I’ve just drawn one of my favorite Four Agreements cards,
by Don Miguel Ruiz. This card is from the Agreement, Be Impeccable with Your Word. The card reads:
Express Your Love
Impeccability of the word can be measured by your level of self-love. If you love yourself, you will express that love in your interactions with others, and that action will produce a like reaction.
This seems like a perfect card for me to draw today. I expressed my self-love in my decision to write less on the blog, and not to follow quite as many blogs as I have been. That seems easy enough. All done.
No? Part of this card talks about expressing my love in my interactions with other people. I had one today I’ll tell you about:
I tried to call my mom this morning, just to see how she was. All I got were rings, which is strange for her phone, as she has voicemail. I thought I must have dialed a wrong number, so I hung up after four rings.
A couple of hours later, I put the phone back on the charger, and I get a call from Mom; “Has there been a policeman there yet?” What? I’ll skip the hunt and cut right to the chase. When I called Mom, I must have dialed one wrong digit, because I reached the admin office in her building. Apparently, someone came along and saw that the line was still open, and that the name showing was J. Atwood. Well, Mom’s first initial is J., so they thought it was her, calling from home. All they could hear was the TV.
They got Mom, and she had them check the number, and it was me. So nobody knew what else to do — they sent over a cop. By that time I had received Mom’s policeman call, so I expected this guy. He checked to be sure I was okay, I explained about the POS phone I bought from Best Buy, and he just smiled and said, “Okay.” I called Mom, and she told me which office had called the cops. I was all ready to bitch about being bothered when…
This card’s message jumped right up at me from where I keep the day’s card on the desk. I realized that, if something had been wrong, they might have saved my life by sending that guy over. My movie was interrupted for no more than five minutes. What in the world did I have to bitch about?
So I called that office, just now, and apologized for frightening them, and thanked them, and explained what had happened. The young woman I spoke with was very pleasant, happy to hear I was okay, no harm done, they were just worried. I thanked her again and sat down to finish this post.
I’m going to have to think about why this all made me mad at first. I was embarrassed, just a little, but I was over that before the cop got here. I couldn’t understand that , and that made me just a little bit angry, for a minute. But why would they know? Am I the center of the universe? I am really just thankful that they called. And how would they know what shape I was in? They had heard all of the bad stuff, which is what we are all most likely to tell others. Plus, Mom works in a different part of the building now. And none of that matters because my phone was still off the hook, and they still couldn’t get me.
My reaction seemed extremely childish, and selfish, as well as ungrateful. Perhaps part of the problem is that for most of my life, I didn’t love myself enough to be grateful when someone helped me like this. I didn’t get it, and I couldn’t find my way to gratitude and kind acceptance.
Looking back, only a couple of years ago, my neighbor, the paramedics, and two full cop cars all rushed here after I fell out of my chair and was having a seizure on the floor. I don’t know if I ever thanked any of them for their help, although I did thank my neighbor for calling 911. She’s had to watch me get scooped up and rushed away by the paramedics many times, and she is not a young woman. I’m grateful now that that problem is solved. She expects all of that problem to start again, and she is worried.
Anyway, I caught myself, today, before expressing that anger and resentment to those dear women. I was all the way down that road of resentment and self-hate, just for a couple of minutes. I think, and I surely hope, that this experience teaches me the lesson: Loving myself includes applying that love to every situation, and realizing that the efforts of others on my behalf are always addressed out of worry and affection, rather than for the chance to take me away from five minutes of a movie I’d already seen. Grow up, Judith. Stop it with the selfishness, and instead just love myself. That is this week’s challenge.