I often make an effort (oh, how I wish I could say "always") to assess why I feel a certain way so that I can correct my course, as it were, and help my children navigate their paths and feelings.
The other day, J told the neighbor with the sheep that we had re-homed our dog, and the neighbor just said, "Oh really? It's done. Well, sheep and dogs are never a good mix."
Feeling raw, as I was, over the whole thing, I was shocked/irked/hurt that the neighbor didn't express any sympathy for our situation, for the fact that we had to give up a pet that was part of the family for almost a year, for the kids who keep asking where Banjo is. It isn't his place to apologize for the situation we caused by getting the dog, but I thought he would be sorry, in a generally sorry way, that it ended the way it did.
But, he wasn't; he wandered off to see his sheep shortly thereafter. He wasn't rude, and there were quite a few pauses in the conversation. So maybe he was sorry, maybe he was processing it all and didn't know how to say whatever he wanted to say.
There I sat, wanting to hear some commiseration. As if I were entitled to it. I had to break that down for a while, really let it settle in that I can't let a sense entitlement be the directing force in my relationship with others. Not only is it ultimately selfish, it is controlling and anger-making.
I already knew these things. But now I know them a little bit better. Hopefully the knowing will go on and on until I really get it, and my relationships with others and myself will be better for it.