Yes, it’s all about love and compassion…but sometimes you just gotta vent and hopefully gain some peace, perspective and wisdom in the process. So here’s the first post in a new blog category: The Weekly Rant!
This week, inspiration comes from something that manages to suck all the compassion and patience out of me. I feel awful about my reaction, but I can’t help it. Encounters with persons I’ve labeled as ‘wellness thwarters’ will do that to anyone.
These are people who will not only find fault with everything (and I don’t mean pointing out bad manners, bad politics or faulty faucets in need of repair), and for whom nothing is ever good enough. There is always (and I mean always) something wrong with every single thing anyone else does, says or offers, AND with every situation. If it’s not the act, opportunity or gift itself, then it’s timing. And if not that, then it’s something else.
These are people who will take existing problems and do their best to make them worse (as bad as possible really) AND who will go out of their way to invent problems where there are none. If there’s a way to dump some tar on a unicorn or darken a rainbow, they’ve mastered it.
These are people who no matter what happens, refuse to see even a little sunshine…and when it can’t be helped because it’s shining on their heads, they reject it on the grounds that even the sunshine is a problem!
Things change in life, even if we all go through tough times eventually doors begin to open, certain problems get resolved, and obstacles that were significant at one time no longer apply. But oh no…nothing ever changes for the ‘wellness thwarters’. They sit there as if they are still stuck in rehab from a leg injury that happened 20 years ago which healed 20 years ago minus a few months!
I know you’re all nodding because we all know them…and sometimes ARE them. But let me just say, even the briefest of encounters with a genuine specimen will clarify the difference between the average person having a cranky day or a bad spell and a wellness thwarter at work.
Last week I bumped (briefly) into one such genuine article. I was quite excited my Haagen Dazs was on sale when what do I hear but a vaguely familiar voice, then a cart rushing towards me from the end of aisle and a “Hi there, so good to see you” which felt as pleasant as that burst of air into the eye when you’re getting an exam.
Having to listen to the latest news put me into a sort of trance, and reminded of very similar people I’ve known over the years. It’s shocking to look at someone’s life story (and a privileged life at that!) only to see one attempt after another at deliberately creating difficulties and baggage. There is such a thing as hoarding bad stuff on purpose and spreading it around just because it’s there. And don’t think for a moment these people have any more problems than you and I do, or any fewer resources available. Self-awareness is also not completely lacking.
Of course these people often ask for advice, which at least I give forgetting it’s not about advice but sympathy. Advice comes off as offensive and doesn’t ever apply. I’ve noticed it’s a trend. No suggestions or solutions everyone else finds useful and healthy ever apply to them. They all have oh so many problems on top of their many problems, which the rest of us mere mortals (with far lower IQs presumably) can’t possibly understand. You know, like job, money, family problems…
Shocking right? You and I never heard of, let alone experienced such challenges. We all live lives of leisure and luxury and all we have to worry about is coordinating spa appointments for the week.
Anyway, on this one occasion, I ran out of sympathy. This woman had the nerve to complain about and be aggravated over having things happen in her life that would make you and I feel rather fortunate. I’m not kidding, it was that bad. And it took the cake. I didn’t turn away, stomp, or throw ice cream around. I listened quietly, nodded and told her in my most sarcastic tone:
“You know, there are worse things…”
She blinked like a character on TV might “glitch” when the cable signal wavers during a storm. And then suddenly, I was released from conversation.
Clearly we all complain (present rant included), we all have our issues and pity-pot moments; we’re all stubborn and impossible at times. But to go through life tripping ourselves on purpose ALL THE TIME, with such a sense of entitlement that we imagine ourselves to be martyrs through storms and sunshine alike?
There’s simply no excuse to live constantly craving yet refusing good things like a spoiled brat who’s never really known true deprivation or loss. It boggles the mind that so much energy and commitment would be devoted to thwarting wellness instead of doing something, at least on occasion, to facilitate it…to notice something good for God’s sakes and make use of it…to be grateful.
That evening when I got home, I corresponded with someone who struggles so much as a single mom with a severely handicapped child. The verdict in FL a few days later reminded me of a boy who was killed, and the other morning I saw news of yet another teen suicide as a result of bullying. Today a dear friend was heartbroken over terrible illness and tragedy in the family, including the suicide of a beautiful girl in her 20’s whose boyfriend had to be forcefully removed from her casket during the wake, and whose parents and friends are beyond devastated. I can tell you more stories, but you get the picture.
So yeah, there is real darkness in the world. And it comes into all our lives. There is much we can’t avoid, so really, there’s no need to make life worse, to complain incessantly about things everyone faces without any perspective or humility, and invent stuff with which to smother every ray of sunshine that we’re blessed with.
There are worse things than being burdened with a life worth lifting a few fingers to improve and celebrate…worse things than allowing and encouraging a little sunshine when it comes. Because a little sunshine is a good thing…a really good thing.