Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The #Journey

Hey Everyone!! :-)
Happy Saturday!! :-)  I've got a big test I'm taking today, so wish me luck!! :-)  My friend Kate is helping me out by taking over today.  She's got some thoughts about how we all travel through life.  Take it away, Kate! :-)

It was a day. I remember that. All day he'd been amped and huffy. He didn't talk, well, no more than two words or so and he didn't always respond to what you said with any indication he'd understood although other times it was clear he understood perfectly. Most of the day I'd spent soothing his ruffled little self down and telling him that it was going to be okay. This continued through thrown toys, hitting the walls, bashing the cabinets and tossing his chips. Part of me wanted to yell or scream or be done, but mostly I was used to this. As the day wore on, he seemed to become increasingly agitated, which is not all that common with my job. Generally, if someone starts the day agitated either there is a reason you can find to help them (something hurts etc) or they just calm down on their own as the day wears on and there is nothing that continues to upset them. We all wake up cranky sometimes. That day though, he finally came at me. Grabbing, yanking at my hair, trying to fasten his hands around my throat to strangle me. At that point, I raised my voice for the first time that day and with a gesture of my hand I pointed at the sofa where he sometimes had to be restrained. All I said was " You are FINISHED. You will SIT DOWN AND BE NICE! RIGHT NOW."

The other staff with me had been shadowing me all day and they seemed absolutely amazed that I raised my voice. The order worked and he sat, glaring at me and playing with his toys quietly. He really was done and he did not make another attempt to harm anyone although I am sure he was thinking about it. The staff working with me said:

"I didn't think you ever got upset with them. You've been calm all day."

And I felt very odd in that moment, not knowing exactly how to explain. I finally decided I would at least try even though I was not at all sure what I was thinking made sense to anyone but me and them.

"There are lines they don't get to cross with impunity in this house or with me. He hadn't crossed any of those lines."

The staff gaped at me: "He threw his toys, he broke a bowl, he screamed and yelled, how is that not crossing into unacceptable."

I said: "Because you don't know him. Those are unacceptable and inappropriate things for others. He's not there yet. He and I? We're still working on not hitting people. That's where we're at. It's great to have goals but really, this is where we're at right now and that's okay."

My co-worker looked confused and stared at the man sitting on the sofa: "Well everyone else is always telling him what to do and what not to do and micro-managing him."

And I replied "And everyone else is always getting hit. And rightly so. Consider this. You and I go on a walk. I tell you that we are going on a walk and I invite you to start at this house. So you show up and I'm not here. You look around, you wait, you try calling my phone and I don't answer. So eventually you decide to just start walking and sure enough, you eventually find me at the end of the walk with a bunch of other people. I've been sitting there the entire time talking with them about how difficult it is to take a walk with you and how you can't be depended upon to even manage the simplest tasks without showing up late. When you ask why I didn't walk with you I just stare at you and tell you that it's because I don't need to take that journey. I'm already here. Would you walk with me again?"
The answer of course, was "No." It seems so simple when you look at it like that but so frequently when in the midst of one crises after another, one more step towards some distant goal, one more change in plans or ideas we lose sight of the fact that we are on a journey. This journey involves others, not just you. And when you decide to walk with someone, you need to start where they are at. You don't stand at the eventual end of the walk and yell at them because they aren't there yet, you start at the beginning and encourage them every step of the way. This is life. Start where you are at and honor those that start in a different place. There is strength in the journey and it is worth taking simply for having said you walked with a friend.

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