Sarah Calvert

"I was wrong, oh so wrong..." Patsy Cline

 

 In Nicaragua, hugging a big squirrel. 

I thought it was a squirrel possibly playing freeze tag, being very still in the tree ahead of me this morning. After several minutes I realized that it was just a bump in a log that looked like a squirrel. I had an epiphany: How often does that happen that I see things one way, and they are actually not that way at all? How often is my perception absolutely wrong?

I then thought about my first world traumatic incident I had last week. I had booked an appointment at a salon to be waxed; the time had come whereby I officially looked like I had two Cosby kids in a headlock (my sister Michelle’s favourite simile when referring to my underarm hair). I showed up at the designated time and was told that the esthetician wasn’t there and couldn’t make me shiny and soft: disaster! I realize of course I over-reacted, but for some reason that day, maybe the heat (humidity was at about 90%) I was really annoyed. I cursed, “This fucking country!”  Time doesn’t really have the same context as it does in Canada; people often don’t show up when they say they will, and everyone is usually about an hour late. Concerts don’t start when they should (if they happen at all sometimes) and no one really seems concerned. I personally have been craving a trip to Switzerland, but know that the rigidity there would equally get on my nerves. Anyway, back to the no-waxing fiasco of Costa Rica. The girl at the salon was explaining to me in Spanish why the other gal was a no-show. In my huff and puff I didn’t really get all the information and when she began talking about toenails, I interpreted it that she was doing a pedicure on someone else. Agh! The nerve! I haughtily left the salon after being told I could come back the next day. 

And so I did, at the correct time, and she was there. I had cooled off of course and just asked her what happened the day before? She apologetically showed me her toenail which had somehow got a nasty infection and she had to go to the doctor to have it looked at. Whoops. I felt like a total shmuck. Here I was, annoyed that she ditched me for another pedicure and really she was in a clinic getting antibiotic cream. The other girls probably thought I was a gringo bitch with no compassion; their perception of that (also not really true) would seem pretty spot on. 

 The squirrel-branch this morning reminded me that I need to keep my perceptions in check and not believe everything I see or think. Sitting in the jungle today connected with nature I’m much more relaxed and can see how my assumptions about how things are can be wrong. Actually, this probably happens much more than I think or would like to admit. And so, I’m vowing to be more open (despite the humidity and irritation), I’m admitting when I’m wrong more (not that it happens that much), and willing to see others’ sides with more humility and less judgment. Looking up at the clouds I may see a unicorn (yeah, my dad did the brown acid at Woodstock), whereas another person might see a dragon. Who is right? Who cares? The point is, we all see everything differently, and when we learn to embrace the point of view of others (even if we don’t agree), there will be more peace. And in this day and age, isn’t that what we need most? 

As always, so very grateful to have you along with me on the journey.
Much love and light,

Sarah

Question for You: When have you misread a situation and acted totally inappropriately, only to be humbled later with the truth?

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