Yesterday I faced a fear, it may not be a big deal to you but for me going to the dentist is a highly stressful endeavour. As a child I was graced with the challenge of little to no enamel on my teeth which meant years of visits to the dentist. Over and over I’d go to a specialist to have treatments, have fillings and experience the sounds, discomfort (often pain) and anxiety which have left me with a strong adversity to the dentist’s chair.
Yesterday I made it through my long put off cleaning (2 years over due) and was at the desk trying to make a follow-up appointment when I was greeted by an employee who instantly rubbed me the wrong way. I had nothing left, I’d faced my demon and was standing there in pain, anxiety on high alert, feeling as though I had no skin and my nerves were exposed.
As this woman snapped at me repeatedly about God knows what gaffe I’d somehow made without saying a word my level of ire rose. My inner Irish-woman was whipping condescending remarks out of the holster when a memory hit me.
Everyone Is Fighting a Hard Battle
Over 4 years ago I was in a car accident which had left me living with a brain injury which had me in a constant state of befuddlement. I was at a physio therapist office trying to book an appointment, only to be greeted by a clerk who took pleasure in treating me like an imbecile because I wasn’t understanding her. That day I let my inner-Irish out on her, I tore her a strip and left the office crying and feeling shattered.
My husband was with me and by the time we reached the car he had brought me back to reality by honestly telling me that I over-reacted and my rage was seriously concerning him. That day the lady was appalled at my reaction (as my husband told me) and in the end I didn’t feel vindicated nor did I feel any less anxiety.
I felt hollow and low.
Kindness is Freeing
Once I’d gotten comfortable at home I felt awful for the way I treated the woman, I had NO idea what was happening in her life or what battles she is facing. I had no excuse for the way I treated her and vowed never to do that to someone again.
Since then I’ve bitten my tongue more times than I care to recall, each and every time someone snubs me, rubs me the wrong way or outright is rude to me I am reminded of this past encounter and how I felt afterwards.
By simply being kind and pleasant to others, irrelevant of how they choose to treat me I’ve been able to move through each encounter with no regrets. In fact my positive attitude often rubs off. Yesterday I breathed deeply, put a smile on my face and went through the motions of answering the employee’s insurance questions (which were irrelevant to the situation) and we parted with smiles and no hard feelings.
Today I call to you, can you be kind to another person when its not warranted?
I hope you can….it’s liberating and can make the other person’s day.