Embracing the problem and giving myself a hug

Dan ArpOur Town Outdoors

This is an exercise in putting my thoughts on paper. I’m going to do my best to just talk about me. I am not going to talk about what others should do, but what I hope to do.

I think, actually I know, that many times when I get upset and mad it’s because I believe that someone has wronged me. Sometimes I feel they are making a statement that is not true. I believe that if I would at times examine myself, I would find that what is really going on is something inside me. That is the problem.

For me it is hard to admit when I’m wrong. Instead, I will quickly point the finger to another person or event. Case in point; when I get upset because my workshop is in dire need of cleaning, it’s often when my life needs straightening out. Cindy will tell you that when I am out working with my equipment, and I make a mistake “I turn the air blue.” I can only blame myself because there is nobody else handy to point at.

I have breakfast with my friend Joe Goodlin at least once a month. Joe has seen me shift sides in my political beliefs over the years. During the times when we were on opposing sides, Joe never once tried to correct me even though he for sure thought I was wrong.

My response to persons on the other side of issues has been to adamantly try to correct their erroneous thinking and beliefs. What’s the outcome? Usually, we both walk away mad. Did either change their mind? No.

The other day I was speaking with a person I was meeting for the first time. I liked (like) the guy. He made a statement I totally disagreed with. Instead of taking my normal approach, I simply stated that it was apparent we were on different pages but that’s okay because we live in America. We had come to an agreement and remain friends. I gave myself a little hug.

I certainly have a long way to go, and at 73, I have a short time to get there. However, my goal is to listen to what is going on inside me and respond to situations in ways that allow me to give myself more hugs.

Dan Arp is a forever resident of Heiskell, Tennessee


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