Friday, October 25, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - The Paradigm Shift

Many moons ago now, my husband told me a story that has stuck with me. It was something he had read but neither of us remember the source now, unfortunately.

The author is sitting on the bus when a man and his two kids get on. The man sits quietly, ignoring the children as they terrorize the other riders -- running, screaming, misbehaving. The bus riders are irritated, some even getting angry. Why won't the man make his children behave?

Well it is revealed a little later in the story that the man is crushed. His wife has just died and he is grieving, as well as trying to figure out how to tell his children that their mother has died.

Wow, about a paradigm shift - directly from anger and irritation to sympathy and compassion. The circumstances didn't alter, it was people's perception of the situation that changed.

I have always found this to be a powerful story. Sometimes (still not often enough, but getting better with effort) I am able to circumvent my irritation with another person by imagining that they are going through something stressful or heartbreaking.

For some reason, in the past month I have been cut off while driving three times, and I mean, scary close calls. At first, the adrenalin whipped through my body, making me tremble and then I got angry, swearing and wishing those drivers ill will. Then I rephrased it all in my mind and let it go. All three times. It was almost magical.

I wish I could remember to do that every time someone behaved in a way I didn't appreciate. Have you ever tried to consciously change your viewpoint about a person or a situation? How did it go for you?


Tina Bradley said...

I need to remember that story every time I make assumptions. This touching story will certainly stay with me as well. Hugs, T.

Kei said...

I try to think that way but sometimes I'm too busy being self-absorbed, or annoyed lol I try not to wish ill on people though even if I am irritated with them!

Magic Love Crow said...

I try to do this all the time! Sometimes it is very hard, but I want to send out good, to get good back ;o) It's just like my new neighbor, if you can call her that? Don't know if she is moving in or reselling. But, in my eyes, she is there to use you! Remember I made that comment about the lawnmower? But, then I try to get those thoughts out of my head! To wish her the best! Maybe she just has a lot going on? Who truly knows??? Lucky lawn cutting season is over with! LOL! I am so bad!
Very interesting story! Makes you think!!
Hugs ;o)

Mindy said...

Wow, that's a really good reminder to pause and remember that everyone just might be going through something difficult that's unseen.