Has anybody else noticed it? The anger?
I thought I had my emotions in check until some guy cut me off in
traffic. That did it. Within minutes, along the same road, a grown adult
bicyclist swerved into my lane. I swung wide to avoid hitting him. Has
everybody on wheels lost their driving skills? What is happening!
There’s an edge of irritation creeping into our voices.
There’s a thinner layer between civility and rage.
But why now – after all these months of adapting, merging, learning,
accepting and forging ahead?
Maybe that’s just it: we’ve been twisting ourselves into the uncomfortable seasons of Covid and it feels like a long road into an uncertain future.
We are trying to plan our days, yet we are measuring what we don’t know.
We try to be nice.
Being kind, doing good, is usually not that hard – but it’s really
difficult in a hostile world.
I had a meltdown in the Aldi’s parking lot, when I realized my container
of fresh mozzarella cheese was sliced open. Water was dripping everywhere, onto
my flip-flopped feet, into my car.
I became angry at everything. The normal way of exchanging a product was
now complicated further by putting on the mask, going back in and waiting in a
line dotted by 6-foot gaps.
But really, the anger didn’t come from a broken package of cheese – it
sprung up and erupted from the sleeping volcano inside – the hot lava had
reached the out-spout and out-it-spouted.
Still, what we’re now experiencing is deeper and more ambiguous, with no visible end.
Is there a way to manage our irritation?
“Think of the positive things,” my mom is always saying. This helps, but
only until we spill the cheese-water.
Maybe, just maybe -- we need to stop pushing down the negative emotions.
Start running toward our feelings, not away from them. Quit pretending we have
it all together. Start accepting that we feel messed up.
It’s time to be REAL. In those scary, uncovered moments, we can sit in a
huddle and say, “me too!” and float each other lots of grace.
“You get a free pass!” the mechanic said to me, after my inspection sticker
had long-since expired. It was as though he’d handed me a gift: a free pass for
procrastination, for forgetfulness, for being stuck in a weird time-loop; he
floated me some grace.
Let’s be authentic and let the hot lava gush out.
Once released, there’s more room for joy; for adapting; for doing the next uncomfortable thing.
“It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.” >>Anne Lamott