The work don't stop, folks.
My son and I were in line at the McDonald’s drive-through recently because he wanted some chicken nuggets.
As we were rounding the side of the building, nearing the little speaker/screen thing where you order, there was some space between our car and the one in front of us.
A lady in a minivan pulled into that space, totally cutting us off and putting herself ahead of us in line.
Instead of letting it go, I made some snarky and derogatory remark about her to my son. I don’t remember it exactly, but I’m sure it was along the lines of “What the hell?” and/or “Go ahead and get in line there, dumbo” and/or “Alright, poopface, I wasn’t IN LINE or anything.”
As soon as I said it, I regretted it.
Because I’m all meditation and love and letting it go and then it all flies out the window when some woman muscles her way in front of us at a fast food restaurant? Like that really matters in the scheme of my life?
Wow. Proud moment.
And then I got the chance to have this humiliating lesson driven home even further when we pulled up and the young man at the window said, “The person in the car ahead of you paid for your chicken nuggets because she said she accidentally cut you off and felt bad about it.”
SHE felt bad.
I always fall into the trap of assuming that the better I get at recognizing and controlling my emotions (mostly via meditation), the less I’ll actually experience any of the negative ones.
I’m so adorably naive!!!
We will always have emotions. This is the way our machines are built: we feel things.
We will always have reactions. Because we’re wired for survival, and reacting [to actual danger, not drive-through-line slights] keeps us alive.
The trick is to keep working at stepping in between the emotion and the reaction. (More on that here).
Make that space wider so you can more carefully choose what you do when faced with a negative emotion.
If you are diligent with this practice, you’ll never stop acting like a total dumbo poopface completely, but you can maybe cut it down to part time.
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