My beloved comes home from getting a haircut and hands me a bag or roasted chickpeas. I am pleasantly surprised and welcome a treat so I reach in, grab a few and pop them into my mouth. They tasted awful! So awful after a few timid chews I spat out the remains. I immediately said they were horrible and he agreed. I asked if he wanted to throw them away and he said he would feed them to the birds. Sounded reasonable even though I was surprised he did not agree to the discard idea. He LOVES to throw things away. I am the one who can usually find a second use for almost everything.
The next day, I asked if he wanted to feed the chickpeas to the birds now, while he was busy with the yard. He looked at me and said “No the squirrels would eat them all so throw them away.” Now I heard a tone and different words. I heard “Are you nuts! What a dumb idea! The birds won’t have a chance because of the squirrels so why would you want to do that? Throw them away, of course.”
Instantly all I wanted to do was throw them at him! “I was going to throw them away yesterday. Why didn’t you let me pitch them then?” He looked slightly miffed and said “Why do you have to talk to me like that?” (Like what? Okay maybe there was a tone in there. I had wanted to be right after all.) “To be sure that you knew” I said “it wasn’t MY idea to feed these to the birds it was YOURS, just in case you did not remember!” Off I stomped into the house and promptly threw them away.
What was the point in all of this drama? I can’t believe it but I felt the need to defend myself. By this point in my life with all the work I have done on personal development, I can get here when I am not paying attention or taking care of myself. I spent a long time defending myself to the world and the knee jerk just showed its horribleness, yet again. I have been feeling a bit off as of late and I guess this feeling left me feeling not completely whole…more like I had a hole. That’s another story.
A do-over would be terrific right now! It took me hours to apologize for my shortness and totally needless blow up including rant. Not because I hadn’t cooled off or didn’t know I needed to…maybe somehow I hoped it would just go away. Frankly, I was embarrassed. Then I just wanted to be snotty for awhile then calm down. Except that I wasn’t – and it just went away – I simply forgot. I can always be sure that the memory of an error will come right up in front of me again and I will step up. We were cleaning up after supper and I just said “Sorry I was a bit snotty earlier today.” He said “That’s okay.” It was done. It really was over with.
The cool thing about taking responsibility for my actions and the dreaded reactions to stuff, they are gone. I am more aware of myself and my defenses but they are not carried forward into another day to be planted, fertilized and fed, shone light upon and built into a mighty oak tree with roots near to China!
Relationships need tending to by feeding it love and understanding, forgiveness and compassion, weeding and maybe even tying it up to something else more sturdy until it grows strong. Ours is over 20 years strong and we have gone through many seasons, through the rain and snow as well as the newness of spring and the coolness of fall. I just know on the next cloudy day, the sun is around the next corner. There are less and less cloudy days in our relationship and we don’t take the rain or the sun for granted. We definitely enjoy the sun!