The other day I was feeling down because the day had been full of what I like to call "challenging moments," many of them resulting from the actions/inactions of others.  I was doing the standard "Why are they _____?!  Why can't they just_____?!" So I called my mom to commiserate.  Should've known better!  For all of my 32 years Mom has been the type to make sure I get some perspective and maintain a firm grasp on reality.  (She's probably reading this - hi, Mom!)  I love this about my mom, by the way.  I think subconsciously I know when I'm being unreasonable and need a kick in the pants so I call her and not one of my friends.  Here's how the conversation went:

Mom: What's up?

Me: Ugh, my day was so frustrating!  It was discouraging and this thing happened and that thing happened and it upset me and waaaahhhhh.

Mom: Yeah, well, it's not about you.

 

Crap.

 

Mom: Hello?

Me: Yeah, I'm here.  *sigh*  You're right…….

See, what I'd failed to recognize is that everyone else in the room earlier that day was experiencing the same situation I was.  But they all had their own perspectives that were also probably about themselves and not, you guessed it, me.  We were all in our own heads, in the room, and not thinking about each other.

 

And that was the problem.  It's not about ourselves.  It's about each other.  It's about Other.

 

There's an old hymn I grew up with - it has four verses and we actually sang all four, so you know it was good.  It starts with the idea of "all of self, none of Thee."  Through each verse the author begins to shift his priorities and make the Other, in this case, God, more important.  The last verse is "none of self, all of Thee."  Here's how my day could have been perceived with a shift to Other:

Me: Man, it must really be tough for [person] to [complete a task].  They might be feeling insecure/concerned/embarrassed.  I wonder how I can look and act supportive. 

Me: Maybe I can send some positive vibes or prayers their way for encouragement.

Or, better still…. Not Me. 

The universe is so massive.  Our planet is huge.  Our country takes up a significant portion of a continent.  And there are a bunch of people in our town/at work/at school/wherever you go.  There are a gazillion Not Me perspectives.  What would happen if we could imagine just one, or a few, of those?  What would happen if we understood that our Self is not in jeopardy?  We don't need constant thought to maintain our identities.  It's okay to think about Other.  It's okay to not think at all for a few minutes.  Let's shift to a less of self, more of Thee mindset.

 

It's not about us.

Published by Andrea S