By Lisa Huddleston
I don’t know why it is that when something negative happens to me I want to write about it. Maybe it’s because I want someone to understand how I feel, to know that I really do try to be a good person and that I want other people to like me. Of course, that is an impossible dream. There are always going to be some people who don’t like something I do or something I am, and I’m just going to have to live with it. We all have to accept criticism from time to time.
So what started this conversation today? I went to the gym to attend my weekly yoga class, and since yoga is practiced with bare feet, I wore easy-to-remove flip flops. Since I arrived early, I slipped into the workout room and onto the AMT machine to burn some extra calories before class, and about ten minutes into my “fat burner” program, I saw the lady who works at the desk making a bee-line for me. Oh oh! I could tell something was wrong, but I couldn’t imagine what. She approached me with an apologetic smile and told me that someone in the gym had reported me for wearing flip flops in the workout room. Really? Wow! I was stunned, but I didn’t argue (thank goodness), got off the machine, and left the room. But I felt so hurt and shamed and angry that I was fighting back tears. I mean how was I hurting anybody? My feet were not touching anything. It was an easy, swinging, low-impact exercise so it wasn’t concern for my well-being. Sadly, all I can think of is that someone just decided to be the policeman or woman for everyone in room. My thought is that they should have been paying more attention to their own workout and less to my feet, but whatever. Rules are rules–although I didn’t even know there was one regarding footwear. (Yes, I still so badly want to defend myself!)
Instead of just sitting there waiting, I decided to go to the chair yoga class that precedes power yoga. It was very good and designed to center me in peace and relaxation; but, as you can tell, I never got there today. I am still hurt, I still want to confront my accuser, and as one friend put it, give them a “Downward Dog!” Alas, I have to let it go. And letting it go for me means finding something good to learn from it. So here goes:
1. I will strive not to put rules over people remembering the embarrassment I felt today and hoping not to inflict similar pain on others. (This lesson is good for so many situations!!)
2. I will try to mind my own business more and other people’s less.
3. I will remember that the person who asked me to leave was just doing her job and continue to greet her with a smile and a heartfelt “Good morning!”
4. I will humbly wear gym shoes the next time I go into the workout room and submit to the rules no matter how stupid I think they are.
5. I will allow myself to feel the injustice for just a little longer, and then I will let it go. Yes, I will. Very soon.
Breathe in; breathe out. Shake it off, blow away the anxiety, and remember this is still the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!