Keeping grace in mind

Written by Megan.

Why is it that when someone says something not very kind that it sticks with you? For me, it’s like that negativity is a piece of tape that won’t unstick from my finger. I am not so good at letting negative energy go, but Guy gracefully shrugs it off and moves on.

We were walking outside the Portland Art Museum yesterday and a group of high school or early college aged kids said an unkind comment after walking away from us. I could hear it loud and clear coming from behind me and it really bothered me at the time. It was frivolous, but they said something like, "where is your ascot bro?" They were clearly speaking to Guy and me. It's kind of funny now, but at the time I was livid. I just couldn't comprehend why, even though, this was meant to be a joke to the kid's friends, someone would feel comfortable throwing negativity around. I try to not take things like this personally and I remind myself that this person must have something not good going on in their life to feel that they must project negativity to feel better about their current situation.

I think part of my lack of understanding is cultural. I believe that everything is connected in a circular way. So, if you are exuding negative energy, it will come back to you and you will meet with it again. With this in mind, I try to make sure that I take responsibility for the energy that I bring into a space. This can be a challenge some days, but it helps me to think of it in this way.

I replay the situation as if in slow motion. I thought briefly about what I should have said back to make that person feel just as icky, but I said nothing in reality. I know that saying something negative back would only be perpetuating the negative cycle.

After we enjoyed the museum, Guy and I were sitting in the Museum Grounds Cafe sipping some hot coffee and I asked him, “how do you simply let go of things like that? And if you could have said something, what would you have said back?” He said there is no use to hold on to that negative energy and he had already brushed it off. To my second question, he said if he had heard it, he may have wanted to say, “I seem to have forgotten it.” His response reminded me to just let negativity go and do so with grace.