Lying awake at night…I think of mistakes.
I was raised on kindness over anger, turning the other cheek, looking at yourself when criticized to see if there is a ring of truth in the accusation so you can grow and become a better person, or at least, so you can get along better with that pickier person. I might only look at myself with defensiveness and anxiety (what if I can’t change?). But I always looked. I have a self-examining scrupulosity that rivals a germaphobe’s anxiety for hygiene while trapped in a gas station bathroom.
So if you yell at me, tell me I’m doing something wrong? I might verbally kick the dirt, work up a counter-argument lawyer-style, scrunch my eyebrows and cry… but by morning, I’ll be doing the thing you expected. Because more than any other impulse in life, I want to get along.
Yep, I so want to get along, that I lie awake and feel bad about things-I-didn’t-mean-to-do. Like giving ladies a lift…but someone arrived late, missed my lift…..phoned me….and I spend the night in pangs of gulit. I should have waited longer, l tell myself.
And ,yet, as the other ladies point out, I did give them a lift,I did wait around. I didn’t know if the other was coming.
But I should’ve called and checked, I say.
You can’t be everything and do everything, they tell me. Who put you in charge of giving everyone a lift they say. How about others? And thank you for the lift.
So, I now lie awake and think of how-to-make-it-up-to-the-other-person. Perhaps flowers. Perhaps chocolate.
And, like Jule, I keep on aiming to get along.
A good or bad thing?
Be peace-loving. Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal. You are well aware that our sins arouse God’s anger. You must change your life, therefore, so that God in his mercy will pardon you. What we conceal from men is known to God. Be converted, then, with a sincere heart. Live your life that you may receive the blessing of the Lord. Then the peace of God our Father will be with you always.
— Saint Francis of Paola