Katie is three and she recently performed a dance routine in which she portrayed a very convincing reindeer. Following the performance the dance teacher collected all of the antlers back from the children in the class, at which time Katie portrayed a very convincing three-year-old having a temper tantrum.
And almost before it started, the temper tantrum portrayal was over, as Katie fluidly moved into a portrayal of a very convincing three-year old running around with her friends and squealing with delight, reindeer antlers forgotten.
You are not three.
You perform every single day, weaving yourself in and out of presentations, conversations, projects, relationships, car lines, checkout lanes, supper preparations, laundry foldings, volunteering, civic responsibilities, and a myriad other -ings daily.
And sometimes your antlers get taken away. Do you throw a tantrum when that happens? Go ahead. Admit it.
And because you’re not three, you forgot to squeal with delight at the next thing that happened and so you keep throwing your tantrum long after the antlers have left the building.
You carry your tantrum and tell your co-workers, or your spouse, or your closest friends on Facebook, or you take your tantrum out on the bank teller processing your request, or you don’t listen to your employee because your tantrum is occupying too much space in your head, or you let the tantrum speak on your behalf when you’re stuck in traffic, or you decide it’s justified to be short with your children at the end of your workday because that tantrum wants to be heard. . . . for days and weeks on end it wants to be heard.
Tantrums are only a ruse for your ego and every time you hold onto your tantrum, your ego is using you to get all the attention. Your ego is not you. Don’t be fooled.
Katie is a walking, running, squealing expressive example of exactly what you keep forgetting: just drop the antlers.
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