Saturday, July 4, 2015

Justine's Journal #46

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 46

"Hello, everyone. After last week’s post about feeling a failure and what I would do to change it, well, here’s how it went.

Remember I said I would concentrate on the little things that make me positive again?

I went outside and listened to the birds and refilled their food stations, and that made me smile. All good.

I tried to edit, but really couldn’t concentrate, for there was too much going on in my mind. But I tried and that gave me a sense of accomplishment. I also saw an issue in the story line I need to address, which means I looked at my manuscript at exactly the right time and in the right frame of mind in order to notice it. Well done to me.

I phoned my brother and we ended up having a loooong chat! Wonderful!

I did watch a favourite movie … but felt guilty after. Ha.

And then the meal I said I would cook, with the intention of sharing it with my partner, and in the spirit of those good vibes to move onto cuddles after.

Generally, as you can see from above, my mood improved (except for the movie thing, it worked) and I was therefore ready to really enjoy the evening. I chose to make lasagne, because my partner loves it, and garlic bread, because I love garlic bread, and a leafy salad to break the richness of the meal. Around an hour and a half before he was due to arrive, I started the prep. Music up, glass of white to hand, the cooking process got underway. I don’t know if the radio felt my mood, but somehow just the right music blared out and soon I was dancing and singing along, sipping at my wine and really getting into it.

Yes, I was happy, felt I had not a care in the world and life was just good.

My partner arrived and everything crashed. An excellent mood descended into darkness.

Something went wrong in his day, something beyond his control, and it did not sit well with him. He was frustrated and not in the mood for laughter. Now, I understand this happens to all of us, that something to bring us down, and I know we unintentionally project our negative feelings onto those closest to us. I have done this to him, too. Usually we soothe the other’s mood, support them until they are ready to step out and let it go. He has done this for me as well. This is, after all, part of what makes us human, we have feelings of negativity, and we know empathy also, and we deal with each other.

Unfortunately, he did not know I was in the middle of trying to lift myself out of a sense of failure. I immediately felt let down. Yes, you guessed it, we argued. Instead of understanding each other’s needs, we ended up throwing insults.

He left without eating and I parked the prepared lasagne in the fridge somewhat viciously and went off to bed, alone.

Days later, as I sit to write this, I understand two things.

First, I suffered under the delusions euphoria creates in us. I have spoken of this in an earlier post. Too much ‘happiness’ leads to blindness to how we are really feeling. I was actually high on my sense of release from failure and therefore expected everyone to fall into my bliss. Instead of being empathetic to his needs and helping him back into a good mood, I lashed out at him for not joining me in my state of euphoria.

Second, anger is a terrible thing. It is destructive. We say things we do not mean, merely seeking to hurt. In the aftermath, I realised my hurt caused me to lash out, and no doubt his did too.

This is the longest post to date, far more than 500 words. Well, just shows how this affected me. To end it, there is this.

We had the lasagne for Sunday lunch; we apologised to each other and moved on. BUT. Some words were hurled which will take a while to overcome. On Wednesday I sat him down and said we need to talk about it in order to move on without the niggles in our thoughts. He agreed and we are talking and we are also fine. In fact, we are learning new things about each other now.

Be wary of euphoria and keep compassion ever at the fore of your being. It avoids much misunderstanding. And that is my two cents this week!"

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