Itís Not About Bananas ©2002 Helaine Iris
I can't believe I'm telling you this.
The other day, my husband came through door with a bag of groceries. Bananas in particular. " Honey," I asked, "why didnít you ask ME if we needed anything?" I was secretly annoyed because I'd been planning a trip to grocery store myself.
He responded by telling me we were nearly out of bananas, which are an important part of his daily health drink. With my increasingly busy schedule, he decided to take responsibility for his own banana needs. Simple enough, right?
Wrong. I got upset. I began to argue that he was insensitive by not thinking of needs of household. He reacted and told me I was not tuned into his need for bananas. The classic marital argument ensued and spiraled downward very quickly. There we were facing off in kitchen. Tears in my eyes, him exasperated and both ready to walk away and write whole thing off. Just then, something amazing happened. My husband said, "This isnít about bananas!"
In that moment something profound took place. As if by grace, I stopped my train of thought. I took a deep breath. I became aware that I had two choices. I could hold my ground because I wanted to be right and prove myself good wife. Or I could take an honest look inside myself. I could look to see what was really going on. Gazing into eyes of man I love, I realized what was driving me. It was need to be right. I thought I had something to loose if I was wrong.
I created a whole story about what his buying bananas meant. Not only did I make several assumptions, but I took his actions personally as well. When I made assumptions I got locked into fear-based thoughts instead of seeking facts. When I took things personally I saw only my needs and lost touch with a bigger reality.
This banana story, which now seems funny, taught me a powerful lesson. It showed me what happens when my actions are based on assumptions instead of facts. It showed me what happens when I take my partners actions personally and react to them.