Being “Present” With Someone Who is IllOctober 20, 2014
Differing Emotions at OnceNovember 10, 2014
On a recent flight, sitting next to a pregnant woman, I had “a moment.”
When the flight attendant offered drinks, my seatmate ordered wine. I admit, I was stunned. My mind raced ahead full throttle as I recalled countless studies and reports about the negative effects of alcohol on a developing fetus.
Within seconds I was planning what I “should” say to my seatmate. I needed to “inform” her about the risks of drinking alcohol to “protect” her unborn child.
At some point, as my mind was spinning, it occurred to me that this was NOT my business! And even though there is a HUGE part of me that feels I need to spread the word about taking care of one’s own and one’s fetus’ health during pregnancy, I reconsidered saying something.
I don’ t know this woman, her story, or anything about her. Offering unsolicited information (“advice”) to a stranger, even though she is sitting 3 inches away from me, is probably not a good idea. Other people’s choices may not be my choices. It is not my role to impose my beliefs and thoughts on anyone. So I breathed deeply, quieted my internal, critical dialogue about her, and changed my thoughts from judgment to sending her and her unborn child messages of health and peace. This helped me a lot. I hope it helped her.
I believe we are all “connected.” But this scenario brings into question how this connection is manifested in our day to day lives. How am I “connected” to this person who happens to be my seatmate? At what point does proximity imply or invite connection or intimacy? If she were in trouble, I would help her. If she bullied someone or hurt her child, I would not be silent. No question. I can think of several scenarios where I would intervene. But this is not one of them.
Which brings me back to my “moment.” I’m interested in how you have handled your “moments.”