The Stickiness of Hypocrisy

12 Oct

I have a regular routine each morning that helps me get on track for the day. I usually try to get my housework done first, then exercise and then spend time reading, meditating/praying and writing. Today, because I felt emotionally and spiritually uneasy, I decided to flip things around and start with meditation. That led to some writing and some reading and a huge revelation. I am a hypocrite.

One of the exercises in the book I’m currently reading is to write down the name of everyone you have an issue with and forgive them. Then you write down the name of everyone you judge or blame and either physically or in prayer ask for forgiveness for yourself. In doing this exercise, I realized that the things that drive me nuts about others are exactly the things I know I need to or want to change about myself. Have you ever heard the expression, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you”? That’s exactly what it feels like, only I’m the glue. For example, I have offered several times to help a new mom I know. I’ve offered to babysit, help her clean, do a load of laundry and even just come play with her children so she could do what she wants whether it’s straighten up, take an uninterrupted shower or get a quick nap. She has refused my help over and over and I finally got frustrated and gave up. I judged her for being stubborn and unwilling to accept help. Going through this exercise, I realized that I was no different. So many times when I was a new mom and at the end of my rope, I refused help because I thought I had to learn to do take care of my children all by myself. I created so much unnecessary stress in my life in my attempt to be super mom. Because of that, I can now see that she doesn’t need me to clean, do laundry or even watch her kids for her. She needs me to remind her that she is be a great mom, especially on those days when that thought seems so far away. I also realize how many times my family offers to help and I refuse because I think they won’t do it right or I’m too upset or too busy to stop and receive the gift they’re offering, especially if it’s a gift I didn’t ask for, like a hug or an encouraging word, which in reality is more precious than gold.

The other amazing thing I realized is that every person who ticks me off is my teacher, if I’m just willing to learn from them. Last night, I was buying an outfit for my son for the Homecoming dance. I felt like the salesman was trying to sell us a jacket that was too small. When I suggested that my son had no room to grow, the salesman told me that you don’t buy a sport coat to grow into. You buy a new one when you grow. I took the jacket and was upset and grumpy. My son didn’t feel good in the jacket and I didn’t feel good about paying $100 for jacket he would probably only wear once, so we went and looked at the clearance rack and my son found a suit in a different size that felt good and looked good and was the same price as the jacket, so we bought it instead. Last night I was aggravated and irritated with the salesman. Today I can see that the salesman gave me the opportunity to make a decision based on my own feelings and the feelings of my son and not be swayed by someone who had no vested interest in what I was buying. In my view, that is the essence of Grace; to be able to take what was originally perceived as a negative event and see the opportunity to learn and grow from it and most importantly, see it as a blessing. I’m sure we all have incidents from our past that originally looked like the worst thing that could happen to us that turned out to be a blessing. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that it doesn’t take years to figure that out.

So what have I learned from all this? I hope that I am learning to step back when something is bugging me and ask what I can learn from it so I can move on without stress. I hope that I can stop when someone is getting on my last nerve and figure out what in me is being disturbed by this person’s actions and what I may need to change to be more at peace. I also hope that because I know that no one got up today asking, “So how can I mess up Karen’s day today?” (At least I hope they didn’t), that I can move through today and every day looking for a chance to praise, soothe and help instead of judge, blame and condemn. I know it will take a monumental effort on my part and a lot of Divine guidance to get there, but I also think it’s worth the effort. Maybe one day I’ll go through an entire day with only praise and joy in my heart and maybe you’ll be there with me because it would be a wonderful place to be together. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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One Response to “The Stickiness of Hypocrisy”

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  1. The Stickiness of Hypocrisy « karenbemmes - October 12, 2012

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