Boarding Pass Privileges

Of all the things that can keep me up at night, one of the most pernicious is reliving and stewing over something hurtful someone said to me.

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Smiling Receptionist: Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

“I should have said this,” I mutter, punching my pillow into what I hope will be a more sleep-inducing shape. “I should have said that,” I growl, trying one leg outside the blanket to see if that will cool me down without giving me shivers. “I should have…done something!”, I sputter as I thrash around and succeed only in knocking over the glass of water on my nightstand.

And I am right: I should have done something. And that “something” I should have done is not let someone else’s judgment of me, my life, my kid, my business, or even my dog on board, if it didn’t resonate with me or feel true to me. What’s keeping me awake and seething isn’t the original comment itself so much as the fact that I opened my door and let it in.

Building these kinds of boundaries—what you will allow on board, into your core, and what you will not—is challenging work, and most of us never get taught to do so, or even told that we should.

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