person covering face with hands outdoors

How do you react?

How do you react to not reaching a goal
Do you feel like you should be the one who’s consoled
Or point your finger and blame things outside your control
Do you conclude it was something you should have foretold

What are your thoughts when you have said something crass
Do you laugh out loud and act like an ass
Avoid the apologies and hope it will pass
Or dig the hole deeper with discourteous sass

What happens when you see that you’ve misunderstood
Do you justify your actions with a blatant falsehood
Do you beat yourself up and admit you’re no good
Do you suffer in guilt with some version of should

How do you respond to a really bad choice
Do you grumble and grouse in an irritating voice
Make it sound better when you’re out with the boys
Or point your finger at someone and attempt to destroy

What is your reaction when you’ve let someone down
Do you deflect it with humor and act like a clown
Do you pretend to be sorry and paste on a frown
Do you find a bottle in which sorrows can be drowned

How do you behave when you’ve made a mistake
Do you blame it on someone else being a flake
Do you say it’s because you had a headache
Might you have done better after taking a break

When you finally realize you’ve given up your dreams
Do you see your life unraveling at the seams
Do you bury your sorrow in complicated schemes
Do you justify your losses by calling them extreme

When you sense that you just don’t belong
Do you think that others are doing you wrong
Do you dig deeper for the courage to be strong
Or hide and feel sorry for yourself all day long

How does discomfort really make you feel
Does the struggle make life feel more real
Do you look for the devil and try to make a deal
Or just smile and hope that no pain is revealed

When you empathize with someone else’s pain
Do you feel guilty like you are the one to blame
Do you push them away in order to stay sane
Or is empathy something that you have to feign

How do you feel knowing you can’t have it all
Do you compare yourself to others so you can feel small
Do you feel like you have your back to the wall
Or think the universe has unfairly thrown a curve ball

What’s your action when someone betrays you
Do you just take it and say that it’s what you are due
Do you walk away and tell them you’re through
Or just sit there in silent resentment and stew

When you feel that you have been criticized
Do you act like you are totally surprised
Are you willing to just let yourself be chastised
Or is the critic now someone you choose to despise

What really happens when you’ve said something mean
Do you admit you are wrong and find a way to come clean
Do you add fuel to the fire and continue to demean
Or callously clear your mind of the scene

When someone tells you in public that you’re not correct
Is your first impulse to divert and deflect
Or maybe tell a lie so you don’t lose respect
Do you feel shame and embarrassment running unchecked

When you’ve avoided being true to yourself
Do you make excuses about why you withheld
Do you challenge yourself to do more to excel
Or perhaps put your values away on a shelf

Or do you think about the lesson you have just learned
And make damned sure you will never be burned
By making the same bonehead error again
And then look ahead instead of where you have been


Thanks for stopping by! You honor me with your time.

I hope you enjoy your sojourn ‘off the beaten path.’

Stay as long as you like.

When you leave, no matter what else you do,

‘Live the story you want to tell.’

And come back soon!

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© 2023, Steve Rigell, all rights reserved