10 Oct

Another airport trip, this time a tiny 3 gate structure. There are rarely crowds there but today fights are delayed and people are waiting. Looking for seats. I check to be sure my bag is secured under my chair so that others have space to sit down.

 But when I look around I see several seats secured by luggage, the owners seemingly oblivious with their heads down in their phones or laptops. Travelers are standing or looking to sit side by side with a companion but too many seats are unavailable due to other passenger's luggage. 

I feel my resentment building- a slow or maybe a quick rise of anger. I jump to multiple conclusions about selfishness and lack of  compassion for others. Judgement grew, as I perceived their false lack of awareness to the dilemma of these new passengers. 

I decide, I will not go there. So as I see the standing group, finding seats scattered in different sections, I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I remove this sight from my line of vision. 

Why am I bothered? Why am I effected by the actions of others? Why do I need everyone to do as I see fit? I locate the origin of this agitation, my belly, no my chest, actually it is in my thoughts. But I listen and attend to all of these places and focus on “release”, freedom from this burden.

 I imagine encapsulating these emotions, which aren’t mine. And slowly allow this “bubble” to rise up, beginning in my belly, moving up to my chest, gathering and depositing the stress I sense in my heart, and moving up and out of myself. As my bubble rises and sits above me, I consider the thoughts and emotions that were created by this situation. Resentment, anger, lack of control. Whatever it is, I let it also lift and join the emotions within this bubble. Now I allow it to float up and away from me. 

I keep breathing. I repeat the exercise because there is still a linger of these feelings. I focus on my gratitude, and how I can only control my own actions, and I do not need to take on pain for others. 

I understand from where this behavior comes. My family history is laden with incidents of proof that only we do the right thing. It is a hard pattern to break. I work hard to release my righteous beliefs, live my own life and be a model for myself. How I present to the world is my way of sharing my spirit my goodness and my flaws. There was a joke in my family that I was perfect.  Tongue in cheek but not always. Words like this tend to stick and though seem positive, create an expectation of an unrealistic way of being in life. If I am to be perfect, you should strive to be as well…

 Back at the airport, a woman came and sat next to me. She struck up a conversation and suddenly, the need  to release the agitation and anger lifted. I asked if she wished to sit with her husband (who had wandered off with his cane to a sit a few rows away) as I would get up and move to a different seat. “Absolutely not!” she replied. “I couldn’t wait to get away. I need a few minutes of peace”. 

 Oh wow. A fateful meeting and brief conversation converted self generated agony based on my incorrect perception of what others were going through. This was unnecessary thought and a waste of energy. After this meeting with my new airport friend, an epiphany. I do not always have to see things through this righteous lens. I need to focus my efforts on things that mean something and in a way that I can truly make a difference, especially because I cannot know what others are feeling. 

After this realization, my agitation lifted, reality settled. The judgement I held was released, I was free.

Just for Today, I will not anger. How can you see yourself practicing this principle in your life?

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