The kids and I were having not such a great morning today.
I have been away on business this week and last night they wanted to stay in bed with me and watch tv. So this morning none of us wanted to get up. We were all dragging our behinds and we were late. Later than usual. And I was using my, "Let's get a move-on!!" voice. Never a pretty sight at 8am.
I didn't go through backpacks last night due to honest laziness. So this morning in our haste and rush I was rifling through backpacks and found a sealed letter on the school's good stationary. I had totally assumed it was about Elijah's moving up ceremony and that was on my mind when I opened this letter.
It was only a couple of sentences but it stopped me in my tracks. And it ended our bad morning.
The letter said that one of my children's classmates had lost their mother to a prolonged illness last weekend and that the children were going to learn about it in school today.
The first thing this news did was send me into sympathy for this child who had just lost her mother. My heart broke for her and although I don't know the family that well, the mother in me wished I could hold this child.
The second thing this news did was send me into gratitude that we were still able to have our bad mornings together. After I told the kids about this and we discussed it the best we could in the moment, the three of us drove to school, late but in gratitude that we were together.
After I dropped them off and kissed them too much I headed to my class. In the car I started to reflect on this. I prayed for this woman that I barely knew. I had seen her about six weeks ago or so in the grocery store and had tried to start up a conversation. All the times I have been in her company was a direct result of our kids' activities, except this time at the grocery store. It was an akward exchange of pleasantries at best as I tried to say something more than hello.
When she walked away I started that whole thing in my head; Why doesn't she like me? What did I say wrong? She must be prejuidiced against my multi-racial kids... And those thoughts kept going. I mean this was fertile ground for my pea-brain and ego. This chicken-sized brain loves to make up these kind of stories. I mean, it's gotta be all about me, right?
So this morning when I'd heard the news of her passing, I realized that she was carrying a burden that I'd had no idea of. What she was going through was way more important than my trivial egocentric thoughts and my grocery store pleasantries. And here I was, a Yoga teacher, and I couldn't hold space for her until today.
There's a saying that goes something like, "Be nice to everyone you meet for you do not know their fight". I think the meaning is deeper. Sometimes being "nice" isn't enough. So the next time you encounter someone and the meeting doesn't go the way your pea-brain wants, try to hold space for them. You do not know what their fight is and you may never know. It's probably not your business to know.
And remember, it's not all about you even when your brain and ego try to convince you of that. So after you read this mindless trivia please send light to a little girl who has lost her mother and to a mother who has gone on a better place.