The day after Christmas I woke up angry. There was a part of Christmas that did not go as planned. (And I'm not talking about gifts here.) Aha! In dissecting it with my teacher, I got it. While my concerns were legitimate and understandable, the root of the problem was planted within. That is, within me. I got angry because I placed an "expect" into a situation. In the end, I expressed my truth to the person concerned but only after realizing that I had to take responsibility for going into a situation thinking it would be different. I set myself up for...suffering.
And then it happened again two days later in a much less significant incident....The parking lot of an establishment I was planning to patronize is always packed. I drove to a row where I saw a car backing out. Just one car-filled space from me. But. You know the story. As the car began to pull away, another car rounded the corner at the other end of the row. The driver thought she'd scored a parking space. But, the space was mine. I'm pretty sure I got there first. I looked ahead at the driver, while we waited for the car pulling out to move on. And, I got a sense of heart clarity: Give it to her. Let her have it. Let it be hers. Be kind. Just do it. Easy. And so, I did. I drove on and looked at the young woman and shot her a peace symbol. (That's something I do a lot in traffic to thank someone for letting me edge in front, walk a cross street while they stop. Maybe this woman thought I shot her a bird--?) She half-rolled her eyeballs and half-sneered. What?!
I drove on to the next lane and as the universe would have it, there was a spot for me, only closer to the store. As I parked I thought of all the clever one-line zingers I could say to this young chick if I saw her in the store. And I did see her. She shopped for an item right next to me. But, somewhere between the antiperspirant and the lotion aisle, I got it. She wasn't the problem. The problem was my expect. I was very clear in giving her the space. It felt good. But I wasn't clear in my snippedity attitude when she didn't act as I...expected.
I recall a question someone once posed to me about this type of traffic "transaction." What if you just do it without an expectation of acknowledgement, they wisely proposed?" I had lamented letting other drivers merge their cars in front of mine in crowded traffic. I almost aim to let out at least one waiting car in front of me. But if it's not acknowledged with a wave or a mouthed "thank you"? Well, I cop a bit of a 'tude. What's the problem here? What are my motives? Do I demonstrate love and kindness to others to be thanked and acknowledged? Or do I simply come from the field of love and do it with no expect.
Lesson learned. Again.