Though that may sound like like the name of a really bad country song, I assure you I haven't switched vocations to become a musician. 🙂
See, the other day I was taking my son to preschool and I had an "interaction" with a driver. There is a highway interchange that was designed very poorly and has great potential for accidents. All the people in the left lane have to get over to the right lane (which turns very quickly), and all the people coming from the right lane (which is a curve) have to get over into the left lane.
To compound the issue, those going from right to left have a metering light that brings traffic to a stop. During rush hour, it's a dangerous intersection. I was in the left lane, another woman in the right.
I kindly slowed so that she'd be able to get into the lane in front of me. Then I'd be able to switch to the right. Unfortunately, she decided to also slow at the same time. We both came to an almost complete stop in the middle of traffic because within the 1 second we saw each other, we couldn't agree on who should go first (and there wasn't enough time / space for either of us to accelerate).
When she finally decided to cut in front of me at last moment, I barely missed hitting the back of her car by probably 6 inches. Maybe less. She was visibly upset.
Okay, that's putting it mildly….
Until I had fully passed her car, I could see her mouthing various profanities at me. Most of them were regarding what she thought I should go do with myself. 🙂
And given how I was intending to act kindly, and she was treating me so poorly, I'm sure you can guess how I responded to her total disregard for my kindness…
I went on with my life.
I pulled into the right lane, drove off on my way, I sensed my heart, felt compassion, and thought to both her and myself:
"I wish you well."
No matter how difficult life gets, no matter how badly people treat me, that's one thing I always find helps me (and hopefully them too!)…
"I wish you well."
It doesn't right any wrongs. It doesn't condone actions, nor does it condemn them. It doesn't eliminate pain or frustration. And it doesn't make me any more right or wrong than the other person.
"I wish you well" does, however, help me feel better.
It reminds me that I am a co-creator in this world.
It reminds me that if I want to live in a world where others wish live with kindness, it starts with me.
And that new co-created world starts in those moments where my critical ego least wants to wish people well. Still, it's a start and it has to start somewhere. For me, that place is within.
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