Thursday, April 16, 2009

true confessions

Oh man, “high lucy” kicked into gear yesterday. The one who thinks she knows it all. The one who’s not quite sure where she stands in the world, so starts making stuff up in her head (or pulling footballs out from under people). Do you know that one? My more reasonable, mature (and I pray “normal” - ha ha) self has kicked back in this morning (I think) and so I hesitate to describe what was going on inside me as I took my seat on the second airplane of the day headed toward my homeland. Nevertheless (confession is good for the soul, right? ☺)…

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were near someone you have never met before and you don’t like them immediately? This happened as I sat down next to a woman on my flight from Dallas to Houston. I really didn't want to be anywhere near this person. (Now this doesn’t happen to me a lot, but airplanes seem to exacerbate the situation particularly when I am tired.) This time the reaction was strong. I felt like I was back in college for the first time meeting those glamorous girls from Dallas and I was the little hick from Oklahoma City. Perhaps it was her severely manicured nails or maybe the heavily teased hair. The super-tan or the over-sized designer handbag? I hate this about me – about humans, really – our desire to sum people up within an instant. I chastised my critical self for doing it (and then chastised again for chastising. I really am trying to be more compassionate with myself). Still I felt the discomfort sitting next to this woman. I observed her peripherally while she incessantly texted on her phone long after the flight attendants had said to "please turn off all cellular devices." I wanted to tattle on this woman. Yes, tattle! She was getting away with something and I wanted her caught! What was this?!??! Why did my normally compassionate, curious self so vividly disappear?

Lots of reasons come to mind with exhaustion hitting the top of the list. Anxiety probably running a close second. I could really beat myself up over this. Rather now, I wonder what hurt or need might have had her frantically texting well past the stop time. My compassion and curiosity start to kick in. I consider she is probably a nice person outside of her airplane seat. I recognize that my reaction probably had nothing to do with her specifically, but rather it really is all about me. Still…for a few minutes it was kind of fun to have someone else to scrutinize…Geez louise…what's a lucy to do? ☺.

How about you? Ever have one of those moments? What sets it off for you? When does your “high lucy” kick in?

13 comments:

blisschick said...

Oh this kind of honesty is why I give you this:

http://www.blisschick.net/2009/04/sharedbliss-lemonade-award.html

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

I am reading Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation. I have just read these words, which seem fitting, for this post:

When we see crime in others, we try to correct it by destroying them or at least putting them out of sight. It is easy to identify the sin with the sinner when [s/]he is someone other than our own self.Often I encounter a similar situation in public (i.e the dude that was sitting at the back of the bus, drinking a budweiser and smoking a cigarette, during last evening's commute home). I bite my tongue ... and then bite it some more!

Sorrow said...

My teenage son loves to tattle on me.
He and i had gone into one of those nasty large "super stores" I call them nasty because i always feel like they are not clean, and they seem to be running every mom and pop store out of business. ( hence i usually avoid)
So he had gotten his " thing, and I had gotten my " thing" and we were in the " express isle." ( the one that says 15 items or less) When a severely over weight woman in one of those driving buggies came up, her little basket over loaded with tv dinners little frozen pizzas, ice cream, junk food of all kinds.
She ran over my foot in her attempt to squeeze in front of us.
" jumping back I grabbed my foot and said very loudly " Excuse me! you just ran over my foot! and we were here first!"
she looked at me and scowled " I'm handicapped!" she screeched at me.
( this is the part my son loves to tell the most) I looked at her and I said " Your not handicapped, your fat, rude and inconsiderate" and I grabbed my son dropped everything we were go9ing to but and left.
Yep, I can lose my compassion, and it always comes back to haunt me.
( in the form of my kids.)
:)

Barbara said...

Being from NYC, I have tactless and blunt down to an artform. When I express my opinion (as my opinion only and subject to correction to be sure) as directly as I can, I inevitably offend someone with another perspective. I am currently persona non grata among certain folk. On the one hand, I feel badly that I have offended some, but strangely relieved and released from a burden -- I suppose that of being someone I was not.

lucy said...

blisschick - thank you for honoring me with this award. lemons to lemondade. i love it!!

tinkerbell - merton always seems to have a perspective, huh? thanks for sharing this one with me.

sorrow - oh, i got a big chuckle out of your comment. we all have our moments, don't we?

barbara - i would prefer to name you as "honest" vs. tactless. there are definitely soft edges around that "blunt" exterior. you are a delight to me.

thought you all might enjoy this quote from my morning reading by richard rohr:

"We know it’s grace when we no longer need to hate or punish others, even in our mind. We know someone else is working through us, in us, in spite of us, and for us."

Endlessly restless said...

Hi Lucy

I often fall into similar traps - instant judgements - sometimes without any obvious trigger. I've just posted about something similar that happened over here recently.

The trouble is that we/I tend not to learn!

Sue said...

Yes, I loved that Richard Rohr quote too, Lucy. It made me feel better in some small way when I did what now feels like a little high kicking the other day with someone online who, through their own woundedness, has grown up learning to be VERY inconsiderate to other people. I called them onto the carpet, they managed to turn it all around so that I was the bad guy ... and I ended up thinking that I should have just kept my mouth shut anyway. Hmmmm.

I love the way God shows us truth. So gently, so as not to prod our defenses. I have a very long way to go :)

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Oh wow Lucy! I can relate but it doesn't make me proud:( anymore than it does you. No wonder we in life are all so wound up in personal appearance of ourselves - we know how WE JUDGE OTHERS and so we choose the model most familiar to our own and try to mimic that so we won't be criticized.....this is my self-analyis I'm sure you see working here - not an analysis of Lucy or Kayce:) And airplanes, they seem to bring out the worst in me. I can always find somebody doing something I don't like or approve of. I guess that's why airports and airplanes are such a fabulous place to work on one's soul, one's tolerance, one's compassion, one's CONTROL!!!! Oh yeah, I usually have to spend some time in prayer while flying and it's not just because I think the plane might fall out of the sky any minute.

Thanks for this great provocation. It seems to have touched a nerve with a lot of us:)

His Girl Friday said...

haha, I've just been to ER's blog and read about making instant judgments of people.

Still, there are sometimes when you just pick up on vibes, and the gut instinct kicks in.

hope all is well, Lucy. I'm back to blogging here and there...and hope to make it over your way more! :)

Tess said...

Yup, I realised just last week that I've been doing it for years in a certain situation. I love what you say here.

Kel said...

sorrow - you made me roar with laughter - i have always wanted to do that, but never had the guts

lucy - travelling alone on planes brings out my 'high lucy' too :)

Gabrielle said...

Oh Lucy, may I vent a little too after a long, hard workday? I mean, is it a sin or a crime to actually just stand on the escalator and allow it to carry us upwards (which is what I believe the good Lord intended it to do), or must we all be pummelled by a thousand elbows running past us before we reach the top... I think I'll just go to bed now. :)

lucy said...

thank you, friends, for the smiles you have brought me and the comfort of knowing i am not alone in this oh so long journey towards compassion.

gabrielle--i thought of you yesterday when i was in the airport riding the escalator. fortunately all of the luggage kept the elbows in check :-)