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I was in the zone at the mall. Spring collections were out, and I even got lucky with a big discount.

But those pants I added at the last minute just weren’t me. No problem – off to the store I went to return them. It was sure to be a quick 5 minutes out of my day.

The register clerk lost her perky smile as soon as I announced my return. Everything went sour when she looked at the sales slip. She muttered, “They gave you our copy. Great!”

She didn’t see how much merchandise I purchased. Or consider that the store had easily credited the sale. It was if she was silently broadcasting, “Oh, no. Now I have to deal with someone else’s mess!”

In an instant, my blunder became obvious. I had hit (cue scary music)…the crazy spot.

In the May series, I’m Open To That, we’re talking about how to combine flexibility with authenticity. Once our crazy spot gets triggered, any hope of adapting goes out the window.

We shut down. We’re insincere as we hide our true emotions. We come up with reason after reason, all of them good, for our actions. And then our coping mechanisms run out of steam. As Anne Ortelee likes to joke, “If you’re hysterical, it’s historical.” This is what happened to Joyce Meyer.

Dave Meyer fell in love with Joyce’s fiery personality. However, he soon learned that her snappy comebacks covered up a miserable childhood. As she slowly came clean with Dave about her father’s emotional and sexual abuse, she thought they had an understanding: “If you really love me, you’ll accept my behavior.”

Disagreements intensified to harsh arguments during the early years of their marriage. One day, Dave’s attempt to confront Joyce made her explode. “You know how I grew up! How can you criticize me?!”

Dave carefully replied, “I understand. That’s why I didn’t say anything for the first ten years we were together.”

It was then that Joyce realized that all the usual suspects – the kids, the neighbors, Dave – weren’t to blame. Not really. They simply set off her crazy spot.

Of course she was angry about her upbringing. She had a right to be. But until she came to grips with the abuse, it was just a matter of time before her uncontrollable rage surfaced, derailing every relationship.

So, what makes you rigid or inauthentic? Do you have an unspoken agreement, either with yourself or others, where you think, “I hope I never have to deal with this”? Don’t overthink it – let your heart lead the way. Karen Moning said, “The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something our heart knows is a lie.”

Let’s agree – no big leaps this week. Give your crazy spot a little love, just like you would a cut or a strained muscle. You may be a seasoned pro at micro-managing your insecurities, but it’s time to release that anxious, scary task. Just take a few baby steps to respond differently.

You have a beautiful future waiting. Shouldn’t it start with a relaxed, open heart?