Take the High Road

Originally published and posted on my blog February 23, 2017, I was reminded of taking the High Road by my friend Suzanne last week. I was relaying a story and a concern about an upcoming situation and Suzanne, in all of her wisdom looked at me and said, “It’s all about presentation. Take the high road. We are all on our way, and the high road is always open.” Suzanne often imparts wisdom, and she always makes me stop, pause and think. And smile. 

Thank you, my friend, for once more reminding me of who I am.

In addition, while I was working on this update, my friend Susan texted me, “Always another perspective available if you look…always gratitude available…”

My reply, “Don’t you know it.” Thank you to Susan too, for these timely words.

 

The original blog follows. While I was thinking about this and re-reading, it occurred to me that at every possible junction, I am trying to take the high road. Since I wrote this and published it, I have changed so very much. It’s been hard work and well worth it. And so, I continue on the high road. And rock and roll.

It happened again.

Someone behaving badly. In fact, terrible. To the point of embarrassing. If I wasn’t right in the middle of all of it, I would cringe. I am cringing.

When people behave badly, entitled, rudely and downright disrespectfully we have choices.

In the past few months, I have been tested time and again to take the high road. And I did. I continued to take the freaking high road even though the low road looked like a more comfortable place. It might be all jammed up with traffic and crazy drivers…but who wouldn’t want to travel along a road where drivers can do anything they want, not be held accountable and think they are right at all costs?

Ah, that low road.

These people on the low road?

They don’t even know the high road exists.

At first, I didn’t understand when a friend kept saying, “Take the high road.” When someone continually mistreats you, anger, disappointment and hurt are our go-to emotions. We expect to be treated fairly and with respect. Because we are treating others fairly and with respect.

Most especially by those we are related to.

It took many discussions before she finally understood that I couldn’t quite relate to this high road of travel. “You’ll never, ever be sorry that you took the high road! But taking the high road doesn’t mean that you roll over and don’t assert yourself in seeking the best outcome for you. It just means to be careful of what you say, don’t act out of anger and spite, be the best you.”

Oh. You mean, treat people how you want to be treated. Act fairly, listen, don’t assume anything, ask questions and most importantly be honest. Oh.

Yea.

It made me wonder.

What if, no matter, what I did, no matter if I continued  on this high road, where indeed, I did feel better about myself, someone else continued on the low road?

Time and time again.

No matter what.

I understood how to be the best me. I understood how to seek the best outcome for me. I understood how to assert myself, by standing in my own power. I surrounded myself with Warrior Sisters, smart people, logical people who told me the truth, even when I didn’t want to hear it.

And yet, people behaving badly continued. On a regular basis.

One morning after a particularly bad “round” of people behaving rudely, obnoxious and entitled I received a text from my friend Susan. I asked her, “Why do I have to behave gracefully when no one else does?”

She answered, “You don’t Pam.  You can choose to act just like them.  Go ahead and try that if you want. See how you feel afterwards.  You decide what kind of person you want to be. You are the only one who can decide despite the advice you get from us or our opinions.  It is your life.  If you want to get down in the muck with them then go ahead.  My guess is that you won’t be happy there either.  Rise above their behavior as you are firm while behaving with grace!  You will experience freedom and living your life on your terms with whomever wants to join you.”

I thought long and hard about this during an amazing hot yoga class, as I traveled through my day, enjoying the sunshine and doing all the things that keep a life going.

I kept thinking about this as I drove around listening to rock-n-roll, which honestly solves ALL of life’s problems, writing, making dinner and doing laundry.

The multitudes of other friends, Warrior Sisters and Pinterest posts are absolutely correct.

THIS is my choice.

How I RESPOND to erratic, rude, disrespectful behavior is a choice. I can indeed hop on the low road with its fast cars, texting drivers and irresponsible actions. Sure, it’s easier that way. But, that is what Susan referred to as “getting down in the muck” and honestly.

Yuck.

Who in their right mind, in their Zen mind, in their every-expanding way of thinking mind, would purposely choose to get down in the muck with those people? Sure, it might feel good for a while. Ahhh, I get to be as nasty as everyone else, as rude as those people acting entitled. But even for a little while?

No thank you.

I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I do know this. I have taken the high road as often as I could. I have decided what kind of person I want to be (really) and that woman, that person, ME!, is someone who knows herself well enough to understand that I can rise above that behavior with grace (and a few tears).

In each situation, we all get the choice…can we look at ourselves in the mirror? When I look into my magic mirror, I want to be able to respect myself.

We get to choose freedom. We get to choose living life on our own terms.

We get to choose the high road.

Me? You know which road I’m on….the high road. Playing rock-n-roll. With grace.

To read the blog as posted:

https://youcallitchaosicallitlife.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/the-high-road/

To read additional personal narratives, travel blogs, listen to StoryCorps interviews and find out more about how I empower people to find and use their voice through writing and storytelling as well as information about Whole Brain Thinking, visit my website: https://wilsonmentoringwriting.com

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pam-wilson-115668228/

Expect Good. Sparkle on. Defy Gravity. Take the high road.

 

 

 

About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.

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