Sometimes we’re in the line of fire, and they’re things that we’d really rather not have hit us.
A dirty look. A snarky comment. A guilt trip. A rumor.
Hurtful words fly our way. Aggression for no good reason comes out of nowhere. Lies and the twisted truth flood our ears, and some days it’s all we can do to wonder what we did to the universe to funnel its wrath in our direction.
I stopped off at Sephora on my way home to pick up a few items that I’m nearly out of. As I was in the process of paying, I took note of the digital display in front of me.
“Press Accept to Complete,” it said.
When we’re prompted by a transaction screen to complete our purchase, we clearly have the option of not completing it. More often than not, however, we do. We buy it. And even though we know we don’t have to, we usually don’t consider cancelling and declining what we’ve started. And especially not at the very last moment.
It made me think of things that we find ourselves in the middle of for no other reason than because we assume it’s too late to turn around. We assume that we’d be the bad person for removing ourselves from a situation that isn’t making us feel good when, in reality, extricating oneself is the very thing that would be best. We absorb the negativity because we don’t want to add to the fire, and we shoot back our own nasty commentary because — hey, they started it. We allow ourselves to be guilted into something because, somehow, we assume that we owe it to that person anyway, and we get sucked into a vortex of…gray. Plain ol’ gray. Nothing happy about it, nothing light, nothing uplifting. Just heavy, draining, depressing gray.
Coming back with a forked tongue is certainly a way to shut down a situation, but so is walking away. So is simply not having any more words to say. So is smiling in the face of hatred, and so is saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” to the person who wants you to know that you’ve let them down. (Hint: the last four words of that statement are key because, usually unbeknownst to them, you’re not accepting the guilt.)
If life is always telling us to hit accept to complete — and we’re obeying more often than not — perhaps it’s time to decline more often. Declining doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re suddenly incomplete, however. Instead it’s a testament to the fact that we’re in the mood to find our center, to strip away all the junk which, interestingly — in time — will probably make us more complete than we ever could have imagined.
Tonight I am thankful for a digital display capable of tangible, life-changing results. What will you choose to decline the next time everything is telling you to accept it?