I am a hot-head.
I have been known to fly off the handle, lose my cool and let my inner-redneck lash out at any given opportunity. Opinions have been know to fly without regard, out of my mouth, like hornets intent on the sting.
From the time I can remember from when I was young, I said what I wanted to say, consequences be damned. It generally never ended well for me. Arguments, hurt feelings, disagreements, awkward silences….. bitter icing on the bitter cake. And just for fun, whenever I added booze to the mix, well, then, let’s just say the entertainment for the evening was set. My friends would all laugh at me, would tease me about my temper, would sit back and enjoy the shenanigans that would inevitably come from my loud, abrasive and sometimes unkind mouth.
I hated that about me. I still do.
I think that, in a way, sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Many an opinionated person has changed the course of history. I would NEVER be audacious enough to include myself in this realm, but still. Sometimes you gotta stick up for what you believe in. But when I look back, I have usually regretted my outbursts. I would sometimes wish that I was more easy-going. Perhaps more laid back and chilled out. I would chronically beat myself up for days about what I said…. how I said it… why I said it….
Forgiveness did not come easily, if at all.
Then a little thing called yoga entered my life. I discovered a path of self-forgiveness. I realized that who I am right at this moment in time, regardless of the past or future, is perfect in its imperfections. That it is totally okay to be who I was, who I am and who I will be.
Um. Wow… talk about ENLIGHTENMENT, dude. Doesn’t that make you wanna light a spliff, man?
So, over the last decade, through my relationship with yoga, I have come to terms with my faults and even started to love them a little bit. My temper? PASSION. My opinions? A DESIRE FOR CHANGE. My (mostly unintentional) rudeness? Well, um, I’m kind of working on that.
I have made dedicated decisions to disengage from some things. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things if someone pisses me off, for me to tell that person to eff off. All it serves is to hurt that person. And ultimately bringing it back to my own worrisome self-hate. Maybe that person was just having a really shitty day, and I made it even shittier by being an asshole. When I choose to disengange from conflict, I feel lighter. When I choose to extend compassion and kindness instead of rudeness and conflict, it might be the difference between someone having a crappy day to someone having a good day. That makes me happy.
But then, there are sometimes when all the yoga in the world will not keep me from speaking my mind.
It generally involves my kids.
Hell hath no fury like a Mama-Bear scorned.
an asshat someone who lives in the area, a young man who thinks it is his God-given right to drive like a maniac through our little country community. My neighbour asked him to slow down the other day, and the young man informed my neigbour to “Fuck Off”.
The next day, I was in the local store and I saw him walk in. It took about .0002 seconds for me to decide to abandon the disengagement for a minute and confront him about his idiotic and dangerous driving habits.
I really was kind and introduced myself as a Mom of two kids. I asked him to slow down on our road and look out for my kids and pets. I said all this with a smile and (HONESTLY!!) a nice tone in my voice.
He told me he wasn’t speeding. That it was his loud muffler that made it look like he was driving too fast.
Anyway, I think the message got through to him, as I have seen him driving much slower on the road.
So, baby steps for me, learning to right way to solve conflict.
I still step in it from time to time, though. The difference is that now, I can forgive myself, and honestly ask for forgiveness from the one I hurt. Most times I receive forgiveness. And when I don’t, I am learning to be okay with that too.