? How am I not listening fully to myself? How am I running off on myself and not being there fully and completely? How am I not allowing myself to share my story completely?”
These are helpful and life enhancing questions. And I have access to their wisdom today thanks to my new friend who was rushing. It did not happen to me. It just happened. She was rushing. I happened to be talking. The two actions did not match up and so the conversation was cut short. It just happened.
Life happens. Thank God. LIfe simply happens. What a blessing it is when I catch myself taking things personally and thanks to the still small voice within I can shift my perception and change my mind. “Bless her, God, and continue to heal me. Help my new sister calm down, face any feelings she needs to face and be present for herself and others. Help me calm down, face any feelings I need to face in order to be present for myself and others. Bless her. Heal me.” Amen.