humilty · letting go · maturity · recovery

The Buddha says hello first.

It’s a good thing a friend of mine told me this yesterday in
regard to another situation, as I ran into a woman today who I have some discomfort with.
Earlier this year, I was attempting to make Oakland
friends and so was having lunch with this woman who I’d begun to pal around with a little. She was telling me about a person who’d offended her, and began to generalize about people who were “doing it wrong.” I got a little defensive at her blanket statement, and thought that her
thinking someone else was doing it wrong was wrong. Of course, I did not see
this irony at the moment.
Instead, at the moment, I pulled a Molly, and began to give her my own
bit of unsolicited advice. I am a Queen of unsolicited advice. It has so many
different disguises, it should own a costume shop. Sometimes, it looks like me
telling you what I’ve done, so as to
insinuate what you should do. “Well, I know when I was in a similar situation,
I did xyz,… [pregnant pause, where they’re supposed to get the hint of what I’m actually
telling them to do].”
Sometimes, my unsolicited advice looks like me telling you
what other people have done who I believe have done it the “right” way. “Well,
I know when my friend went through a similar situation, she did xyz,… [pregnant
pause, where they’re supposed to get the hint of what I’m actually telling them to do].”
“I’ve heard about this book/website/meditation/ointment that might be
helpful…”
“Have you considered…”
“I used to do that, but now I…” (ha! that’s
always a good one – people loooove that)
Cuz F U, Molly D. Who the hell am I. I don’t know what’s
“right”. What’s right for you – even what’s “right” for me. Places where I
get mired in the “right way” to do something are usually places where I’m
scared to let go of my perceived control. If I don’t tell you what to do, you
won’t survive. If I don’t figure out what the right way is to do this thing,
I’m not valuable.
All of these are crap.
I dated a guy once who had a gluten allergy, and when we’d
be out at restaurants, I found myself making sure he knew what had gluten and
what didn’t … as if he hadn’t lived for 30+ years without my help ordering from
a menu. I caught myself on it eventually, and laughed, but yeah, the idea that without
*me*
people are not going to “be okay.” I
know where this comes from – there were years when I did have to take on doing things “the right way” to ensure that things got done at all, that shades got drawn in the morning, that hair got combed. But,
I’m not 10 anymore, and the situations are entirely different. 

And most importantly
of every single thing, these people
are not asking me.
That’s something that’s pointed out to me regularly – “Are they
asking you?” Hey Friend, so you’re telling me about this situation in your life
(housing, job, money, love, family), and obviously I’m a guru about this shit,
so why don’t I tell you precisely what I think you should do.  …. No. 99.9% of the time that they’re
not specifically asking me my opinion or my advice, they’re not asking my
opinion or my advice.
Actually, it’s
probably more like 100%, but I still want to get my wedge in there somewhere! ;P
So, anyway, back to the woman I ran into today. We haven’t
really seen or spoken to each other since our mildly combative lunch date
several months ago, when I began telling her her perspective was (perhaps) skewed, and she told me very directly that she was not asking for feedback on
her perspective, period. So, I saw her today. And sure, I still have my
opinion, but she’s not asking me, and really, it’s none of my business. (Mind
my own business and have business to mind.) And I remembered that quote from
yesterday, that “The Buddha always says hello first.” And so, I said hello, she
said hello, we were cordial with superficial pleasantries, and said goodbye.
I don’t need to be “right” here. And I would really like to
stop telling people what I think about what they’re doing when they’re not
asking me. As, no matter what costume I dress it up in, I end up looking like a
witch. 

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