Today I came face to face with one of life’s biggest challenges…being kind to those who are not kind to you. I would like to say that I took the high road, prevailed with kindness and compassion in the face of an asshole’s indifference, but I did not. I am a work in progress and lately I’ve been doing far more acknowledging of the ways in which I need to grow as opposed to actually allowing myself to grow. Oh well, baby steps.
This evening I took a restorative yoga class. It was not quite what I had hoped for, but it taught me a lot and allowed me to get out of my head, which has been on overdrive with thoughts, concerns, worries, and random freak outs that I forgot to write down important appointments and deadlines, because I seem to be doing that a lot lately. I am getting better and better about viewing every yoga class as a learning experience regardless of whether I enjoy it or not. Anyway, I digress, the point of this story has nothing to do with the content of the yoga class. After class I was struggling in the prop closet to figure out how to put away my three blankets and two blocks without dropping everything, especially since I can barely reach the high shelf the blocks are stored on. The woman in front of me simply slipped the blocks from me and placed them on the shelf for me. I thanked her and she responded with a smile. I was filled with warm, fuzzy, compassionate, yogic feelings. When I turned around to see another woman in the same predicament as I had been in moments earlier I simply slipped the blocks out from under her arms and placed them on the shelf. Kindness breeds kindness. It’s hard not to turn around and help someone when you have just been helped, at least for me.
I got to the front door of my building feeling calm and in a positive mood to find one of my neighbors entering the first front door with a small side table. He proceeded to stand in the entryway between the two front doors alternately watching me struggling to find my keys and looking at his new find, which he no doubt got from the curb since it is a trash night in the neighborhood. When he was done watching me try to wrestle my keys out of my bag he opened the second door and let himself in. I found myself instantly thinking mean thoughts at him. What a jerk! He couldn’t open the fucking door for me? The table was not that hard for his large frame to maneuver, he seemed to have no trouble lifting it with one hand. When I finally get into the two front doors he was standing in the lobby admiring his find, which I could see was a crappy old side table with chipping black paint and a seriously tarnished handle on the drawer. He paid me no mind as I walked to the hall where the mailboxes are, that is until he discovered that he needed to get past me to reach his own mailbox. Too bad buddy, I’m going to stand here and slowly take my mail out of my box then flip through it before slowly closing my mailbox door. I could feel his urgency to get past me rising. I could have very easily stepped to the side to let him pass and get to his mailbox. I could have been kind and compassionate toward him just as I had just been toward the woman after yoga class. I could have, but I didn’t. I chose to be an asshole right back at him. I will now spend the rest of the evening contemplating this very immature, unenlightened behavior over a glass of wine and some chocolate.