As we begin a new year, I invited guests to reflect on what their #dailystep #towardthegreater would be for 2020. Today’s post is from @wildedgefaith Charlotte Ferris. Love her thoughts today on changing our response. I first met Charlotte through a book writing course. Here is her step:
“Ficus and Fiddle Leaf Fig trees transform a corner of Costco into a jungle. Their fronds crowd the aisle leaving little room for one cart to navigate the wildness. With the keen focus of a hunter in search of the healthiest specimen, a shopper pushes her cart full on into mine. Annoyed by my intrusion, she utters something that sounded very close to a growl and waits for me to withdraw my cart.
With so much animal energy hanging in the air, I revert to instinct.
Two little words that allow another person’s determination to have her needs met at another’s expense. I apologize for being in her way as she pushes toward her treasure, unaware anyone else existed. I apologize for existing.
As we start the first year in a new decade, my one small step toward living more fully as the person God created me to be is to stop apologizing for my existence. I need a radical correction for a lifelong default of taking responsibility for things that are not mine to own.
Here’s my 2 part plan:
PAUSE and ASK:
Did I do anything wrong?
What is my responsibility in this situation?
How can I rephrase my habitual reaction?
Instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” I might say, “Oh, our carts seem to be attracted to one another.” This honors both of our experiences without a nasty response or reducing me to an inanimate object that has no right to block her way.”
-Charlotte Ferris, @wildedgefaith
[Charlotte writes about the wild edge of faith for those who want to find meaning when circumstances push them to the raw places of life. She’s a Spiritual Director and Supervisor and leads contemplative retreats and pilgrimages.
Charlotte believes we’re wired for story and the power found in our stories heals and transforms the broken and underdeveloped pieces of our lives. She’s married to the same man for 44 years, yet has lived at least 5 different marriages with him.
Her adult daughters call her friend, something none of them imagined when they all lived in the same house. She treasures her grandkids, but laments they live too far away to eat supper with them every weekend.
You can find Charlotte on Instagram @wildedgefaith]