I am a repeat offender when it comes to putting both feet in my mouth, blurting out simply ridiculous statements which result in my steady diet of eating crow, apologizing profusely, and feeling awful about the verbal garbage I create. And then, there’s the funny, harmless stuff I just can’t forget.
I’m reading Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn; one of her characters is a Buddhist. In one chapter, after listening to another character carry on about personal injustices and left-handed compliments that have molded her life, he tells her a koan about two monks. The older one volunteers to carry a dreadful woman across a river while the other one carries her possessions. Upon reaching the opposite shore, the heinous woman storms off without so much as a “thank you”. The monks move on down the road. After a bit of time, the younger monk is in a huff about her rudeness. The older monk replies that he’d put the woman down miles behind, asking the younger why he was still carrying her?
The message is universal – forgidaboudit. That is one hard thing to do. Let go and get on with it. We all struggle to do this, but I think the happiest people are the ones – the few- who can actually do this . Anne Lamotte calls it “dropping the rock” but many of us are carrying around entire quarries. The Beatles sang “Let It Be” then promptly broke up forever. It’s easy to forgive, but hard to forget. But letting go of the petty little word bombs is really emotionally freeing.
I have a few rocks to drop. While I hope the people who made these comments to me aren’t really demons, that’s not my problem. Need to keep my house clean. And my mouth shut. Drop these word bombs and move on. So here goes:
– My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. When I told a friend(?) about it, her comment was, “Your sister has already had it, so it shouldn’t be a big deal to your mom”. Oh really?
–I overheard a conversation where one friend asked another to pray for her. Here’s what she got: “I can’t, I have too many other people to pray for.” Are you kidding me?
– When musing aloud about my romantic future, the person I was with said, “Your ex is perfect, he’s a king. You blew it. Get a dog.” What?!?
So now I’ve dropped those rocks – and the people who said them. I got a dog – a male! My mother is doing well. Whew, that feels good. I feel lighter already.
There is a little nugget I’ll never drop. It is endearing only because it came out of my daughter’s mouth when she was four. In the grocery store one day, she gave me – in a very loud voice – what she considered a big compliment. “Mommy, you could be a movie star if you had longer hair and a prettier face.” Thank you, I’ll cross that off my list, sweetie!