I had a conversation with a friend today and found out that there was more to a particular story than I had been told. I am so glad I didn’t take any action based on the incomplete information. I’m trying to let things ripen a little before taking action.
Over the weekend I experienced an incident that crystalized another thing for me: I don’t have to respond to every political e-mail that annoys me with a 45 page diatribe explaining why I disagree and why the sender should not send me similar messages. I can just ask them to stop! Of course, I asked Steve to stop a year ago and it hasn’t worked yet, but I guess husbands get special dispensation to send really annoying e-mail if they are as great as mine.
The other day, a friend gave me a great strategy for dealing with people who just plain piss me off. She says these situations need to be turned over to God in four steps. I’m not going to get all dogmatic about this…I don’t think it’s perfectly explained, but I do believe this may work for me when I get involved in those relationships where someone just gets under my skin and I can’t dig them out. It’s called “Ho’oponopono.” It assumes that each of us is 100% responsible for their own lives, for everything that happens. In other words, I am responsible for everything because I project it out from myself — I have some issues with that, but since I haven’t studied it at all, I may be misinterpreting what I was told. At any rate, here’s the system:
1. Say, “I’m sorry” to God. The annoying person has been placed in our path to teach us something. Something about us is displeasing to God, even if it’s just the sin of humanity. So start with an apology.
2. Say, “Please forgive me.” This acknowledges God’s grace and asks for it.
3. Say, “Thank you.” For the grace and everything God has done and continues to do.
4. Say, “I love you.” This ends the conversation on a positive note, bringing you back into the love relationship (instead of a feeling of being pissed off).
It helps. It really works to distract me from whatever feedback loop is working when I get embroiled in those stupid power struggles. It is also another way to put myself right back in God’s care, knowing that even when I can’t figure out what’s going on to make me so agitated, he knows exactly what it is and he’ll take care of it if I just get out of his way.