by June Silny | Featured Contributor
Sara picked up the ringing phone and heard her 25-year old daughter Zoe crying. In between the staccato sobs she heard the words, “It’s over. I’m packing my clothes.” When Sara heard that Zoe was moving out of the apartment she shared with her fiancé, Sara grabbed her Supermom cape and did what every good Mom does- she rescued her daughter. Since Zoe’s bedroom in the house had remained the same; Sara made the bed, cleaned out the stacks of crinkled papers from the drawers and invited Zoe back home. Temporarily! That meant until she could get back on her own two feet again.
Sure enough, the time came when Zoe was ready to come out from under the covers, shut off the Lifetime movies, and stop listening to Taylor Swift all day. She found an apartment, a job and freedom from Sara’s annoying 3:00 a.m. text messages asking her what time she would be home. Sara and Zoe went shopping to buy the basics for her new apartment.
Sara’s husband, Mike, is a kind man who doesn’t ask for much. However, a hot home-cooked meal, waiting for him when he arrives home from work ranks high on the top of his wish list.
Wrapped in her Supermom cape, Sara became so involved with micromanaging the next chapter of her daughter’s life; she didn’t notice she was 30 minutes late for dinner. Mike waited at home, expecting his regular evening meal, totally clueless as to where Sara was. She called him to explain. When he didn’t answer, she left a message that she was on her way home.
Driving home, Sara knew there would be one unhappy husband waiting for her on the other side of the door. Even though screaming and shouting is not his style; Mike’s silence spoke loud and clear.
As she stayed in her own secret headspace, Sara heard her thoughts, Really? What’s the big deal? I’m only a little late. Why don’t you open the fridge and have a piece of cheese until dinner’s ready? She kept quiet (even though she wanted to scream) and started to prepare the dinner- a pot of soup.
Sara grabbed the knife, slammed the drawers, diced the crunchy vegetables and threw them into the pot, struggling to keep her mouth shut. Even though she felt like a fire-breathing dragon, she had to keep her cool. She knew that if she put her thoughts into words, a fight would erupt, and the evening would be ruined.
She stood at the stove and stirred the soup, watching the spoon make pirouettes in the pot. As the warmth of the broth softened the vegetables, she noticed that her thoughts were softening with each swirl of the spoon. Her angry thoughts were melting away.
Soon she heard her thoughts speak, “Is this the best I can be, what can I do to make this better? I want to fix this.”
Then it hit her. I could’ve been home on time. I didn’t have to spend those extra 30 minutes. I have to remember to give my husband as much attention as I give to my children and my work. He doesn’t ask for much. He deserves this. He works hard all day too. Along with these transformed thoughts came calm, strength, and her better self.
While the soup was simmering, Mike sat on the couch watching the news. Little did he know what had taken place in that pot of soup. Sara walked over to him; sat close, looked him in the eyes and said in a soft, sincere voice, “ I am so sorry. I should have been here earlier. I disregarded your needs. I was so involved, I forgot about you.”
Mike sat there stunned. He shook his head to make sure he heard her words accurately, and then replied, “Really? That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me.” Sara and Mike hugged, went to the table and enjoyed a warm, hearty bowl of soup.
6 Tips to Remember:
1) Ask yourself: Do I want this to become a fight? Thoughts of “only me,” overrule good judgment; causing resentment, anger, and a wedge in the relationship.
2) Take time. Do not react. Give anger time to become compassion.
3) Value your relationship more than the events that happen in them. Ask yourself, how important is this?
4) Enjoy your own strength. Turning a negative situation into a positive one, takes courage. Appreciate your power to create a positive outcome.
5) Being late is disrespectful. Punctuality is an act of kindness.
6) Next time you’re triggered by a negative event, before you fight back… make a pot of soup.
(This story came from one of my personal excellence groups.)
June Silny – Happy Relationships Expert – from junesilny.com
You’ll know where June is from as soon as you hear her speak- she’s definitely a New Yorker. Even though she left there at a young age and grew up in Miami Beach, Florida- she still goes for cawfee to tawk to her friends after she walks her dawg.
Her creative passion steered her through many exciting careers.
Starting out as a hairstylist, she was a managing business partner in a salon but also worked in film, theater, and the opera as hairstylist and make-up artist. She also purchased a Jazzercise franchise and became an instructor. Searching for calm and serenity, she taught yoga and meditation. Years later she started a business where she designed and crafted trendy fashion jewelry.
Now she is at home in her soul writing about the life lessons that are hidden away in the mundane events of everyday living. She became a student of the ancient mystical wisdom of Mussar (a spiritual personal excellence program) in 2009 when she began blogging and teaching what she was learning.
June lives in hot and sunny Miami with her husband, children and extended family (not all in the same house- but happily- all in the same city, which certainly gives her plenty to write about).