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Everything Embarrasses My Teen

Last night we went out to dinner after a long day.  When we got to the restaurant we were all quite hungry.  There was a wait of 20 minutes before seating, so we talked among ourselves and caught up since our last meeting.  We were then sat and ordered drinks, which came in a timely manner.  Then our waitress took our order and we sat, and sat, and sat even more.  We were engaged in our conversation and then the bread came and our salads, and then we sat and sat and sat and sat.  We watched as tables around us sat and ate and left, until finally we looked at each other and realized that it was taking quite some time for our food to arrive.  So, one of us got up and asked for the manager.  She kindly came over and went to check on our food.  As it turns out our food was not ordered.  She came back apologized and made us our food herself and it came out in short order.

Now, I tell you this not to complain because none of us were unhappy, just hungry, and wondering, but because my daughter's response was interesting.  She was mortified that we called the manager over because she was afraid of hurting our waitress' feelings.  This made me realize that I had not taught her one of the first lessons that I teach all clients, you are not responsible for other people's feelings.  You may be thinking that saying this is rude, unkind, and unfeeling, and I will tell you I thought that for most of my life.  The reality is that how someone feels is personal to them, they are choosing their feelings based on their past experiences.  If someone is having an emotional reaction to something you are saying and/or doing it has almost nothing to do with you, you are just representing something from their past that does not feel good to them, and vice versa.  If someone is agitating you it is not them, it is you choosing a reaction based on your past and that person or situation is representing that for you.  Does this make sense?

I found understanding this illuminating and challenging.  You mean I am the one creating these ill feelings?  I can no longer blame the other person or the circumstance for how I am feeling?  I'm not gonna lie, it took some getting used to because we are conditioned to find who is to blame, or who's fault it is, for every interaction that is unpleasing and if we turn that on ourselves, well that seems harsh.  Actually, understanding this is freedom!  We begin the work to understand who we really are and go about doing the work on the one thing that we can enact change on, ourselves. 

Well, doesn't this sound exciting?  Likely, not!  But, it's time to dive in and start feeling good, predominantly!  To learn to be in JOY!  You deserve it!  You are worth it!
Erin "Joy Slinger" Mac

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