I’m just going to say it right now: grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it.
I never go to the grocery store without my trusty shopping list in hand. I don’t want to spend one more minute in the supermarket than I have to.
When I am at the grocery store everything irritates me.
People who park their shopping cart on the left side of the aisle and peruse the labels of items on the right side of the aisle so no one can get past.
The grocery store discontinuing my favorite brand of yogurt made from whole milk at a local dairy.
Or, the very worst: having the cashier ask if I want my grocery items bagged.
This happened again yesterday. My husband, who goes shopping with me (misery loves company), visibly winces in the checkout line whenever I am asked this question.
This week, I had three eight-packs of seltzer water, a five-pound bag of potatoes, and a pack of toilet paper, along with many other smaller items. The cashier asked me five times if I wanted those items in a bag.
“No,” I wanted to respond, “Please place everything in the cart without bagging it. I want to carry each individual item into the house separately. Do you not understand the concept of bags?” But I plastered a smile on my face and said, “Yes, please.” Five times.
It’s not like we are using the store’s precious bags. We bring our own canvas bags to hold our groceries.
Then I remembered this quote from the Dalai Lama; “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
This quote from the Dalai Lama is wise and true, but it’s not always as easy as merely flipping the serenity switch. I believe there are three basic truths I need to accept (or recall) before I can follow the Dalai Lama’s enlightened advice.
- First, I need to practice gratitude in all situations. Recalling my many blessings puts me in the correct frame of mind to give grace to others. Even on my worst days (and yesterday was not one of my worst days), there are still many things to be grateful for. Rather than complaining about an interaction with a cashier, I should be grateful for the ability to buy fresh, nutritious food for a relatively low price at a convenient, clean supermarket.
- Next, I must remember each person has a life, a story, problems. Everyone has experienced heartbreak and trauma. We can’t know what is going on in someone else’s mind. I tend to get caught up in my own life, with my own problems and my own thoughts. The cashier I interacted with yesterday may have been dealing with some terrible stuff. She may have recently learned of an upsetting medical diagnosis or she might be going through a divorce or her dog may have died. The last thing I want to do is make someone’s day worse. I need to get over myself.
- Finally, I must believe I am worthy of happiness. For some reason, while I am quick to give grace and forgiveness to others, I am sometimes hesitant to extend the same tolerance to myself. Understanding that others are human and therefore imperfect is somehow easier than realizing that I am human and therefore imperfect. Humility (also my word for the year) is the key to compassion.
Most people do not irritate us on purpose. We are all human, we see our lives only from our own perspective.
Gratitude, humility, and the ability to see life from others’ points of view lead to inner peace.
Maybe we can add bagging my own groceries to that list too.
You can find the places I link up here.
Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.