Sounds crazy right?
How on earth could a muffin teach someone about forgiveness and to let go of their anger?!
Well, quite simply it can.
Let me set the scene.
You all may or may not know that at the moment I am a live-in carer for a disabled girl at university. This isn’t the same girl I was writing about a few months back, this is a different girl. You may also remember me expressing some frustration about her. I thought it was her I didn’t like and that caring for a new girl would solve the problem.
If anything it made it absolutely clear to me that the problem lay with me and not with them. I found the same frustrations kept coming up and after a couple of weeks I went back to my habitual behaviour of being a moody cow and letting everyone know it.
The new girl is actually really nice by the way. I don’t want you all getting the wrong impression.
A few days ago, me and this girl – I’ll call her Molly – and her other carer had an argument. I say argument, but it wasn’t really as heated as that. But each persons views were expressed. I’d overheard them bitching about me and straight away I was peed off. Why didn’t they just speak to me about it instead of talking behind my back?
Then I realised I’m not exactly the most approachable person sometimes especially given my recent moodiness and aloofness.
Anyway, I thought I’m not having them saying shit about me until they knew what actually happened. So I told them. I may not have said it in the nicest way, but I wasn’t horrible about it either. I also made it clear to the other carer that it would be nice if she pulled her weight instead of leaving me to do it all. Just because I’m with Molly all day every day doesn’t mean she can’t help out in some way. And to be honest it gets frustrating having to do it all and it’s nice knowing someone else can do it once in a while.
If anything this argument actually cleared the air. The tension between me and the other carer (which had been building for weeks) seemed to lift and I felt lighter.
The next day I was still moody. Apparently I had unconsciously placed myself in somewhat of a victim state of mind and was relentlessly holding on for dear life. I thought letting go of that would mean that I was admitting defeat and that I’d done something wrong when I knew that I hadn’t, and that it was just a misunderstanding and a lack of communication.
I should say that for me, if I’m bearing any negative feeling I don’t tend to tell anyone because I don’t want to impart that onto their life, so I keep it to myself in the hopes that I’ll work through it and get over it. And I always do try and work through it and see what it is in this person that reflects thoughts about myself. It can be hard.
The next day I said to myself I would try and make a conscious effort – a real effort – to be nice. I’m actually a very nice and cheerful person and holding onto negative feelings, anger and frustration just isn’t something I want in my life, and it definitely isn’t something I want to add to someone else’s life especially when it isn’t their problem.
Anyway, the first few hours of the day I couldn’t bring myself to be nice. I was nicer but I wasn’t being as good as I wanted. Why? God knows. It was like someone was inside me with a rope pulling the nice me away and telling the other part of me to go forth. When Molly and I arrived at the university I went to get my usual coffee. As I was queuing up I saw the muffins and because I love cake (who doesn’t?) I decided to get myself a muffin. Then I thought “Why don’t I get Molly a muffin?” I actually tossed the idea back and forth. I wanted to buy the muffin, but I felt like it was a shoddy expression of an apology. Then I figured it was better than nothing.
I got my coffee and both of us a muffin. I didn’t expect anything from it. I just wanted to show Molly I am nice! I paid for everything then went to Molly and gave her the muffin and said “This is a sorry for my appalling attitude over the past few days.” And then I felt really good. Like, really cheerful. I totally wasn’t expecting that. I mean, it was just a muffin. But through the act of giving something to Molly I found the positive feelings I had somehow buried. Giving something to her allowed me to experience the act of forgiveness for myself, and allowed myself to be nice. Since then I’ve had no bouts of anger or frustration.
Actually, thinking about it, I haven’t moaned about anything. That’s a new feeling for me!
I’m a little bit amazed because I’ve been trying for so long to find a way of letting go of this anger and it all went because of a muffin!
Later on that evening I also made it clear to Molly that if I ever am moody it has absolutely nothing to do with her but everything to do with me. I told her that I’m working on it and to not ever feel like it’s her fault. It’s never anyone’s fault, it is always mine. I have been taking responsibility for my feelings, but I’ve never expressed to anyone I work with that I’m doing it. I never thought they should know because I never thought it would really impact them. As Maya Angelou says, people always remember how we make them feel, and I would hate for Molly to look back on our time together and remember me as some moody, unapproachable bitch, when in fact I’m the opposite.
I’ve even started being civil to the other carer! Before I wouldn’t even acknowledge her. Progress! She’s not my type of person at all, but Molly loves her so it would be wrong of me to carry on being weird about it all and creating anxiety for Molly in case the two of us had another run in. The other carer isn’t a bad person, but we just don’t gel together. Put it this way: we’d never be lifelong buddies!
I am grateful for the lessons they’ve both taught me – regardless of whether they know it or not. It has allowed me to see that the answer was very simple, and as always, right in front of me the whole time and something I’d read about a million times (and something I think I’ve even posted about!)
So, if like me you’ve been working on how to get something as debilitating as anger out of your life, give something to that person. Even though they’re not the actual cause of the anger, the act of giving will change your perception on the issue.
It really is that simple. It’s all about whether you’re ready to allow yourself to feel good and to let the anger bugger off.
I don’t doubt that I’ll have other run-ins with people who will give rise to similar feelings, but at least I consciously know what makes me angry and how to go about not letting it dictate my mood and my life. I also know that the anger won’t be as prominent because I’ve chosen to work through it and I’ve chosen for it not to be in my life.
And by the way, the muffin was blueberry!
Be happy. Be you.