It feels like I’ve spent the first two months of 2012 recovering. Recovering from the flu, then bronchitis, then…hurt feelings.
The problem with hurt feelings and me is that I become mired in them. Rather than seeing a colleague’s bad behavior as something originating from–who knows–waking up on the wrong side of bed, the alignment of evil planets or a particularly bad paper cut; I somehow think it’s all about me. So I obsess; why did this person treat me this way? What did I do to incite them to this behavior, and on and on. Locked in my hurt feelings, I seek refuge in working obsessively and isolating…which just makes me feel lonely and stuck.
Yesterday, I finally set aside work and isolation for an outing with a group of wonderful friends. We rode our bicycles along Ballona Creek to the beach at Playa Del Rey. My friend Jane, who lives in the area, made sure we made frequent stops to admire the birds. (Thanks to Jane, we now can tell a Black Necked Stilt from a Western Grebe.) The air was brisk, the sun was out and the pace was perfect. We had lunch at a little bistro by the beach, caught up with each others’ lives and thoroughly enjoyed being ourselves. One of our group is soaring on the wings of a new romance; another is fashioning a second career as a consultant, still another is making decisions about which career path to take. The energy was supportive and uplifting. I received much needed nurturing, and clear-headed advice, about some of my recent disappointments.
Oh…and those hurt feelings? I think they flew off with the big flock of gulls we saw.
I’d like to say that I’ll remember all of this the next time my feelings get hurt. Even if I don’t, maybe next time I won’t spend weeks fixated on behavior that is not mine to fix.