You know those times you see someone that looks really grumpy? Like maybe you're in line at the grocery store, and the clerk is glaring at everyone that comes through. It's that person that looks like they're having a shit day, and they don't care who you are, you're going to get their angry shit day vibes too.
When I used to see people like that I would feel this need to guard myself. I'm one of those overly sensitive people, and I have a hard time standing up for myself, especially when it's in a public space. So whenever I would see someone radiating "death to rainbows" type vibes I would feel myself shrink and just want to get away as fast as possible.
But then one day, when I saw someone like that, I thought about who they were and how they got there. Nobody becomes grumpy because they had an awesome day. People become grumpy because things have gone wrong. Maybe it was just that day, or maybe it was many days, or maybe it was a full on life of one bad day after another.
When I thought about it like that, I didn't feel the need to guard myself. Instead, I felt compassion for where this person was. I then felt it for myself too, because I know that feeling of having a terrible time, and all you want is to project that frustration out in a giant, cathartic release.
So when I saw this person radiating their anger and frustration, I didn't want to hide. I didn't immediatly think of shutting down and shutting them out. Instead, I thought, "How can I make your day better?"
And then, I felt so much better. Which is the funny thing, because I hadn't started out wanting to make it about me. I had thought, here is a person struggling, and rather than judging their pain, I can offer love in return, and so I just kept thinking "How can I make your day better?"
I've done this many times since, and I swear, when I do this, it feels as if the person softens. I don't know if they can feel my vibes, which say I care, I love you, I see your struggle, or if it's just the simple fact that I'm no longer guarding myself and projecting separation. Whatever it is, it has this powerful ability to diffuse my anxiety, make me feel connected, and to remind me that compassion goes a lot further for all people involved than judgement.
Next time you feel yourself out in the world, and someone is just ruining your day with their bad vibes, try thinking this simple question. "How can I make your day better?" I know it sounds ass backwards, because sometimes the last thing we want to do with grumpy people is give them our good vibes. But I bet you'll feel a lot better, and isn't that what it's all about?
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