She was in her 50s, I think. The lady with red hair sat across the isle on the train. She was sturdy, dressed plainly, but talked to her friend with a lot of energy.
Unfortunately, she dedicated all of it towards problems. I think she was a nurse. For the entire 45-minute-ride, she brought up issues at her workplace.
“This guy promised he’d give us more people, then he pulled out at the last second.”
“They can’t just change the rules like that, the new reporting policy is ridiculous.”
Being a nurse is a tough and underpaid job. There are many things to be improved there. But how did this lady contribute to solving these issues? Not at all. She probably exhausted both herself and her friend.
I don’t think she did it out of laziness. I think she cared too much. She wanted it to be perfect and when it wasn’t, she secretly blamed herself. She felt helpless. And so she did the only thing that was left: she vented.
If you catch yourself venting today or thinking “this is so unfair,” try to ask:
“Do I just feel helpless? Does it seem like there’s nothing more I can do?”
Often, when I run through the list of things I’ve already tried and notice it’s quite long, it sure feels so. But there’s always something else you can do. A new approach to try.
You just need some time and distance. The time is to forgive yourself. To accept that you’ve still not succeeded. The distance is stop clinging to your perspective. To actually find a new angle.
With that new angle, you’ll also get back your excitement. The joy of trying a new idea.
Until then, let the train be the one to blow off steam.
About Forgiveness Wednesday: No matter how the week starts, by Wednesday, we’ve had enough time to kick ourselves. We’re human. We make mistakes, we regret them, and we blame ourselves. But the only way we can keep moving on is if we forgive ourselves and those around us. So every Wednesday, forgiveness is what we’ll practice.
Let’s be kind to ourselves so we can succeed.
If you enjoy Empty Your Cup, forward this email to one friend so they can sign up here.