During the past week, I've been feeling kind of bummed out. It's all normal stuff but it gets disheartening all the same. As I was out driving, doing my normal errands, I found myself getting irritated at the old man with a cane who was taking FOR-EV-ER to cross the street. Or the woman -- with her kids, just like me 30 years ago -- in the grocery store whose cart was blocking my way. Or shopping for clothes a few days ago for a wedding that I'm really happy to be going to next weekend but so disappointed in realizing how nothing fits the way I was expecting because I've gained weight, again.
In my car, driving home from shopping, I said aloud to myself, "What's wrong with you?" I was just feeling so annoyed with everything: Myself, other people around me, the world at large.
And then I heard an episode of the TED Radio Hour that examined Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It really helped me check myself. I studied Maslow in college and know the basics but this show broke it down so well. There are five levels in the hierarchy and the idea is that you have to have met the conditions of one before you progress upward through to the next level and so on. And the levels begin with the fundamentals: food, water, shelter and sleep. Without that, we can't do anything. How many people struggle just to meet those needs? And that's followed by the need for security and safety. All this, just to feel okay! You can't even move on to having friends and sharing love until these basics are securely in place. And, it goes on from there. I invite you to listen to all or part of the show here. It's worth your time and provide updated information on the well-known basic premise.
So I realize that as I'm losing patience with the man crossing the street, I'm comfortably sitting in my car, waiting while he's struggling to walk. While I'm in the grocery store, I don't have to scramble around to keep an eye on all four of my young children like I used to while trying to accomplish the simple task of gathering groceries. And while I'm shopping for new clothes, I realize that I can probably look in my own closet for something that will work and that one reason my weight has gone up is that I have not gone hungry ever. Ever.
So, really, the question I need to ask myself isn't, "Meg, what's wrong with you?" It's "What's right with you?" And the answer is -- everything.