—By Nathalie J.
According to Judith Orloff in The Ecstasy of Surrender, when you try to be too sugary or over zen-like, you may be hiding a lot of anger and explode at any minute.
Today I can tell you with all my heart: this is so true.
I’m a passionate but rational Scorpio. Nonsensical, abusive New Yorkers drive me crazy. I can be absolutely relaxed, but one of them starts screaming at me about how I need to “talk” to my dog and “explain to him” he should not be smelling Tony the Pug’s but because he doesn’t like it… I lose it.
Last week I even did an amazing Life Coaching/Guided Healing kind of session to work on the issue and I thought I was doing so much better!
When a man suddenly opened a door almost hitting me on the face and screamed at me like a banshee instead of apologizing, I smiled graciously and walked away.
When a lady hated that my dog Maximilian said hello to her dog and made her lose a few seconds. I smiled and even wished her lots of love and peace (OK, I did say the F_ word… but only in my mind, which almost counts as not saying it.)
I’ve meditated and understood you can’t have a rational conversation with irrational people. That trying to convince them was actually being egotistical and irrational. I felt ready to move on.
And then came today.
I met a friend at Whole Foods for lunch. The pro is that you can bring your lunch and heat it up. The con is that their microwave is a magnet for contention. There was no one so I put my topper to heat for 3.5 minutes.
A minute passes and I see this teenager arriving and trying to open the door. I calmly tell him, ‘You can't do that.’ He starts mumbling of how is going to waste 1.5 minutes of his life because I didn’t stop my meal so he could heat his tortilla. No matter how many times I explained to him he needed to respect the line and learn how to wait, he started saying I was not Christian and then reaching for the door. I reacted like he was Maximilian, saying “no you can’t, don’t you dare,” and grabbing his hand to stop him opening the door. When he opened it I lost it.
I was doing so well.
So it’s back to the cushion to meditate for an hour on how to manage kids that think waiting a minute or two is life-threatening and what it can teach me. Yet this is the kind of stupid situation when the "Show compassion to yourself and others precept" is a tiny bit challenging for me.
Parents everywhere. Let’s make a deal: can you explain to your kids that waiting is not a lethal disease? If you do, I promise I’ll do my best to feel compassion about them undergoing a crappy adolescence.
Thank you and Namaste.