I Meant To Do That

If you follow me over on snapchat {👻 iamcoachfowler} then you may have seen the other day that I opted to walk and carry a big heavy box to the post office near my house instead of conveniently loading it into the car to drive it there. You see, I skipped my lifting that morning, so I figured I could at least find alternate ways to move throughout the day as my best backup. I love heavy carries - gimme, gimme! 

As I walked into the post office (sweaty and all), the sweetest woman said to me, "HAD I KNOWN you were coming here I'd have stopped and given you a ride. I saw you carrying that big heavy thing and felt SO bad for you!"

My response in the most kindest of tones: "Thank you so much, but I meant to do that. I didn't lift today."

She smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and we both went on about our USPS purchases. 

This stranger was incredibly kind to me. Her gesture was much appreciated, and it was so compassionate of her to see me carrying a heavy object and want to help me. My response was not self righteous by any means, but I wanted to reassure her that I was purposeful in my act. It also got my wheels turning. 

How often do we assume we know everything about a specific story or a place in time? How often do WE write the stories for OTHERS? This woman felt sorry for me and had written a sad story about my circumstance when in reality I was intentionally moving like a badazz. Her sincerity did not go unnoticed, but unfortunately, not all stories include sincerity. 

1: "That woman is eating at the restaurant all by herself. She must be lonely. Or weird."

2: "That man is begging for money on the side of the road. He's so lazy." 

3: "That woman is eating ice cream and still has a fit body. She can probably eat whatever she wants and never worry about her weight."

4: "That kid is so disrespectful and sleeps in class every day." 

5: "That woman doesn't have the body for that outfit." 

Truth is, {1} First woman enjoys her independence and opted to eat alone. In fact, she loves it! {2} The man suffers from a mental illness and doesn't have the capacity to look for the proper resources. {3} This woman works out and eats healthy most of the time, but opts for indulgences when she wants. She might even suffer TONS of guilt for indulging in that ice cream. {4} This kid lives in an abusive home and stays up late each night protecting his siblings. {5} This woman has lost weight and now feels confident to wear new clothing. 

Can you relate? Do you write stories for other people? I believe it's completely natural to do this, and it's safe to assume that we've all done it. There lies a problem, though, when our story actually begins to have a negative impact with how we view those around us. When we start to think negatively about others, WE THINK we know their story. 

Stop it. 

We are only responsible for our OWN stories. I'll admit - it feels a little more safe to control the story of others because it's entirely less vulnerable. Confronting our own is the hard part. It's the part that we OWN, whether we like it or not. 

Let's not write the story for a woman and her journey to a healthier lifestyle. Let's not write the story for how a parent raises their children. Let's not write the story on someone else's marriage, someone else's mistake, or someone else's life choices. 

Write your own story. It's more authentic, and it's the only one you'll ever have the permission to write. That shiz is copyrighted to you and ONLY you. 

Benefit of the doubt is always helpful, as well as a dose of "they're doing the best they can" or "they meant to do that" or "they might not know any better."  

I hope this got your wheels turning. I meant to do that.