I Push Buttons Even When I Don’t Install Them

Captain’s Log   6,061

How many times I have gotten into trouble for my belief in universal lessons?

Years ago, I wrote a journal entry on happiness.  One of my readers was FURIOUS and said I had no idea what it was like to live her life. She struggled every day to make a good life for her son.  Her career as an artist wasn’t bringing in enough money.  Yadda sad song.  She was so damn mad at me that she wrote about me other places.  What a Pollyanna bitch I am.  And this went on for a very long time.  I held my Zen.  I let her diffuse into a pile of her own bitterness and disappointment.  She was choosing to be an asshat.  Fine.  But I simply walked away from the game.  That is what I do.

She was absolutely right.  Not about the Pollyanna bitch part – but about my familiarity with her life.  I had and still have no idea what it was like for her to live her life.  I wasn’t writing about her life.  How narcissistic for her to even think that.  Just because it resonated with her (in a HUGE way) did not mean I was targeting her.  She didn’t even cross my radar when I wrote it.  I was dealing with my own spiritual lessons of forgiveness at the time.  But once again, I pushed a button I did not install.  In my deepest heart, I truly hope she has moved beyond the need for anger.

Button pushing.   I seem to do that a lot.  Happy people threaten others for some reason.  It’s like any change for good.  There will always be people who want to make it about themselves or sabotage your efforts.  I see it all the time.  Someone wants to lose weight so their spouse brings huge bags of chips into the house.  Someone wants to take French lessons so their spouse begins a huge campaign about how lonely they are when left alone for an evening.  It can be very obvious or it can be subtle, but the truth of the matter is……..misery really DOES love company.

And when people change……heaven forbid!  They might be HAPPIER or DIFFERENT.  The might not enjoy the miasma of despair anymore.  They just might enjoy the world unfettered by emotional baggage.

But there is a high cost for such things.  Making healthy change requires faith and trust in ourselves.  You have to be ready for the doubt monster.  You have to be willing to do a lot of this work alone.  And for many people, being alone (physically, emotionally, or both) with change is something that they simply cannot bear.  So they stay with what is comfortable – with what they know.  And this big and glorious world continues to turn and spin with them on the sidelines.  They might never leave the bench, but the game continues.

Choices are simply that.  Choices.  They all have their good points and their bad points.  Whatever we choice we make in the moment is where we intend to go (in the moment).  Out to sea or into the rocks.  We always have a hand on the wheel.

So when I make people angry with my writing, I want to say, “Wow!  I certainly pushed your buttons.  But remember, I did not install them.  Those buttons have been with you a very long time and you are very familiar with them.  Anything that suggests something different is very threatening.  You are protecting your emotional cubs.  And that’s okay.”  Wow.

And then I take a look at myself to see if I am taking my own advice.  It’s that whole examined life thing.  I am so far from perfect with this it isn’t even funny.  But writing about it brings me tiny steps closer to the life I want to create for myself.




Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

14 responses to “I Push Buttons Even When I Don’t Install Them

  1. joan

    forgiveness- sometimes it takes many tries, sometimes daily for 10 minutes LOL
    I guess the next lesson is compassion for ourselves when forgiveness is based on seconds at a time – I loved your post.

    We are all learners

  2. Stephanie

    Hear! Hear!

  3. Joanie Benson


  4. Penny Tushingham

    Hope you find the “right” button to push these types of people out of your life!

    Pen Pen

    • poolagirl

      Yes and no. I actually find lessons when people smack me down. Reminds me of just how important it is for me to continue.

  5. Have you noticed when you ARE happy and feeling good about yourself and/or your life that someone wants to rain on your parade. Just when I think I am doing well with the widow life, someone asks me how I do it and then I start doubting myself again.

  6. I wish you peace and hope your view is never shattered.

    • poolagirl

      It gets shattered all the time. The strength of a person is not measured in how much they succeed but how well they pick themselves up when they fail. I am so far from perfect. But I keep reminding myself that I really DO create my world.

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