When I first moved here to California, I went through a bit of culture shock. The air is grey, not yellow; people wear mostly dull browns, greys and blacks, not bright aloha shirts, sarongs and bright-colored clothing; friendly greetings in stores on the street are regarded as suspicious and either ignored or given stink eye; gruff answers to questions of store employees instead of aloha-friendly help – and the worst, the ugly conversation with one of my landlord’s managerial staff.

I’m not sure how we got off on the wrong foot, but boy, did we! I think it started when he sent a text saying the AC guy was coming over to do his annual inspection. I asked a question, and we continued back and forth.

His replies got shorter and shorter, and finally rude, until he finally said to stop texting him, as he felt it was ‘unproductive.’ Huh? Er – who started sending whom texts? I was only trying to get clarity on the inspection.

At first I was really put off. Angry at being dissed. But then I remembered how all the people I follow, study, read and respect say, ‘give love to the haters, give love to the rude, give love to the ones hardest to love – for they are the very ones who need it most.’

So now, although the guy is still short with me, each time we interact, I try to remember that. It’s a wee bit more bearable now.

It may take two to tango, but if one person is always stomping his feet and the other is lightly skipping, it ain’t gonna work.

The hardest thing is being the first to let go of the ire. Oh it’s so easy to hold onto ‘he was rude to me, why should I be nice to him?!?’ But the longer that’s the name of your game, the longer you will suffer, because love doesn’t have a crack to seep into, and it can’t soften the dance.

How can we live artfully and dance in The Light when we hold grudges? When we continue to complain? When we secretly think badly of someone? When we doubt our own value? We cannot.

Our job here is simply to love and be loved.

So simple, yet sometimes so very, very hard. Just let go of anything else.

text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2022



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