How do they know where to find them?
Just when you think you’ve gotten your shit together it will happen. You’ll be cruising along — acting all woke, going to yoga, meditating your butt off, being open, living in abundance, playing kirtan on your car stereo even…then BAM!
The Thing that pushes a button. And the worst part is — you don’t even recognize it.
You think the roil of emotions churning around in you is self-righteous indignation at having a boundary crossed. Or maybe you’ve slipped into teacher mode and decided to just educate the hell out of whoever has dared push that damn button. Your ego is right there with you — reassuring you that it’s for their own good, or you’re only standing up for yourself, or well — I could go on — but everyone has a list of their ready-made excuses to justify the whole mess.
The mess we make when we harden and tense up instead of listening. The mess we make when we allow ourselves to react and be drawn into the storm. The mess we make when we don’t act with compassion.
It is a real challenge to live in compassion all the time.
We are not wired that way. We are wired to survive. We are wired to see threats to our existence. The fact that society has melted most of that down to curt e-mails, FB trolls, and snarky comments at dinner parties makes no difference to our psyches. Those hidden buttons live on in our DNA and by Goddess, they will save us!
In truth, Life is so much better if we can just take a breath after we feel one of our buttons get pushed.
Make that two breaths.
If we can give our rational mind a chance to kick in and not react with the “Go Fuck Yourself Barry!” e-mail we so desperately want to pen.
If we can dig out compassion for The Human on the other side of the equation, because there but for The Grace — are we. Have we always been understood? Have we always said just the right thing? Have we never pushed Hidden Buttons on purpose or by accident on our fellow Humans?
And lastly — as in my case — I took a good long look at the common denominator in all the interactions with all the Humans who pushed my Hidden Buttons. To my great horror, I discovered — it was me.
It really wasn’t them at all — it was always me. My brain, my ability to be flexible, my willingness to understand, my tendency to compromise — or not, my ire, my compassion, my kindness, my temper, my mood. ME.
And that was really great news. Because that meant — I had control over this. I could then choose not to react, not to be stressed out, not to get annoyed, not to even notice.
I could choose to be kind.
So I’m working on that. Choosing kindness. It’s not easy — especially with as many Hidden Buttons as I possess. But I’m better at it today than I was yesterday. And if only for this moment — I’ll take that.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind .” — Jennifer Dukes Lee