I go through any given day often cursing things that; bug me, thwart my attempts to accomplish a task, vex me, complicate things, get in my way, or just generally piss me off. These “things”, can be things, or people. And, if left unchecked, I find I spend a significant portion of my day cursing, usually silently, sometimes under my breath, and every now and then, out loud. Honestly, I like the word “fuck” the best. I use it alone or in combination with any number of other words to express my thoughts about something. This week’s favorite is “fuck breath”. I’m pretty creative, I know.
As far as people go, there are the strangers I curse at, usually drivers that don’t drive exactly the way I think they should. Sometimes while running, amateur cyclists who think it’s okay to cycle on the sidewalk when there is a dedicated bike lane a few feet away. And, sadly, I will often curse people I know and people I love, not usually with an “f-bomb”, but a curse, nonetheless, and usually because they have behaved in some way that isn’t consistent with my expectations, which in itself is a flaw of mine I try very hard to curtail.
Right now I am cursing Elaine.
Elaine is a toddler, a swarthy toddler of perhaps two years of age, who has come into the coffee shop I have been peacefully enjoying working from for the past couple of hours. I’ve been sitting here, sipping an iced decaf coffee, writing to my heart’s content. Then came Elaine. With her parents. For fro yo. I like kids. I love kids. I have kids. And never, ever, did I allow my kids to screech at the top of their lungs for sport. Elaine is just emitting a happy, high pitched screech every 45 seconds or so, in a public place, that echoes, she is grabbing things off of other people’s tables, smearing her fingers all over the glass protecting the frozen yogurt from her advances and walking right up to other patrons and waving at them, three inches from their faces. It was cute for about three seconds. Her (also swarthy) parents are laughing very loudly and further encouraging her with very annoying, very loud baby talk, in response to all of her antics, including the screeching. I think my ears are bleeding. Curse them all.
But, cursing Elaine, and her parents really did nothing, other than make me feel grumpy. I left, out of frustration, and as I backed out of my parking spot, Elaine and her parents left, too. Now I’m home, writing from my un-air-conditioned office on a ninety-degree afternoon. Having a beer. I could still be at the, now peaceful, coffee shop. I deserve what I get. Curses.
“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you. If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you.” –
1886-1951, Spiritual Leader
I’ve seen this saying before, and other similar teachings. And I know it, but like all that we try to encompass into our personal evolutionary process, sometimes an important lesson gets buried by others and is momentarily forgotten. Usually, about that time, a reminder lesson manifests. Like Elaine. Bless her heart.
I have a co-worker from the Midwest, I used to work with her quite a bit until she took a different position within the company. She taught, like I do, and I frequently “shadowed” her to learn to teach different classes. Whenever she spoke of someone, in class or out, she would add, “bless her heart” or his heart, or their hearts. Then she’d inform the participants in class that this was a Midwestern tradition and by blessing someone’s’ heart, in this manner, it gave you license to continue talking about them. While I find this amusing, and now often repeat the same joke when I teach classes (we steal each other’s material regularly), there is some merit to this practice. I’m not saying we can all just go about gossiping and speaking poorly of others just because we preface our tirade with “bless his heart”. I’m saying that if someone is conversation worthy, in their absence, they could probably use the blessing! I’m also suggesting that blessing people, and things, is the right thing to do. For them and for us.
This sort of goes along with forgiveness. Blessing and forgiveness both free us from whatever negative feeling we feel victim of. I saw another saying on Facebook this week, “forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” Forgiveness and blessing both act as an acknowledgement of letting it go. “It” being whatever is making us feel bad, angry, or sad. How liberating to just let “it” go. By hanging on to it, we are nurturing the bad, angry or sad feeling, we are giving power to whatever is causing those negative feelings. Blessing it, and forgiving it, free us from those negative stimuli and allow us to move on, into more positive territory.
I once vowed to the man I exchanged vows with that I would never forgive him. For a very long time, I didn’t. As a result, I was just bitter and resentful towards him and every reminder of him. I suffered emotionally, spiritually and probably even physically as a result of my unwillingness to forgive. And this just gave him more power over me and the new life I was trying to build for myself. It took a lot of time, reflection and self-education to finally realize that forgiveness, and even blessing, was the key to the freedom I so dearly craved. And in that eventual ability to forgive, and even bless, I am totally and completely liberated. I am free of those negative feelings and of the negative energy associated with all those long harbored feelings of spite, hatred and anger. I had that power all along, sort of like Dorothy and her ruby red slippers, she had the power to get home to Kansas throughout that whole, epic journey, she just didn’t know it.
I have been, now, reminded of this lesson; to bless and to forgive, everyone and everything. But, like Elaine and the joy she derived from screeching and hearing her own voice, I’m quite certain that I will still look for opportunities to creatively combine the “f-word” with other words to communicate my momentary displeasure with someone or something. I’m sorry, it’s just sport. I’ll bless them and forgive them, I promise.