On the road to Damascus

I posted a portion of this a couple of years ago... this was my column on Easter Sunday...

Oh, I've been on that road to Damascus many times...
You know the one, where you’re breathing fire and murder. My fingers furiously typing out Truths in bold italics, thinking all the while that the receiver of my words deserved the blistering I meted out.
Yet, that still small voice was whispering in my ear urging me, “Breathe, Gina, breathe” and then I would sit back appalled at my vindictive verbage, wincing at the bald words before my eyes, or worse echoing in in my burning ears.
How could such a sweet and loving person spew out all that sharp and jagged-edged shrapnel?
I cringe, even now to think of those times when I let my ire replace my reason.
Yea, I walked down that road which wound through the valley of spurs and loose swords slicing and dicing my fellow man in my full-blown anger at my perception of their “blatant stupidity” or at their callous disrespect of my person and well-being.
How does one ever retract that sword without leaving a wound so deep the repair of it leaves jagged scars? No matter how many times we say “I’m sorry,” the words are not a balm for the ragged wounds in tender feelings.
Sigh... Where is the satisfaction in letting loose the reins on temper?
There is none. After screaming, the head hurts, the throat hurts and the blood pressure is raised making various other things hurt. And even if one does not scream, but holds that temper in, it still makes the head hurt and the chest hurt. It does no good.
But, there is something about physical activitiy that makes the blood pump rather than press. It rushes through the veins gathering up the bad things and handing out the oxygen. The brain releases endorphins and suddenly ire is replaced with a sense of well-being and reason tip-toes back in, settling in the mind like a comforting quilt. We’re not talking about spankings here, more like a brisk walk or brisk sweeping-of-the-porch kind of exercise.
A soft word turns away wrath. I learned that lesson at a young age. I remember when my girls were little, and they were tired and cranky, whining etc. I would talk in a really soft voice and they’d quite down so they could hear what I was saying. Kinda like those folks in the E. F. Hutton commercials. It was amazing. Yelling only made everyone more cranky.
Lesson learned and peace descended upon my being as well as those around me. Until...
A monster out there snatched my lessons learned, twisting them into oblivion leaving more gray hair than sense.
Menopause.
That word makes men shiver in their tracks and women lock up the guns and kids look at each other wide-eyed, wondering what’s gotten into mom.
Words of advice to the wary:
- Do not disagree with a menopausal woman. She is always right.
- Before things blow up, hand her the broom and nod toward the porch. Do not disagree with her.
- Flowers are nice, chocolate is better. When handing the offering to her, say, “You’re right.”
- Recognize the fact you have done absolutely nothing wrong and it’s all your fault.
- Remember to stop and pick up chocolate. We’re in it for the long haul so fluids and air filters need changing regularly.
- Walks are highly recommended. Getting out of the house while she sweeps the porch makes for cool heads.
- Hugs and saying “I love you,” work better than all of the above.
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