You know what it’s like to wake up wrong, don’t you? (Yes, I’m talking to you. I just can’t follow the rules. I’ve been blogging too long; I can’t just pretend like you’re not there.) I woke up wrong Monday. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but I did this time, and it clung to me like the chains on Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol. It was the kind of dream I hate, where my dream is about the moment I realize I’ve done something incredibly wrong and damaging to relationships that mean most to me, and the whole dream is trying to figure out how in the world I got myself in such a stupid situation and how I’m going to get out of it. I never seem to start the dream early enough to make a different choice; I have to live with a pre-ordained bad choice. And it never seems to last long enough to actually rectify the mistake. The whole dream is the realization of an unchangeable stupid move, and the settling in of shame.
Then I watched my indignant arrogance spring up all morning. I had several people sharing with me a good thing that is going on, but I’m pridefully perturbed. I know in my head it’s a good sign when people start telling you your good ideas as if they were their own, but my heart is twisted enough to get all huffy when I don’t get the credit.
Shame and arrogance. Too familiar bedfellows.
But my afternoon was different. I listened to a friend. I just listened, and asked questions, and I was able to give him my full attention. Empathy and compassion are much better companions.