Nothing Happened to me.

Something happened to me! Have you ever said that? Did something really happen to you? “Of course!” you may say “That guy just cut me off, didn’t you see that???” Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can become offended, defensive, victimized by something that “happened” to us? What if we took the perspective that we have control over what happens to us, most of the time. For example, instead of seeing a guy cut you off in traffic, you see a guy pull into the lane ahead of you ( notice I said “the” lane, not “your” lane) very close. You are okay, he is okay, and you drive on. Wow, how easy was that? You chose to just observe and spent no energy on being mad/angry/victimized by an action that the other person may not even be aware that they did. Maybe driving is not his strong suit, or he was late, or driving his desperately sick dog to the vet! Don’t we want compassion when we do something wrong or that we are not good at?

I remember experiencing the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, when I lived in Los Angeles. The whole city was shaken and several days after, I was in my car, stopped at a traffic light. I was a bit zoned out when the traffic to the right of me began to move, I instinctively pressed on the gas before looking straight ahead! I ran right into the car in front of me. The man in the car just waved and said “It’s okay!” He didn’t even get out to check if there was damage. We were a community of people who had just become one by experiencing something together and he had compassion for me in that moment and I was so thankful for that. So, notice when you tell those stories of what “happened to me”. Try to see a situation from all perspectives. Remember when you did something that wasn’t perfect and how great it would be next time to get a kind reaction. It stretches our muscles to break out of old habits, and this one is worth it, you save so much energy that you can use for what you choose to have happen!-Amy Roemer 2-6-10

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