Dear Christine, Irritated in Inkster

Dear Christine

I know I should just ignore and believe me, I am so relieved that Biden is now our president, however I have this one thing that is really irking me and causing me stress.  My neighbor across the street is still flying 2 Trump flags and a Trump sign in her window.

We are normally friendly neighbors (not friends) and say hello often as we both do a lot of gardening work when the weather permits.  Part of me wants to go say something to her but I doubt it would help.  I respectfully took my Biden sign down as soon as he was declared the winner and if he had lost, I would have done the same.

What is wrong with these people and why am I letting it stress me out so much?  Thanks,

Irritated in Inkster

P S Last Pride season my wife and I put out a rainbow flag and this neighbor suggested that I should be careful as to not attract hateful people!

Dear Irritated,

You are correct!  Ignoring that neighbor is the best thing to do, legally and ethically.  It is infuriating to see “sore losers” ignore the results of reality (the election is over.  Biden won).  However, some people do not deal with reality these days.  Since you both own your homes and probably won’t sell yours to move elsewhere, do your best to “live and let live.”

One way I think of these situations is that the Universe is giving me another (unasked for but frequent) opportunity to see if I have learned that life lesson “live and let live.”  You are only in control of you, and responsible for you and your behaviors and choices.   Remind yourself that you control how you react when you see offensive flags.  You do not have to raise your blood pressure, harming only yourself, just because your neighbor flies a flag!  You can practice looking away, staying away, focusing on taking care of yourself, your home and garden, taking a moment you see something irritating to release that thought, meditate on peace, pray or just plain ignore it.  When you can see that flag next door and have no emotional reaction, you know you have completed that lesson.  However, the Universe is known to send you more opportunities to see if you retained it!

Lastly, I would take that neighbor’s suggestions with a grain of salt!  Hang in there.  There’s a lot of crazy out there, and to react to each one is exhausting.  Focus on those things and relationships that nourish you.  Try to let the rest go.

Christine Cantrell, PhD,
Licensed Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Prism of Possibilities Psychotherapy
1026 W. Eleven Mile Road, Suite C
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
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