Rising Strong: Passing on our pain and hurt to others

There are times when we all get frustrated and act out, not always exhibiting our best selves to the world. Maybe we are having a rough day, are cranky, tired, and in my case potentially hungry. Chris has a joke for when I am cranky and he knows I am probably hungry. He says: “Do you need a Snickers bar?” It is his nicer way of telling me that maybe my grumpy mood is connected to my hunger. Often we also have too high expectations (I know I do) and those lead to disappointment.

I recently finished reading Brene Brown’s new book to come out: “Rising Strong.” Brown is the author of “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead a book that is on my top 5 list. I have been patiently awaiting the release of Rising Strong. This specific idea Brown shares discusses not passing our pain and hurt on to others. Oh, and I love the term badassery.

“There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.” Page xxvii

So how do we go about focusing more on how we are “feeling” rather than transferring our pain and disappointment to others. First, you might read “Rising Strong.” Another simple way is to talk about it. Chris and I have been talking a lot recently about how we want to raise the son we will meet in just a few months. One of the things that comes to me so strongly is encouraging and creating an environment where he feels comfortable to share his words, emotions, and feelings. I did not grow up in such an environment, and Chris keeps a lot to himself. I want to make sure that we are not doing anything as parents that closes any doors for our son to freely be himself.

A more open and free person feels their hurt and disappointment and acts out less to others. Remember that when you watch someone live their pain, they might just need a bit of help to see what they are doing and how to change gears.

Even two acts of kindness could not cure my crankiness

It was so nice to have a long weekend. Somehow we got plenty done, did some fun things, caught up with friends and family, and had some naps dabbled within all that. Saturday we napped in the late afternoon (so nice)! Saturday night I fell asleep snuggled on Chris’ nap, and then Sunday we had brunch and I curled up next to him on the couch for a snooze, only to find out my snuggling with him made him fall asleep sitting up. Ah, how nice naps are for adults.

It was an interesting weekend, on Sunday I was quite cranky, and then two random acts of kindness happened to me (and yet I was still cranky). The first happened at the Starbucks drive-thru. I was very thirsty, as all weekend it was between 97-102 degrees which almost never happens in Portland, and definitely not before July 4th. Usually we are just hoping for a slightly warm and dry 4th. This year we got dry and hot-as-hell too. Chris and I spent most of our time in our bedroom where we have air conditioning.

So back to the random acts of kindness at Starbucks. When we got up to the window to pay, the girl at the window said, “The woman in the car ahead of you paid for your drink.” Wow. I always hear of that happening, but it has never happened to me (that I can remember). It makes me want to pay it forward the next time I am at Starbucks. You would have thought that would have lightened my mood. It made me grateful and appreciative, but nonetheless I was still cranky.

Random act of kindness #2. We were at Sephora. Not my favorite place in the world. It was loud, (and remember I was cranky). The line was long and I was done with my errands and just wanted to go home. As I am next in line at the register, the girl who had just paid turns to me and says, “Would you like to use the rest of this gift card? There is only a dollar left.” I was a bit taken aback. Sure, it was only a dollar, but she did not have to pass it on. Most people would keep it until their next purchase. Of course, she might dislike the store as much as me, and hope not to go back. In any case, I think I was a bit shocked at the second act of kindness in one day. I mumbled a “thanks” and continued with my purchase. Later, though I felt like my shock meant I did not share my gratitude in the best of ways. Sure, it was a dollar, but sharing is sharing.

This was my story of the kindness that was shared with me yesterday, now it is my turn to pass on the love. Join me?

Cranky passion…respect for another’s time

Do you ever get stuck on something that you have extreme passion over? To the point of being cranky about it?

I sometimes get frustrated when others in my life decide not to plan for certain events and I am impacted. You inquire about their plans, ask if they have decided, and in the end you are impacted by their indecision. At times like these I prefer to just cancel the plans and move on with my life. I get cranky with them. Maybe it is because it feels like they are not communicating and they are not thinking about how their unresponsiveness may impact your life. It means they are not respecting your time or appreciating what might be happening in your life. In the end it is selfish of them.

I try not to do this to others. I try to be aware of how my decision might affect others, and communicate with them if I know my indecisiveness might affect them. I let them know I am unsure. I tell them that if they need to move forward with their plans without me to go ahead and do so.

I know I should not judge others for the decisions they make in life, but it is hard. It means that there are missed opportunities. I want to be sure to teach my future kids to be respectful of other people’s time. It is like going to a meeting and other individuals in the meeting are not prepared and when they come to the meeting they are on their phone or computer. Are they respecting our time? Is that fair? If you are in that situation do you tell the other attendees to reschedule and reconvene when they are prepared?

How can we get others to respect the time of everyone we come into contact with? Is it even possible? What do you think?

Do You Ever Make Up Your Own Words?

I make up my own words. If you asked my husband, he would most likely say I make up my own words on a daily basis. I believe it happens because there are too many things going on in my mind, and whatever comes out is often the combination of a few words.

One that comes to mind as I write this is one day when I felt like Chris was coddling me a bit (he is so good to me, but I think I was cranky and hungry). I cannot remember the exact thing that happened, but my response was: “I not child.” (Said with an aggressive huff.) Yes, no typos there, that is exactly what I said. Now it is funny to us, and we use it for a good laugh once in a while. And, we always say it in a cranky tone.

Somehow over the years he has learned to translate my smashed words and 99% of the time he knows what I am trying to say, but he never lets me off the hook. A day or so later he will find a way to weave my made up word into conversation and wait for my reaction. As soon as I realize what he is doing, a slow grin creeps onto his face. This happens a few times over the course of a couple of weeks until the word becomes part of our normal conversation. Although whenever Chris says it there is a grin on his face. Ah, what fun we have together.

Do you make up your own language when you are tired, cranky, or there is just too much going on in your mind?  I would love to hear the things that have come out of your mouth, that now make you laugh.