I was at the gym the other day (ouch) when a woman on the elliptical behind me was rudely and loudly chastised by the man beside her for speaking on her cellphone. Now, obviously, he's right. Cellphones are prohibited in the gym. But to be so loud and obtrusive, well, it seemed gratuitous.
The woman was visibly upset. She explained again and again why she was on the phone. She worried aloud that he would "stalk" her. She was clearly and, understandably, disturbed by the incident.
Here's where the beauty of therapt kicks in. Before, I would have (and have) acted just as this womah did. Apologetic and providing excuses for my behavior. now, I realize that she had less reason to defend herself than he did. Most of us would quietly comment and let it go. This guy had to make a scene of it. Because it wasn't about her "breaking" the rules. It was about him enforcing them. Loudly. And aggressively.
Now that I am examining more closely (thank you therapy) the difference between what is and what we take in, I can make these distinctions. Sure, they're hard in the moment (thank you CBM) but they're there to be seen if you can.
I am blessed and grateful that I have the space and the perspective that helps me see this. Hopefully it can and will remain...