When the student is ready, the teacher appears. How many times have I gritted my teeth when someone calmly, or knowingly, or smugly said that phrase? Sometimes my reaction was to laugh ruefully. But this time I’m grinning to myself.
In the last three weeks I’ve had opportunities to share stories from Seedlings- “Kind,” “Compassion Ambassadors,” and “Rules for Fighting Fair.” Each is about maturely creating and preserving acceptance in a relationship.
After sharing “Rules…” at a S. Arizona Authors Series event, I told Hank about it and we had a short exchange about our fighting fair statements i.e., “I am not the enemy” and “We are the primary relationship.” We were feeling pretty smug about how we haven’t had a tough fight in ages (which should have been a sign).
That evening we had a disagreement over something. In all honesty I don’t remember the core of the escalating exchange. But underneath lurked some “poor me” feelings and before I knew it we were at the edge of an old issues nasty-not-using-the-rules fight.
I yelled. He said the ‘f’ word. In our case that’s “fine!!! ” spewed out with sarcasm. Shocked at our joint outbursts, we stopped and exited the room going to our separate corners with a brief “we’ll talk later” flung over our respective shoulders. Later we each apologized for claws exposed behavior. But that did not settle the disagreement. We decided to talk the next afternoon but we both were still too wound up. We agreed to talk the day after which allowed us to let it go for 24 hours and enjoy the rest of the day.
Now hear the sappy music start in the background… It was a clear Tucson blue-sky morning. We sat down in the living room with fresh cups of coffee and were ready to TALK about it openly, taking turns, listening to each other, even thru the criticisms, and acknowledging each others feelings (fear, of course).
Is it because we’re getting older and forget things? Or are we so mellow that issues do honestly fade? We couldn’t remember what started it. And that’s what we talked about. Letting go or having life help us let go. We acknowledged that simply setting aside the time to talk does help. The rest of the day was easy.
Fadeout. The End
But my point to you, my readers, is: Isn’t it interesting how there are no coincidences about how and when things happen? Maybe I had the inner confidence to ‘vent’ (and then deal with) my emotions because I had publicly talked about all this kind of stuff just the other day. Who knows?
Thanks for listening.