My own shouted words rang in my ears. I was in the backyard. It was early. Maybe the neighbors didn't hear. We were in a hurry to leave. Ben's first big horse show. The screen on the back sliding door had become jammed. I had removed it and stood it up by the storage unit. The wind had come up and blown it over onto a fence. The fence tore a hole in the screen. That made me angry. It's a tall screen so I was sure it would be expensive to fix. I don't need that right now. It seemed like just another thing that had gone wrong that morning to slow me down, distract me and get me more agitated on an important day.
"D#@n" It!!" "D**n It!!" "D##n It!!"
Inside, Gwen and Ben did hear me. When I came back in, Ben averted his eyes and Gwen gave me a "what the heck was that about?" look. I told her the story, but she didn't look convinced. She reminded me that this was a big day for Ben and that he didn't need my drama to upset or distract him. "Oh yeah," I thought, "I have a track record of doing this on big days, don't I?." "Why do I do that?" I started to get really upset with myself, but I caught myself. That would be the next step in a bad track record. It would start to be all about me. So, I stopped and apologized to Gwen and Ben and told Ben that I was wrong to do anything that would get him down or distracted on his big day.
Later, Gwen tried to get me to see the damage that I do when I have these outbursts. "When the screen falls and gets torn, you can see that damage." (When I looked at it again, it turned out to be a relatively small tear. Something that I easily blew out of proportion.) "The thing that you don't see the emotional/spiritual damage that you do to Ben." "You also set an incredibly bad example for him that he WILL follow."
All true. I do wonder what it would be like if the emotional/spiritual wounds that we give and receive left visible scars on our bodies? Gwen reminded me that this goes back to the idea that "people are more important than things!" If I value the stupid screen door so much that I curse and swear when it gets torn at the same time I am under-valuing Ben's and Gwen's spirits. How many times do I have to learn that lesson?
It pains me to drag all of this out into the light. To expose it. I'm embarrassed by it. But, if you can learn by my mistakes, so much the better. Sometimes, I read my own previous blog postings. I can't believe that I'm the guy that wrote those things... How did I forget so quickly? Who do I think I am to write this stuff? If I can reason and write it out, why can't I follow my own advice?
Vowing to do better! Kim