Self Acceptance: Noticing my ego take a ride

After I wrote about bringing attentiveness, clarity, generosity, strength and love to situations and interactions last week, I quickly got to experience falling short!  Ah, to be human . . .

I go to the same coffee bar almost every day and have playful interaction with most of the baristas.  A few days ago, I took it too far. I was in line behind an older gentleman who got confused several times while ordering his drink and cookie.  At one point he even asked if he’d ordered a cookie that sat right in front of him.  The barista patiently and kindly answered all his questions, and then exchanged a frustrated glance with me.

I then ordered my coffee and chatted with the barista about our weekends.  While walking out the door, I asked him as a joke, my coffee in hand, “did I order a drink?”

As soon as I said it and saw him glance out to the patio, I felt bad.  The man with the cookie was sitting on the patio, probably didn’t hear me, but what if he had?  

I reflected on why I had made a joke at someone else’s expense.  I like being a regular.  I like having a personal relationships with the baristas.  And, ick, I wanted to feel superior.  To someone who was having a tough time in the moment.  Ouch.  Okay, no wonder I felt bad.

So, while driving home, I fully felt feeling bad.  Then I offered compassion to all of us – the man, the barista and me.  Then I forgave myself and let it go with a strong resolve to bring more attention to a situation before I react from my ego.  Ah, the practice . . .

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Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.

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