When my family goes out to eat together, we stack our phones in the middle of the table. Anybody who reaches out to it first has to pay for the meal.
Absolutely no phones allowed during meal times outside. It’s basic mannerisms to us. You use your phone, you’re saying you don’t want to be there, you don’t like the company, or you have other things better to do. Our family does not allow that. In the house when we eat our phones are upstairs, and we will be discussing stuff about life or work. We hardly discuss our feelings and other people….because we understand what feelings are and that other people feel things too.
I forgot the latter for a few hours. I took offense when a person right in front of me for dinner I was trying to engage in a conversation with yet it’s as if we’re on a different table in a different location. The person was distant, unfriendly, and I didn’t really want to be in a place with somebody who preferred texting someone on the phone over actual human connections. I am here, but your eyeballs are on pixels. Offensive!
You see, I thought I was great at connecting one-on-one. When a person shuts himself off from making a connection with ME, I took it personally, as an offense. Am I really difficult to talk to? From school principals to a random person on the streets have told me they liked talking to me; I never changed my style to suit anybody’s at all. I just made sure we are all connected and are on the same page. Was I supposed to be quieter? And smile more laugh less? I don’t even do that with my parents, what’s so special about you?
I didn’t think about it much afterward, except sealed the situation as “Offensive”. You know what it’s like, a bad situation etched as a bad memory in your mind forever? That’s what it felt like to me. Moving on.
Woke up this morning with a phone notification from Instagram. David Archuleta uploaded a new picture – a picture of himself! A NEW picture of himself!
“There are times when you might feel aimless, and can’t see the places where you belong. But you will find that there is a purpose. It’s been there within you all along. And when you’re near it, you can almost hear it. It’s like a symphony—just keep listening, and pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part. Everyone plays a piece, and there are melodies in each one of us. Oh, it’s #glorious ” 🎶 – @stephaniemabey ▪ 📷 cred: @yyyramon
And the caption, the lyrics of the song Glorious, struck me.
There are times when you might feel aimless, and can’t see the places where you belong. But you will find that there is a purpose. It’s been there within you all along. And when you’re near it, you can almost hear it. It’s like a symphony—just keep listening, and pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part. Everyone plays a piece, and there are melodies in each one of us. Oh, it’s #glorious
“Just keep listening”
I had seen the Tolerant IKEA frying pan advertisement floating around and reading these lyrics made it feel like the frying pan was swung to the back of my head.
I had made the situation about ME, about how I was feeling. Whatever situation the person might be facing doesn’t matter, but what it was was that I had made it about ME.
In my thoughts about how self-centered the person was, lied me, a self-centered person, ready to dictate what people should feel when they are around me.
But that’s not the truth, is it?
The truth is anybody can feel absolutely anything they want whenever they want.
And I knew it intellectually, that whatever happens, it’s not personal. Even if it was, the person too probably had many other noises in his head telling him things. When you tell yourself about how there are many red cars, you’ll start to notice that in every corner there will be red cars. It’s not that the red cars magically appear because you think of it, it’s that because you think of it, your focus on it becomes sharper and you become more aware of it. But whether or not it’s the truth, it depends on how deep your understanding is.
I’m not afraid to admit I am human with absolutely human feelings, needs, desires, thoughts. Life is a spectrum of colours, of different shades of pink green brown black, not simply black and white. I forgot to view it as that. I forgot about it all.
So in my ME moment, I simply forgot.
When you forget something, you remind yourself.
You’ll forget about it again, but then, just remind yourself again.
Slowly you’ll be enjoying a movie of your life and not participate in it. I’m not the actor of my life. I am the audience, just waiting for what to unfold next. Or a reader of a book at Chapter 25, not knowing what’ll happen next.
This had been an interesting experience, and thank you for reminding me of the kaleidoscope of life. And how, in the core of it all, it is #Glorious.