During my house sitting adventure in a ritzy golf course community, I got in trouble for my morning walk. The house I’m watching sits in a newer area of the neighborhood. When I found a little path in the woods, I was excited to explore. After a bit, I found myself on a golf course pathway. I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was too new to be used by anyone. About 45 minutes into it, I was abruptly snapped out of my morning ponderings by a gang of ladies in golf carts. They were not to happy with me being on the path. One of them (the ringleader I would suppose) asked me not so nicely to turn around and walk against traffic instead of going with it in the direction I was headed. I calmly informed her that I needed to go the way I was headed. The gang sped off into the path, none of them looking at me or even attempting to be nice about it. I found it rather funny, so I laughed for a bit; still my current way of coping with people snubbing me. Which for me is huge progress because the old me would have told her not so nicely to take a long walk off a short pier. #babysteps
After I gained my composure, I remembered something that was shared with me recently. Someone had picked up on the fact that I can be stubborn and dig my heals in, especially if someone tells me to do something. This is nothing new to me. However, she shared that it might be a good idea to try to break out of this pattern a bit. So, curious of what I might find, I turned myself around and started walking the other direction. Well, I found some more unpleasant, unhappy lady golfers that saw me on the path, and wouldn’t even look in my direction. Instead they also sped off, gripping about me. I heard one of the women say, “can you believe that?”, indicating my alleged stupidity for walking on THEIR path. Again, I laughed and waved good morning. They of course, ignored me.
So many times, we are mean to people because we assume we know the source of their actions. If they had stopped to ask me, they might have understood my view. I could have explained that I meant no harm. In fact, I just didn’t realize there would be golfers on MY path, right? Like I could have been just as pissy that these brightly colored mean women were intruding on my lovely quiet walking path. We could have taken it as an opportunity to share and talk for a minute and develop some intimacy with one another. Instead, they were so pissed off that I dared walk on their path that they didn’t even wonder why I might be there. I heard one of them say some snarky comment about me getting hit with a golf ball. The funny thing is, I wasn’t worried about it even one little bit. First, I trusted God to look out for me. I trusted the ladies to know their sport and to keep their balls on the green and I trusted my intuition enough to know that I would sense any danger. And perhaps the biggest knowing of all that I tapped into – if I did get hit with the ball, it would be something that was meant to happen. It would ultimately be a lesson for all parties involved.
We all develop and create these stories around other’s actions. So often, we assume we are in the right and the other party is wrong. We condemn people without a drop of compassion or sense of understanding that we are all just trying to make it through this crazy life. What if we took even just a minute to understand where someone else was coming from? What if we allowed others to be where they are and not assume everything is about us? We would start to change the world one step at a time. We would begin to acknowledge that not everyone’s path is the same as ours. We would see that another’s actions are directed by their own set understanding at that moment. I know there is someone in your life that you’re judging right now. We all are. Today, take a few minutes and try to see if you could come up for a different reason for their actions than the angle you’ve been assuming. For example, if someone doesn’t call me back I could assume there is something wrong with me. In reality, they could be out of town, in the hospital or just not a match for me. These little steps can really help us gain more peace and understanding in our lives.