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Last weekend, at my daughter’s volleyball tournament, we had just settled into our hotel room after a looooong five hour drive, when a note came in via group chat.

The coach was running late and needed someone to drive to the convention center to make sure they didn’t close up registration before she could get there.

Even though I was all snug in my room, and even though I didn’t want to, I rallied the one other volleyball mom who had also arrived early and we drove the fifteen minutes to the convention center.

When we got there, another mom was already in line speaking to staff about the situation. We wandered over to get the scoop and see if there was anything we can do.

As this was happening, I sent a couple messages to the group text to update the coach that we were all on the case.

Apparently though, I had sent the text after this other mom had just sent hers. So there were multiple texts about it being sent simultaneously.

And this is NOT good.

Said Mom who shall remain anonymous, turned to me right after I had sent a text to the group chat and shot me an angry/annoyed look then said, “Did you just text the group?”

“Yes,” I said back to her.

“Can you just stop?!” she quipped back at me.

“Oh, sorry,” I said to her, “Is that annoying?”

To which she did not respond.

So me and the other volleyball mom friend, seeing that this mom had it under control, got our bracelets and went back to the hotel.

But I’m not going to lie. I was TRIGGERED and it took me about an hour to regulate my nervous system.

A part of me was indignant. After all, I was the one who sacrificed my comfort, rallied another volleyball mom, and made the 15 minute drive to the convention center. Yeah that mom had it handled and, sure, sending multiple texts about it all at the same time just because I also wanted to get credit for being helpful even though the other mom had already sorted it out, could have been slightly annoying, but…

How dare this volleyball mom snap at me like that?

She could have just laughed it off. It could have been a silly moment of three volleyball mom’s kissing up to the coach. A bonding moment even… But no, this woman had to go and snap at me.

THE NERVE.

And that’s where I could have remained, steeping in self-righteous indignation, content in knowing that I had been wronged though I had OBVIOUSLY been acting in good faith.

Around minute fifty nine of this rumination cycle, I was standing in the bathroom after just having peed, when I stood in the sink washing my hands. I looked back at myself in the mirror and I had a different thought.

I recognized myself in her. The wanting to get credit. The need to be seen as useful. The exhaustion of having driven for five hours and just wanting to get this extra thing sorted out efficiently. The disappointment of being overshadowed. The feeling of anger after having been relegated to the side after someone else took all the credit. The feeling that no one cares, ever has my back. The having to deal with people who behave friendly to me but in reality don’t really know me or care to.

Over the years and maybe even over lifetimes, I have carried the experience of those things. I have been that person too. I saw myself in whatever she had been going through that led to that reaction. This recognition of our shared humanity didn’t excuse her rudeness or make me want to be all buddy buddy with her, but it allowed me to soften into something closer to compassion. And, instantly, the mental spinning ceased, as did the anger, the resentment, the indignation and I was able to take a long belly breathe.

And I felt relief. A lightness washed over me again and I knew I was back in a state of coherence. That feeling of inner harmony that my body has become accustomed to, the more healing I do.

Think about it this way…

Have you ever told a lie to someone you love? It feels shitty doesn’t it? It’s because, as humans, social beings that we all are, we are meant to create connection with other beings. Telling lies distances us from others.

It’s the same when we lie to ourselves. It feels shitty. It anchors us into states like anger, resentment, or (ahem) righteous indignation. Just to be clear, I’m not demonizing any of those emotions. We are humans and thus we feel all of it. The whole range of feelings.

But do we want to keep believing stories that anchor us there? Sending us into timelines of more and more of the same through our actions and patterns?

I could have stayed in righteous indignation, believing in my victim story, the next day sharing it with the other moms, claiming their sympathy at the expense of this other woman who I would have been rude back to, justifiably so in my own mind.

But it was my body that helped me find the truth, leading me to another narrative that allowed me to see our shared humanity and our connection and the physical relief was instantaneous.

I have been that person. I have been rude to well intending people. I have done harm to others out of sheer exhaustion and because of my own unprocessed trauma.

As I was experiencing this shift in awareness inside the hotel bathroom, I looked in the mirror and I saw myself in her and while I did I had another insight.

If I could see myself in her in that moment, then I can see myself in everyone.

I can go on ahead and see myself in every single person who I hold up, who I admire, who I seek to emulate.

I can just as easily see myself in every good thing that has ever happened or will happen on the part of humanity.

I am the generosity.

I am the brilliance.

I am the brave.

I am the loving.

I am the sweetness.

I am the light hearted.

I am the peaceful.

I am the mystical.

I am the gifted.

I am the healer.

I CAN BE ALL OF IT. HOLY SHIT! I AM ALL OF IT!

To be clear, I’m not asking for you to jump into the victim part of this story. So thank you but please don’t tell me you are sorry that someone was rude to me.

I say this with love: You are missing the point.

My point:

I’m starting to think that nothing that ever happens is really ever bad or good. It is all for us, if we are OPEN.

This human who may have been rude to me in that moment was a gift that led me to a new level of awareness, an expansion of heart and mind, that I was then able to share with you.

Because in the end…

“We are all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass