You may recall my recent tale of spraying myself head-to-toe with pesticide (and living to tell about it), while in Africa a couple months back. It seems I missed a spot, as, later in the trip, I awakened to one hell of a spider bite on my right wrist. Nine weeks later, the bite is just now healing and fading. It was gross, honestly, and I was worried. Because I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, for a while, the wound became the source of every issue from a light headache to failing to signal before I made a turn.
Forgetting my email password.
That new forehead wrinkle.
Poor phone reception.
The spider bite developed its own insidious personality. It plotted against me, waiting for me to let my guard down. When my checkbook didn’t balance properly, I was convinced the poison had spread to my brain and rendered me unable to perform simple math.
In actuality, the bite was insignificant and only irritating in appearance. But I assigned it a magnitude of importance.
Now, work with me a moment: Do you know someone who can’t go a day without some perceived slight or injustice so monumental it consumes his/her day?
She took my parking spot. My name was omitted from the program. He was asked to lead the meeting, when it was my turn. I walked toward her to say hello, and she looked the other way.
These folks subsequently allot malicious, foul motives to the actions of servers/co-workers/concierges/friends/spouses/spider bites to the point of exhaustion (not their own – just everyone around them). This way of thinking – this outlook on life, if you will – almost fuels them, and these perceived wrongs become the wellspring for all assorted woes befalling him/her.
Sound draining? It IS…but only to the people within earshot.
In essence, he/she can’t hear reality over the din of the spider bite not healing.
For most of us, life is full of choices. I have the good fortune of knowing individuals dealing with true life-and-death matters who awaken each day deciding to smile, see the good, and find the joy. What incredible role models! If these folks can do it, why can’t the rest of us?
Right now, as you read this, let’s decide together the rest of the day will be fantastic, and, if it isn’t (and it honestly might not be), we pledge to find our smile, dig deep for our laughter, and possibly even conclude our spider bite isn’t really out to get us.