I have been making a conscious effort to be less... well, let's call it what it is-- bitchy at work. I do like my job, and I choose to work here because of the people with whom I work. That statement should in no way be construed to mean that I don't regularly want to pop various colleagues in the schnoz. I do.
Today, when faced with three separate incidents in which people made me frustrated, I realized that I wanted to respond in a snarky way.
I'm not sure I can make this distinction clear, but bear with me. I actively wanted to respond to colleagues in a way that is unprofessional, unpleasant, and produces negative energy. Often I feel that I've responded to a situation in such a way as to create negative energy because I reacted instead of stopping to consider my response, but today I found myself feeling a little glee over complaining.
This is not whom I want to be.
So, in the words of Inigo Montoya, I go back to the beginning.
- In life, there is suffering. Coworkers feel entitled. People bring problems that should not be mine and dump them on my desk. It is a fact.
- Suffering is caused by craving and desire. My coworkers make me crazy because I want them to act in ways other than they are.
- My suffering can end if I stop craving and desiring things to be other than they are. This doesn't mean that the situation changes. It means that I choose to be in charge of how I respond. I do not wish to be a negative person, and so I can choose not to be. People have control only when I give it to them.
- The way to stop craving and desiring things to be other than the way they are is to follow the Eightfold Path: right speech, right action, right thought, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, right concentration, right understanding.
Each portion of the Eightfold Path is like a spoke on a wheel. They all lead to the same center. I just need to pick one and focus on it. I choose right effort. I am going to actively try to accept situations for what they are and respond in a kind manner. It is better for me, better for my coworkers, and better for the universe.
I'm fairly sure this is going to be hard and I will fail at it. It is a laudable goal, and perhaps by focusing some of my effort here, I will have less available effort to be snarky.
And, if I do fail, I've got the rest of this lifetime and lots more to keep working on it.
It's important to me that anyone reading this realizes that I suck at all this. I don't want to come across as someone who knows what she's doing. I don't. I'm not a good Buddhist nor am I a good Christian. In the words of Geri Larkin, my favorite Buddhist, I'm stumbling toward enlightenment. We all are. Maybe life is just a series of "trying again," trying again to be the person I want to be even though it seems that I fail nearly all of the time.
And so I go back to the beginning.