Is there a situation or circumstance in your life that makes you crazy? Something that evokes that angry self you don’t want the world to know about? It’s an automatic REACTION rather than a thoughtful response. I will use road rage as an example – because I am extremely familiar with that reaction! I learned, from my dad, early in life that every person who cuts me off in traffic or goes too slow in front of me is deliberately trying to ruin my day. It became a learned belief before I had the ability to reason.
Then one day, after many years of cursing my fellow drivers and many years of seeking The Divine, I saw the ridiculousness of my behavior. I was on my way home from a Spiritual retreat and it happened – someone cut me off in traffic. I immediately went into reaction mode and screamed at the other driver with every curse word I could think of. And just as suddenly, I heard a voice inside me say, “well, aren’t we miss spirituality?!” I was literally stunned into silence. For the first time in my life, I realized what I was doing in the moment it was happening. The absurdity of this situation became crystal clear. I began to laugh out loud – for awhile. I can still remember that moment so clearly.
So, now what? Does having a realization make many years of learned behavior go away? Sometimes. But mostly not. However, becoming aware of the behavior and having the desire to stop it will most definitely change it. My first thought after I stopped laughing was, I can respond from a place of Love…what would that look like? In this instance it looks like remembering that the other drivers are just trying to get to their destination and they have no personal vendetta against me. And I knew Love would say, “You don’t know what this person is dealing with today. Maybe they just lost a loved one or maybe they are ill and trying to get home or to the doctor, etc.” I realized I could choose Love instead of anger.
Everything changes in the Presence of Love. It really IS that simple.