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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Offendable Spirit?

I often wonder if tightly wound people realize what a joy they would be if they'd just lighten up a little. You know that moment when you attempt to bring a little lighthearted humor to a conversation (usually with a dash of sarcasm) the room stills as the oxygen is sucked out of the room by someone's insecurities and you can tell they're a hair's breath from snapping. These are the times I ask myself why try? Why indeed? Because life is too stinking short to be tied down by a short fuse. There is humor in everything if you'll just un-tether yourself from those insecurities and embrace life with all of it's unexpected opportunities and different personalities. Trust me, I have to make myself do it every day and I hope I never quit trying to lighten up. Sure, not totally being feeling overwhelmed can, at times, be a full time job... If we let it. My go-to solution for stress is to do one of the following:

A) Bring humor to the situation. Unfortunately my humor leans toward sarcasm, which is rarely embraced with the affection it is delivered with. Right after my injury, when everyone was still very concerned
about my recovery. I rounded up the gang and took them to see Alice in Wonderland. I made jokes, I laughed when she fell down the rabbit hole and I sought high an low for anything that would defuse the pain, not that I was going through, but for those who were going through it with me. My feeling was if I could act like I was okay, they would buy it and not worry. Luckily, I have friends who have a great sense of humor, even when mine is inappropriate for the situation. When a good friend of mine went through breast cancer, the Girlfriends got together and gave her a bye bye boobie party. We had two choices, we
could laugh, or we could cry.... We chose to laugh while we could and cry when we must. To this day, I get more hits on that post than any other post I have ever written. I believe it's because there are a lot of people out there who want to laugh in the face of something that terrifies them. You know what? That's perfectly okay!

B) My second go-to for stress, is to withdraw. I learned to withdraw after the injury because my verbal filter.... Well, I didn't have a verbal filter for a long time. I found out then I needed to be very careful around anyone who could possibly of stress me out, or hurt my feelings. Now, I only use this reaction when I'm having a serious problem coping with whatever has been thrown in my direction. Withdrawal isn't what I want to do, it's what I must do when I simply can't take any more. Thankfully, I seldom have to use it, but I've found it's better to withdraw than to risk saying something that should be left unsaid.

I often remind myself of the scripture that talks about "Vain Imaginations". I think women are more prone to vain imaginations than men. My Pastor has said more times than I can count.... When someone walks in a room and someone quits talking and they become
offended because they think they were talking about them...... They need to get over themselves. Chances are they weren't the subject, because they're not that interesting. How true that is! I've chastised myself time and again for believing I was the reason someone was behaving in a way that I imagined was because they were mad at me or didn't like me (I mean, it's so hard to imagine someone not liking me of all people). I have to tell myself.... "It's not always about you." I've got stuff I'm dealing with, others have stuff their dealing with and most likely neither have a thing to do with the other. The perfect example happened today while I was on my way home for lunch. I noticed that I was taking exactly the same roads as the car in front of me. I take back roads and side roads, any way that will get me there fastest. As we came to a stop sign, my son and his friends came around the corner headed back to school. I flashed my lights and waved hello to them. The car I had been following put his car in park and marched right back to my car as I rolled the window down. He was ready to confront me with whatever my problem was. I found it so humorous that he instantly took offense... I think that's what you call having an "offendable spirit". I smiled sweetly at him as he demanded to know why I was flashing my lights at him. I laughed and told him I wasn't. I was flashing my lights at my son as he came around the corner and I greeted him with a wave.... "It had nothing to do with you sir." I'm not sure what upset him more.... Him thinking I was flashing my lights at him, or him finding out it had nothing to do with him. I really wanted to tell him to.... "lighten up a little. Life is too short and he looked as if his blood pressure was a little high for him to take everything so serious."  A really big part of me wanted to be charitable and offer a letter opener so he could effectively dig his panties out of the wad they had apparently gotten into. He lives down the street from me so I decided to keep calm, smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut (lucky man). People aren't perfect, everyone has chinks in their armor, some days more than others I can feel the dents in mine. I'm rusty around the edges, I squeak sometimes when I shouldn't, but that's just life. As the song says.... "I'm battle scarred but trying oh so hard to get back to who I once was."  And in case you're wondering no, that song isn't from the same group that sang "The Rubber Band Man." To all who read this post and wonder if it's about you.... It probably is. Ask yourself.... "Do I have an offendable spirit?" If the answer is yes, maybe you should work on it, I am  and hopefully my neighbor will.

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