It’s 2:56 a.m. On a normal night I’d be resting peacefully but tonight I’m wide awake. Maybe it was the Dr. Pepper I had a few hours ago or maybe it was this lesson that has been festering for the last few days….
How many times do we get caught up in things that ultimately don’t matter and don’t have any real bearing on our future? How many times do we find ourselves at war – overextending ourselves by engaging in too many battles? I knew a woman once who was getting divorced. Rather than choosing an amicable path she decided to fight her husband on everything… She wanted the car, the house, the kids, the dogs, the furniture – everything. She was awarded the house but two years later almost lost it in foreclosure, ended up selling the furniture and had to return reluctantly to her then ex-husband for help. Without pause he gave her the money to help her keep her home while also paying child support and keeping up with his own financial obligations. She was so wrapped up in getting him back for the divorce that it literally blinded her decision making process and she put a financial noose around her neck by fighting for a home that she couldn’t afford alone.
I needed a document signed recently for a personal matter. The individual who had to sign the document gave me an incredibly hard time. I felt singled out, frustrated. I even thought the behavior may have been racially motivated (and please believe that my race card is packed away somewhere at home – I don’t usually carry it). This same individual a week later went out of their way to speak to me – which they’d never done. My epiphany at that moment was that little incident that had me all bent out of shape had nothing to do with me and I certainly should not have taken it so personally. Who knows what had happened 5 minutes before or even 60 seconds before that interaction? What mattered was that I had the document signed. Should I have risked future interactions with that individual by expressing my emotions which admittedly were high at that time? I had won the war… Furthermore after that interaction the individual probably deleted the little exchange & felt better because they had let out some stress. The incident wasn’t turning over in their minds like it was in mine. Plus, after some investigation, the individual had a reputation for being cold, harsh & without sympathy so it wasn’t just me.
We live life out of context. We are not privy to the internal thoughts of others. We certainly do not have an all access pass to their lives when we are not in their presence. We have to realize that the nasty attitudes that we are on the receiving end of, the emotional outbursts that we sometimes witness, or the bitterness that some insist on lugging around have nothing to do with us. Further, if you ultimately accomplish your goal does the other stuff matter?