Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rules to live by: Keep Benadryl on hand. Be gentle with one another.

So...I had a really weird reaction to some food I made tonight.  Every once in a while, my body likes to react in ways nobody seems to be able to understand.  Like one time I ate lima beans and my entire body broke out in a painful rash.  And last year I ate a veggie sandwich at Panera (which I had eaten before, and have eaten since), and my body decided to break out in a crazy rash that landed me in an Urgent Care on two different occasions because the darn thing wouldn't go away and was ugly and terrible.  Tonight, I made 2-bean chili (one of my favorite recipes), which is basically black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, butternut squash, garlic, onions, and chili powder...all things I eat regularly (aside from the butternut squash, which is only semi-regularly), and my body decided it was not pleased.  So not pleased, in fact, that my tongue and throat and lips got red and puffy and funny and I'm itchy all over.  I didn't even eat a bowl of it...I just tried it a couple times.  Apparently, my body says it's a no-go, though, and when my tongue and throat are involved, I just don't argue because, you know, I kind of find breathing to be a fun activity that I would like to continue. (To make matters worse, those 3 bites were delicious, and my house smells amazing.  Doh). 

At any rate, all of that to say, I've been planning this blog post in my head all day, but now I'm itchy and puffy and I've taken a couple Benadryl, so I'm also tired and a little loopy.  And my throat and tongue feel weird.  Kinda like Will Smith in "Hitch" when he has the allergic reaction... 

...(no, seriously, it's not that bad).  I just wish that when my body decides it's not going to like something it would let me in on it so I can make an informed decision PRIOR TO eating/cooking/handling that item.  On another note, now might be the perfect time to schedule that appointment with the allergist that I've been putting off.  Nothing like a subtle prompt to move you in the right direction, right? 

I can tell that I'm going to have a difficult time staying on track right now.  Don't blame me.  Blame the Benadryl (I'm not kidding.  It doesn't just make me a little loopy.  It makes me a lot loopy.  And I also have a weird reaction to Benadryl in that it makes my limbs tingle like they're asleep and makes my skin hypersensitive to everything.  It makes me crazy, but I keep it in the house for situations like this and for bee stings because, you know, breathing is important and stuff).  

ANYWAY.  Commercial break is over.  Now it's time to get back to your regularly scheduled programming (aka what I really wanted to say tonight before my evening got derailed).

My guess is that it comes as no surprise to anyone that there are a lot of people hurting right now.  For the past two weeks or so, I have just felt (even more than usual) that we all need to be a little more gentle with one another.  People are scared.  And they're worried.  And they're angry, and they're short-tempered, and they're frustrated.  People are hurting.  It feels to me like our collective heart is sore right now.  I could see it in the faces of so many of the parents I worked with last week.  I could feel it in the grocery store.  I felt it oozing through my Facebook newsfeed.  People are hurting, ya'll, and what has come to me over and over again is that we need to be gentle.  Be gentle with each other.  Be gentle with ourselves.  Be gentle with our words and our actions.  There's so much bubbling under the surface for so many people right now.

I remembered a post I wrote a long time ago (3 years!) in which I outlined some "rules" for engaging with others.  I had forgotten the context of the post, and I no longer agree with some of the points I made (we can call that growth).  However, those 4 rules...they're pretty good rules for life in general.  In case you don't want to go back and read the post, the rules are as follows:

                1) Say something.
                2) Care about people.
                3) Listen.
                4) Speak with intention; Socialize with compassion. 

I should copyright this, you guys.  Or, like, write my own version of The Four Agreements.  Because, apparently, Benadryl makes me tired and cocky and compare myself to Don Miguel Ruiz because, you know, why not?

Tell you what...I'm going to end there tonight, because I'm not going to be able to keep myself focused much longer.  I'm a little over a page in and I've already compared myself to "Hitch" and Don Miguel Ruiz.  God only knows what will come out of my fingers next.  

I have more to say about that list, but we'll talk about those 4 items tomorrow.

In the meantime, I leave you with this poem/prayer/meditation by R.S. Gilbert:

Be gentle with one another--

It is a cry from the lives of people battered
By thoughtless words and brutal deeds;
It comes from the lips of those who speak them,
And the lives of those who do them.

Who of us can look inside another and know what is there
Of hope and hurt, or promise and pain?
Who can know from what far places each has come
Or to what far places each may hope to go?

Our lives are like fragile eggs.
They crack and the substance escapes.
Handle with care!
Handle with exceedingly tender care
For there are human beings within,
Human beings as vulnerable as we are,
who feel as we feel,
who hurt as we hurt.

Life is too transient to be cruel with one another;
It is too short for thoughtlessness,
Too brief for hurting.
Life is long enough for caring,
It is lasting enough for sharing,
Precious enough for love.

Be gentle with one another.

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