Christmas is about giving and T did a post recently about that subject that brought back a memory that made me really think. It was actually very uncomfortable for me and not just because the situation was intense and angry, but because it made me step back and question why I do things. Why I give/do things for others? Do I give/do things for selfish reasons or do I give/do things from the heart.
Situation: I went to a gym for a quick cardio work out and because I was in a slight hurry I went to a different, closer gym than I usually go to. Now if you are a frequent gym user you will get me when I say that there is a comfort in “my gym”. I am used to it, know where everything is and have a real sense of comfort there. This was not “my” gym. I do not like this particular gym and for no real reason at all. So, that has all lead up to the fact that I may have had a slight attitude walking in.
As I was walking in with my 3 year old daughter, I held the door, well actually 2 doors open for another women walking in. So she actually let me hold the door open for her twice and did not once thank me. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I was taught that people don’t have to do something for me, so when they do, you thank them. So I, being a smart ass with no sense of keeping my mouth shut and accepting other peoples up bringing, I blurt out “YOUR WELCOME”!
This didn’t go over well with her. In front of my daughter, she got right in my face and told me that if I am doing things for a thanks, that it is not coming from the heart and I am doing it for selfish reasons. She asked me if I gave any thought to what she might be going through that day. She said she was in a bad place and wasn’t thinking about anyone else and if I was doing something nice for her without selfishness, I would have seen that her mind was somewhere else and not just unthankful.
Now in the heat of the moment, I went off about how I was raised to be appreciative and to always thank someone that didn’t owe you that niceness in the first place. That I am trying to show and raise my daughter to respect others, blah, blah, blah.
Then, I walked away and nearly broke down. I thought about what might have been going on in her world at that moment. I thought about the fact that I was brought up to hold doors for others and it is now a habit. It probably doesn’t come from the heart as much any more. How many times have I been in my own mind and done something not so respectful to someone. I didn’t mean to do it. I probably didn’t even know I did it, but if someone would have called me out on it at the time, I may have gone postal or maybe broke down.
It really made me think about why I do things for others. Is it selfish, a habit, or a true heartfelt reason? I think that by me thinking about it so much has made me more aware and I have realized that most of what I do is from the heart. I am working on the rest.
This happened months ago and I think that if I saw this woman now, I would buy her a coffee or maybe... give her a hug!