butterfly.jpg Do you also have people in your life who have this wonderful ability to drive you nuts within half of a second? Not like they do it on purpose, but sometimes they would say something or even make a gesture, and you would go all like “Why?! Why on earth would you do that?! Who does that? Are you blind, emotionally challenged or just stupid?”
Then it would be all long over, but you would be still wondering about the “why”. Then, after couple of hours of self-therapy, you-the shrink will tell you-the patient to let it go, tell you that it’s not important, tell you that “who actually cares”.
At some point, you would let go and maybe even forget about this, but next thing you know the same thing happens again, and you are right back where you started. Good thing you didn’t pay you-the shrink any money. It would have been such a waste.
I used to have a long list of such people. In my early days, even a random passerby or a rude saleswoman in a shop had a good chance to make it close to the top of it. Luckily, as I got older, and, as I like to think, wiser, the list got shorter and is right about 2.5 persons long at the moment (I told you, it is a work in progress). It cost me endless hours of self-therapy sessions going on in my head when I couldn’t fall sleep, some decent amount of tears and of cause some heart aches here and there, but eventually it did get shorter and there have been no new “entries” for a long time now. However, these “people of the list” still drive me nuts, because of them, I still lie sleepless at night asking myself why they are behaving like this. Every time before talking to each and one of them I think I’m prepared for whatever is going to come my way. Every time I give myself a talk about letting go and accepting the things the way they are, because I can’t change anything anyway (and so on, and so on). But, although I seem to understand and agree with myself on every point, there is always this teeny-tiny piece of hope that just refuses to be killed by the hammer of the arguments and finally die: a hope that everything will be different this time. But it is never different. Thank you very much, hope, I hope you are happy now, watching me feel miserable again.
I know my situation is not unique. In fact, couple of days ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me about something somebody said to her. I know that she doesn’t care much about this person, and I know that she knows herself that there is no point expecting a different behavior here. But I also know that it pinched her heart anyway (damn you bloody hope). And, as I care about my friend deeply, it pinched my heart, too. That’s why I decided to share the following story (yes, now we are finally getting to the point; whoever hasn’t given up reading yet: hold through, you are just one paragraph away from the best part).
There is this book I’m reading for lunch these days. Don’t worry, I also eat things for lunch, nothing can make me miss an opportunity for a meal. Because of my current project though, I usually end up eating alone, and as I can’t bring a TV with me in the cafeteria I bring this book to give me company. (Very) long story short, as the chance so wished (or shall I say, what a coincidence!), I stumbled over this story I, unfortunately, can’t take credit for. It was exactly about the “why”, why these people behave like this. Suddenly, I felt relieved.
Two peasants were traveling down a winding road on their way to see the king. When they approached the gates of the kingdom an army of foot soldiers bullied them and ran them off. Then one peasant said to the other, “That is why.” The next day, the two peasants traveled down the winding road again with hopes to see the king. This time an army of horse soldiers rode up, threw stones at them and ran them off. Then the peasant said to his friend, “That is why.” The two peasants would not give up, so they traveled the winding road again. This time the king’s carriage pulled up, and when the king saw the two peasants standing there in torn clothes, with cuts and bruises all over them, the king got out of his carriage, walked up to the two peasants, put his arm around them, and gave them each a gold coin. As they walked back down the winding road, one peasant said to the other again, “That is why”. When they were both back home sitting in their little huts, the other peasant asked his friend what he meant when he said “that is why?” The first peasant responded, “That is why they are foot soldiers, and that is all they will ever be. That is why they are horse soldiers, and that is all they will ever be. And that is why he is king”.
From the book “The Soul of the Butterfly” by Muhammad Ali