16 May Patience In The Face Of Adversity
This is my first blog post and quite honestly…i’m a little nervous about it. I was mulling over what would be an appropriate topic, yearning for something profound and enlightened on which to comment. Nothing was coming out. “Help me Universe!” I thought while on my way to the supermarket before work.
My objective of this particular morning was cookie butter. For anyone who doesn’t know it, cookie butter is a level of deliciousness that is simply re-DONK-ulous! A smooth puree of lightly cinnamony perfection with the velvety texture of peanut butter. Since none of my purveyors sell cookie butter I went to the store so that I would be able to use it on my Cookie Lover’s Pancake Stack for Mother’s Day brunch. I searched and searched as this was the one and only store from which I had ever previously purchased cookie butter but alas, no mas. Disappointed and scheming about how the hell I was going to make cookie butter, I picked up a few personal things and went to checkout. Next I stepped up to the ever-controversial Express Check Out.
Standing in line and denying me my freedom were two younger college guys and a nice little old lady. For storytelling purposes we’ll call the lady Gertrude. In the strictly enforced 15-Item-Or-Less line Gertrude was carrying a single heavenly cantaloupe. My greek letter wearing geniuses had 13 cans of cat food, 7 bottles of diet mountain dew, 6 hungry man dinners, 2 boxes of oatmeal, 2 tubes of hair gel, and a number of other items that I cared to forget.
Aw Hell Naw’!
Surely, you must be able to count gentlemen!
Surely, you are not making me late to work by stepping into MY line and breaking the rules!
At least those were the first things that came expressing through in my mind. Having learned the habit of surrendering to circumstances when I truly can’t change them I took a deep breath, smiled, and waited patiently. Gertrude was undoubtedly less patient. Gertrude was freakin’ P.O.’d! Shaking her head in defiant disapproval Gertrude wanted it known that she was not happy. Not one little bit. And as I love the elderly, the fire started to rise inside me. Gertrude was right dammit! Who did these two guys think they were!!!! How could they care so little that they would just break the store’s rules that way! They are so inconsiderate! This is personal!! They weren’t raised right. After the longest 6 to 7 minutes in history Gertrude and I are both fuming as the gentlemen make their payment and gather the few remaining bags.
Gertrude steps forward and the cashier smiles in her direction. SMILES!!! Can you believe that?!! Still smiling after the heinous crime we had all 3 just witnessed! Gertrude and I sigh in unison because at this point we are one with each other. We had both been so personally offended by it all. I felt her pain and she felt mine as we finally now could have our turn. The cashier turns to Gertrude smiling and says, “I guess they just didn’t look up at the sign,”
Boom! I was instantly calmed in my tracks. All that spent emotion had been for nothing. As I reflect now I think it was an incredible lesson. Often I believe that we take the silly things that others do personally! That inclination to take everything personally is just proof of one thing. We need to get over ourselves. Even as I get better at designing my life and managing my emotions in a positive way I still have moments where I get worked up over the inconsequential and take it personally.This was such a minuscule challenge that it was ridiculous. It truly has nothing to do with us. And it certainly wasn’t malicious. This whole thing reminded me of one of my favorite little books, The Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye. He says in that book, “The opposite of what you know is also true.” This could be one of my favorite quotes ever. One of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Don’t take things personally.” It is so true that there is always another perspective or meaning to an occurrence and it almost never happens to personally harm us.
There are definitely two sides to every story. Instead of rushing to the worst of conclusions we should be taking a deep breath and get curious. “Hmmm. I wonder why that happened?” is a much better reaction for everyone involved. Most of the things in life that anger us are simply not worth our time. Let it go and remember that it’s not personal. It’s not certainly not a big deal. Its easier to choose to be happy!
Thank you for reading. Be Awesome!!!