Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chasing My Tail

Read an interesting little novel by Fannie Flagg yesterday (Can't Wait to Get to Heaven) and thought I'd gotten something profound and helpful from it.

Then a former employee called and read me the riot act last night, and I can't shake the bad, sad feelings provoked by her screaming.

Flagg's book is a simple story, simply told. I think her point is that simple is not bad; complex is not better. In her vision of heaven, God says, "Just like two and two equal four, kindness and forgiveness is always right, hate and revenge is always wrong. It's a fail-proof system; if you stick to that one simple rule, why you couldn't make a mistake if you tried."

It might be exactly that simple. All the study and contemplation and convolution we seekers go through might be obscuring the fact that it's absolutely simple. We don't have to seek source--we are connected. All we have to do is accept that grace, allow ourselves to feel it. Kindness is always the right choice.

Flagg's God talks about free will and cause and effect, talks about how that system produces painful situations and unwanted results. He/She says that's regrettable, but unavoidable, there had to be cause and effect; free will is a necessary part of th whole.

So, back to this young woman. She wants to make me responsible for her problems, wants to blame us for events far out of our control. I understand her impulse--it's far easier and more attractive to be angry with someone else than to step up and be responsible for ourselves.

It's easy for me to choose kindness in this situation. What's not easy is knowing that I'm being hated and blamed for not doing more, for not having a magic wand. It's hard for me to accept that being kind does not equal being liked.

And, even though I suspect the fundamental principles of life might be exactly as simple as Flagg suggests, I have trouble doing what I know is right and accepting that she then gets to choose how to respond. Her response isn't mine to control. As Carrie says, What other people think of me is none of my damn business!

Well, I'm going to stop chasing my tail and go to the farmer's market. There's nothing quite as soothing and happy as walking among God's abundance for an hour.



Stacy said...

I think this is where Michelle O Neil sends you the link to the 4 Agreements page.
I always had a tough time with this truth(not from the Agreements)-"Not everyone is going to like you"
maybe it was Louise Hay, I can't remember.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Ah Stacy! You saved me the trouble!


Jerri, if they don't like you, screw 'em.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that Carrie is one to pay attention to! Believe everything she says!

Anonymous said...

Love the Four Agreements...Don't take it personal. It is her issue, and her is taking it out on you, in a very unkind and disrespectful way. You don't need that and you should not have to put up with it. Don't take it, let it go and know it is her stuff. Hope you enjoyed the Farmer's Market! XOXO

kario said...

Arghh! It is so hard to stop taking personally what others are determined to have us take personally! We so easily fall into the self-examination that leads to blaming that it's hard not to find ourselves trying to fix the problems of others, isn't it? I struggle with you every day, Jerri, and am so pleased you took the time to examine your reaction and hear the wisdom of those who know and love you for who you are. Surround yourself with beauty and love and the forgiveness and compassion for yourself will come easier.

Love you.

Amber said...

I love Fannie Flagg. But I have not picked this one up yet...

I can't imagine anyone being to mean or mad at you! But I guess, it takes all types. What would you be learning if EVERYone loved you, right? Not much.

I am having hard time my damn self, trying to let go of other people's choices and opinions as of late. I have been feeling the need to re-read "Co-dependent No More".