This past Christmas Eve, Jack and I decided to take Griffin (our one and a half year old grandson) out for the morning. It was almost 70 degrees here in the northeast, so we were able to stroll around the small, Vermont, town of Vergennes, without jackets or boots….lovely.
Keeping up with Griffin is an adventure. He loves to run which is OK on grass but not on cement sidewalks, so to make him happy, Jack took his right hand and I took his left, and we began to jog up the sidewalk. Griffin alternated between running and dragging his feet, but we were all having a great time.
When we finally reached the car to go home, I noticed a man standing nearby staring at us. I smiled and said hi to him, but he scowled back at me and said, “I’m glad that you finally picked up that baby. He was very tired.” I couldn’t get my mind around what he meant, but as I was hooking Griffin into his car seat, it dawned on me that the man thought that Jack and I had been making Griffin run, and he wasn’t happy about it. And who could blame him? If that were the case, then it would have been awful. I too would have been upset to see anyone dragging a baby along.
But that wasn’t what was happening.
The three of us were having a great time, and this man, for whatever reason, was having a terrible time watching us. I sat there a minute before driving away and noticed that the man’s face looked hard. I could just tell that no matter what I said, he wouldn’t believe that reality was anything but what he was sure he had witnessed.
Over the past few days, I’ve thought about this incident a lot. I could feel that it was a lesson for me. How many times have I been 100% sure that my unhappy story about something (anything) was correct? How many times was I willing to stay in pain to defend my own unpleasant version of an encounter? Probably too many times to count…but I also know that this is changing, because when I do find myself thinking unhappy, miserable, angry, or sad thoughts, something inside me now says, “That is only one way of looking at this. This is happening for you…if you look for the good, the gold, the Truth, you will see that.” It is such a happy surprise to find that our minds can change and we can see with new eyes the good that is all around us. May 2016 be filled with happy surprises for you! Love, Mary
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin