Tuesday, November 20

Count Your Blessings and Your Misfortunes

Not long ago, I worked with a woman who was competent, energetic and stuck in a divorce time warp. She could not get over her ex-husband's infidelities. I'm sure this guy had more flaws and faults that the San Andreas, but I only got as far as his disloyalty and deception. When I knew I'd be spending a few minutes working with her, I felt fear. Her resentments stirred up old memories of my first marriage and divorce. I tried controlling the conversation and guiding it into more positive, neutral areas, mainly work related, and this approached was successful for a while, until Father's Day rolled around.

Her son was visiting from out of town and she resented his plans to see his father, her ex. I actually shook my head listening to her rant about the obvious reason the kid was visiting - it was Father's Day - he wanted to see his father. Her bitterness and resentment were poisonous. I really wanted to be somewhere else and prayed that work would intervene and save me.

Finally, she more or less asked me to buy into her rant and all I could say was "Wow, I'm really sorry about that. I hope you can get past it and feel better, soon."

Later on, I learned that she quit the next day. My supervisor said she quit because of scheduling problems, but I think she may have been offended by my response to her ongoing battle with her ex. I felt badly. I experienced a smidgen of Catholic guilt and then I realized that she reminded me of a lesson I thought I had learned years ago: put down the microscope and pick up the mirror. Her words, her experiences made me afraid. I feared something that didn't exist because of my past and her present. Crazy!

She was a good teacher and I'm grateful for knowing her. Thanksgiving is often represented as a time to be grateful for our blessings and that's good. It's also a time to reflect on our misfortunes and pick up the mirror so we can see how much we've learned from those difficult teachers and life lessons that come our way. By knowing her, I've learned that I have gained forgiveness and need to be more compassionate. Always something to learn in life and nothing more important than compassion.

May all beings know love, abundance and peace.