On Wednesday night I was at the church in the middle of a meeting.
I saw David’s face appear in the little rectangular window in the door. He grinned at me.
Then he came in, interrupted the meeting and asked to trade car keys with me. I was surprised to see him and confused for a second, but handed him the keys.
On his way out the door he turned and said, “Oh, and don’t worry. The gas light is on in my car, but you’re totally fine. That car can go forever without gas. Okay? You’re totally fine. See ya.”
I stared after him.
The women around me started laughing. However, I did not think it was funny. If they hadn’t been there, I would have flipped him off. (It’s a bad habit. Like mini marshmallows. Don’t worry. I have made my New Years’ resolutions.)
(I hope you can see the irony here…I was at church, trying to improve my discipleship to a God of long-suffering and endless love…and I was having a very hard time loving and long-suffering my own husband. It’s clear that all these people and their humanness are getting in the way of my holiness. Sheesh.)
The whole week kind of went like that. Me, ticked off. Him, assuring me, “You’re totally fine.” Me, flipping him off, both in my mind and otherwise. We ran the whole scene again this morning from the top. Different beginning, slight plot changes in the second act, but the end was the same. Double birdy, I think they call it, for a big finish.
It is pure bliss being married to me. Obviously.
The thing is, he’s right. I’m always totally fine. It just takes me a few hours or a few days to figure out that he’s right. But in the meantime, it’s kind of miserable.
I have some writing meetings out of town this week. Tonight he met me at the door as I was leaving and kissed me goodbye. And gave me a long hug. “You’re totally fine,” he said again.
And I wondered how my life would be different if I could believe that all the time. Not just days later after the damage has already been done. What if I could believe it right away?
I spent most of last year, working on my brain, learning how to redirect the thoughts that were not serving me. One of the things my coach always says is, “Did you know you get to believe whatever you want?” Apparently not.
Did you know you get to believe whatever you want?
When I step back, I can see that I mostly just like being right. Being right is somehow more important even than feeling good. “I’m not totally fine,” I think, and then set about proving how not totally fine I am and how much harder the other people in my life are making things—if they would change, then I could finally be “totally fine.”
Eventually, I get to the place where the storm has blown itself out and, (surprise, surprise!) I’m totally fine, but I never get there without a lot of drama and gnashing about first. Which means, that I might be the one making my life harder and not the other people in it. Wait…what?! I might be giving everyone the bird, but it’s myself I’m totally screwing.
Tonight, as I look back, I can see that I could just skip that part. I could just believe whatever I want, including, “I’m totally fine.”
After the week I’ve had, I’m thinking it might be worth a shot.