Of course, I denied it. He was only (gently) retaliating because I had just mentioned that he was a manic behind the wheel... (Okay, it might have been a better example of good couple communication to simply to say "Honey, please stop tailgating...I am in fear for my life...") It was our (generally) good-natured banter but...it bothered me.
Am I mean to clerks? OMG...that's terrible.
And it's ugly, especially for a chaplain. I mean, we have higher standards of compassion...right? But, (surprise...), human here, and my mother's daughter (yeah, it's all in the memoir... Now, she was rough on the help.)
As in most all denial...it doesn't work in the long run.
Here's a clarifying minute with Deepak Chopra about self acceptance of our positive and 'negative' traits. He says accepting them makes us attractive—like little kids but it also makes us complete.
Good Girls...don't do that... (Pretzels R' Us, Deepak)
So now, you say, to embrace who I am—all of me—is...attractive? Because it is authentic? (In what parallel universe do you live in Deepak?) I was raised to be a 'good girl'.
Self-acceptance is not my cultural operating system.
As a little middle-class, white girl, from the prairie, if I wasn't all nice, all the time, I would not be acceptable. It was either have friends or (self)accept that I would be alone.
(This teaching is one-size-fits-all but it looks like it only comes in pink.)
This is an interesting observation and a little funny...in a sad way. We need rules and laws to keep people civil and well-behaved but how much better to have these good-hearted, ethical behaviors arise from our core like green, growing things with all they need to prosper: water, nutrients...and soil.
Why did I get the muck and not that clarity? Answer: it's all about composting...
No Mud, No Lotus is the (tiny wisdom in a) title of a Thich Nhat Hanh book. I am fairly sure, at this point, it is the composting process of our attitude (i.e. the lotus) about what we receive (i.e. the mud), that is the key to authenticity. It is the only thing of which we are always in control. To stretch this earthly metaphor airborne, our attitude is our altitude. Zig takes it further:
"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." —Zig Ziglar
Let's add authenticity to the alliteration, which is also the first regret--at the end.
According to Bronnie Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. People wish they had lived a life true to themselves—NOT what other's expected of them.
I love this full circle: getting to center; accepting who I am; listening to the longings of my own heart...and using it all to be kind...and in alignment with who-I-came-here-to-be.
Now that's a good girl...and a good life.