I’m not going to lie to you. The past month or so has been Tough. Stressful. Worrisome. Sad. Fearful.
Oh, I could go on and on with that list.
In fact, you might have a list not unlike mine. Everyone has a list.
(That list also includes Happy, by the way.)
I’ve lost my mother. A dear friend and colleague of ours, the man who directed Don in Pygmalion and with whom I worked several times, died. A friend of Don’s has been diagnosed with ALS. We’re worried about work or rather, lack of work, and money.
Yesterday was a particularly hard day, which started off with learning that a dear friend of mine has cancer. Then another thing happened that sent Don and I into worry/stress mode. From there, I stayed in a place which was fear-filled and tense. So when I reacted to something else that happened later in the afternoon, I came from a place of fear, rather than peace.
I won’t get into the details, but suffice to say that instead of waiting before I reacted to an email, I immediately responded. That is never a good thing. I should have been more business-like. Later in the evening, when I reread my response, I was ashamed of myself.
That was not the real me speaking. But it was, indeed, the fearful me speaking. And I’m never at peace when fear takes over.
This is a lesson I have learned and relearned my whole life long. You’d think that by this point in my life, I would have learned it for good. No more coming from fear. Wait for a few hours before I respond to anything that upsets me. If you asked me for advice on how to respond to something, I would tell you to take a deep breath and wait before you react. I’ve given that advice more times than I can count.
Apparently, I don’t always take my own advice.
I made amends, or at least, I hope that I made amends. I apologized.
But I find it particularly daunting to be at this stage of my life, supposedly mature and wise with many life lessons learned, only to backslide and find myself back at the bottom of the hill. Is life an endless set of lessons to be learned? Is it like the movie Groundhog Day, where you find yourself repeating the same events, the same lessons, over and over? Do we ever gain even a modicum of wisdom?
I know that I am certainly wiser than I was as a twenty-something. I hope that I am more loving, more kind, more of everything that is good. But I am only human. I make mistakes. Though the perfectionist in me doesn’t want to admit any shortcomings, I have them. Boy, do I have them.
I am sure that fear is the most lethal of emotions. Fear breeds ignorance and hate and disrespect and knee-jerk reactions and defensiveness and all things negative. Fear is the absence of love. Love should be all. Love breeds peace and joy and respect and care and all things positive and good.
I know all of that in my head and, a lot of the time, in my heart. But not all of the time, which is what happened to me yesterday. Today I woke up feeling chagrined but determined to do and be better.
Do you find yourself relearning the same lessons? Do you stumble along the way?
I sure do.