We talk about SARAH and have a workshop to help cope with it. Some of us may lick it (please don’t go there,) but that doesn’t mean we won’t have to contend with negative emotions anymore. Practice and effort do pay off and our ability to deflect and mitigate unhelpful emotional response will grow with time. Still…
I got really angry this past weekend, all because I created an expectation based on what I imagined success would look like. I made an assumption, something the SARAH workshop cautions against. I borrowed a neighbor’s snake to unclog a blockage in the plumbing under the house. It was an electric snake and I’ve always used the manual kind and frankly wasn’t sure how to use it. And, the access inlet to the pipes was horizontal, not vertical. So when I opened it, I was showered with black sewage. Not a good start. But that’s not what I got mad about.
I fed the snake in as far as it would go, leaving about 20 feet sticking out. I stuck the end on the drill and gave it some spin, watching 20 feet of steel wire whip around out the end of the pipe. After a few minutes, thinking I had failed, I decided to cut my losses and recap everything. I was expecting to find evidence of a clot of sludge that was causing the blockage. In my imagination I could picture it. When I withdrew the snake it was almost as clean as when it was fed it in, and it didn’t pull anything out with it.
I figured I had failed, and got covered in black skank in the bargain. Ha, ha, Finger of Fate, you got me again. But I wasn’t laughing: the bathtub had over an inch of filthy water in it and the kitchen sink needed plunging twice a day. I was, as they say downtown, really pissed. Well anyway, when I came upstairs I needed to shower off, even if I was rinsing off sewer sludge while standing in it. After drying and dressing I went to the kitchen and again had to plunge the sink when Viola! the drain made a very special kind of sound. I rushed to the bathtub and Viola! it was empty. And you know- for some mysterious reason, all that anger evaporated. Go figure.
Once again, I had fallen into that trap of creating a rigid expectation based on imagination instead of accepting things as they were, being too hasty in judgment, and drawing conclusions before further investigation. I thought I knew how plumbing success would play out and reacted when it didn’t unfold exactly as I imagined. I was on the cusp of success and just needed one more nudge. Or plunge, to be precise.