the worm’s-eye view!

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend. She mentioned a mutual friend and casually said, “She is moving into a new place and going to get her cats de-clawed.” I could feel the emotion rise up in me. I asked my friend why and she said, “Oh, I’m not sure and don’t want to get into it” …end of conversation. I knew, for that moment, that  I had to drop it or I would ruin the lunch. On the drive home, I kept thinking about this and felt angry and judgemental. I wondered if I should talk to her or send her some information on the harm of de-clawing. As I drove along, wondering what I should do,  I realized that the car in front of me had suddenly stopped.  I almost smashed into them. I took it as a sign to mind my own business.

I never used to be able to do this. In the past, when I got an idea, or felt very strongly about something, I had to act on it immediately. But it is the energy of the interaction that is important. If I am angry and judgemental then no matter how valid my point is, or how hard I am trying to conceal my negative feelings behind a thin veneer of “acceptance”, I am most likely not going to be heard. There is a wonderful “suggestion” in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that basically says when we are upset (about anything), our number one priority is to calm the internal disturbance before we take any action at all.

When I am in turmoil and inner chaos, I am seeing with the “worm’s-eye view”. Calming down, going within, asking for help from the larger more expansive part of me, praying, all help to give me a clearer, higher view of what action (or not) will really help in the long run and not just make me feel temporarily better by getting the issue off my chest.

This friend called the other day and talked about her move and how she had considered getting one of her cats de-clawed but decided against it. Sometimes I need to get involved…sometimes I don’t.

17 thoughts on “the worm’s-eye view!

  1. My Dad would say, “Sleep on it!” Great advice for sure! You just so aptly put the rest of the process into words. Perfect!
    PS.. Isn’t this non-judgement deal a challenge sometimes? Whoa!! Life is just an amazing process.
    Thank you!

  2. Like your post this morning. I think I am finally there (at 73). Hasn’t been easy tho! Deep breaths or walk away. Declawing right up there with tail-docking and ear-shaping, thankfully all illegal in the UK now. Do you think that will ever become the norm here? Shelagh.

  3. Mary,

    What a great message you sent this morning. It is humbling to remember the world does not revolve around us. There is plan and a power much greater than us.

    I love it!!

    Jenn

  4. Thanks Mary, for your word to the wise. And congratulations on your own personal growth, its inspiring! This is a great post to start the day with and a great goal to shoot for. Thanks for setting the mark.

  5. AA has such a wise philosophy on living life. It’s almost a shame it it focuses on alcohol and addiction. I think most people could benefit from the meetings, I know I have.

  6. Mary, your post this morning was spot on. It has taken me all of my years to be able to finally accomplish this. I still allow myself to get angry and self-righteous when I see something that hits the button, but I do it all in my head. Once I’ve got it tamed, I decide quite rationally whether my involvement will bring about anything positive. Some good things come with age!

  7. Mary your blog is a real gift. Thanks for the wonderful words of wisdom to live by. This was really an important post.

  8. I could really empathize with your comments today. It echos St. Francis’ prayer about what we can change and what we have to accept and being graced with knowing the difference.
    Thank you,
    Christa

  9. If there really is calm in the eye of the storm, I guess that’s the place we need to strive to arrive, or is it return? This is a most thought provoking post Mary, – it affirms too, the power of remaining calm in the presence of someone who may be losing their temper with us. To do so likewise only flames the fire. Thank you for another gem. Susan in AZ

  10. Thanks Mary for bringing this up.
    I too often want things “my way”….because I’m alone, lonely, in pain, can’t decide, overwhelmed…whatever.
    And then too I tell myself (esp with kids/grandkids time with me)…they are busy…and It is none of my business.
    But insecurity/loneliness/pain sneaks in esp. when tired or another situation has disturbed me. But the necessity of remaining calm and “going with the flow”…is the mature thing to do. I know that.
    I truly try for that attitude of gratitude at what I do get/have/can do etc.
    I realize that many women (& a few men) have “mothered” me in various ways…lilstening/validating/encouraging and I pray that they are blessed at this time…and that I can learn to pass it on in whatever way is needed.
    Happy Mom’s Day to all of you, whether or not you have kids, you still “mother” someone and Bless you for it!

  11. Oh man, I’ve had that exact wave of feeling over the declawing topic. Also over use of chemicals on the lawn and all manner of other things. A friend of mine used to say about those feelings, “There’s no blood in the streets. Noone’s dying. You can wait.”

    It’s a big relief to me that as I’m getting older I’m feeling less like I am right.

  12. As always, great post from a great woman! happy Mothers Day to you Mary, and to all who visit here.

  13. Also, the thought…”When in doubt don’t” …helps me to “mind my own business”. When I get busy doing the things that are clearly mine to do in the moment …feed the dogs and cats…by the time I get back to the thing that was gnawing at me…often it gets resolved- without me!

    • Yes!! So many times, things do resolve themselves perfectly without my fine-tuning! Imagine that!

  14. So timely, as usual! I’ve had a week of getting anxious and irritated at what MIGHT be, and I know that I am missing out on the present goodness of life when I let my mind run amok. I wonder why it’s so easy to do that? Why does it take an effort to stop and breathe? Guess I need to practice practice practice until it becomes the norm! Thanks Mary.

  15. When my children were little and one of them did something wrong I sent them to their room so I could cool off before I re-entered their life for anything I needed to do to bring my point home. After all, I was their teacher and I knew that they watch how I behave. When I had calmed I went into their room determined not to discipline them in anger but through kindness and a gentle nature we’d talk then decide together what needed to be done. I found that they often were more strict about a punishment than I was. Once my kids were grown they told ME how hard it was for them to wait for me to arrive in thier room because they didn’t know what might happen, and for them that was very sobering. I laugh about that now and I can see the wisdom in my decision to wait…

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