Moments of Clarity: How Getting Over Yourself Can Increase Your Joy

Have you ever looked at the sender or subject line of an unopened email and instantly got a knot in the pit of your stomach? Or maybe you already opened the message thinking it was one thing and then got to reading and opened up a wound that you didn’t even realize that you had?

It’s like when you grab a handful of popcorn and yelp in pain because you didn’t realize that you had a paper cut until the salt from the popcorn informed you of it. You’re going along just fine in life; grateful for what you have, thinking that you are full of joy and overflowing with graciousness and THEN you open a message or look down at the screen of your phone as it rings and something pops up that you weren’t expecting.

And you have a visceral response to some past hurt…

And it happens so quickly…

And from so deep down inside…

And it so completely overwhelms you that you know without a doubt that there is no question about your feelings.

Even though you know it isn’t good that you feel this way…

Good as in healthy…

Good as in productive

Good as in helpful

Good as in aligned with your values.

Yet you know it’s justified; you know that others would agree with you and say that they had a similar experience.

I had that experience this week. I received an email about an opportunity that I knew my students could potentially benefit from. Yet it was from an organization that many of my colleagues and myself would agree was not the best environment for our development, although we all made the best out of it. There have been changes within the organization in the nearly 10 years since I have been there, yet I am not sure how superficial or complete their implementation has been.

I then realized that was none of my business. I had learned many lessons since then, all of which could help my students navigate this organization or any other. Additionally, with the condition of society and higher education presently I can’t guarantee that avoiding this organization would allow my students to avoid the hurtful experiences that me and my colleagues had anyway.

Once I got over myself, this is the prayer that came to me …

Dear People & Places that I have  been; The circle of life has now brought forth the opportunity to send folks down the pathways I have cleared, as well as those I was able to pave since they has been cleared by others. I pray that you will be kinder to them, than you were to me; and I pray that I have healed and developed maturity rather than bitterness, so that I can send them your way with anticipation, joy, and encouragement rather than bitterness, skepticism and fear. Amen.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity that highlights how your pain or opinions could hurt others? How were you able to overcome it? Leave a comment or follow me, @busi_B, on twitter to share.

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