Sante and I visited NYC this weekend and packed in (for us) loads of things. We drove in the city (a derailed garbage train shut down the Hudson River line). We saw dinosaurs and planetarium programs. We ate street food. We gawked at modern and impressionist art. We ate Indian food and visited an amazing vegan restaurant. We met my cousin’s boyfriend!
Toward the end of the weekend we were ready to leave. Neither of us are really city people, despite what I may have convinced myself of when I lived in Minneapolis, and between the scaffolding, the trash on the street (really? That’s where it’s collected?) and the endless swarms of people (we were staying near Times Square), we were ready to go “home.”
Shortly before we arrived at the parking garage, Sante realized he’d left his credit card 40ish blocks away. We noticed this at roughly the same time we saw the blocked-off street where our car was parked, even though we were told it’d be open an hour earlier.
Maybe it was the city that got him. Or perhaps it was the heat (90+ F with humidity). Whatever the case was, Sante was pissed. He swore. Suggested we split up to save on the $5 subway fare. And I went into let’s-make-the-best-of-it mode. At least that’s what I thought it was at the time. What proceeded was not one of our best moments as a couple.
Later that night I was reading a book suggested by my awesome life/business coach Tanya Penny and it suggested a rule that stuck with me after our long and tense trip home: Trust that the unscheduled events of our lives are a form of spiritual direction.
I sat thinking about what sort of divine map I was being shown earlier but wasn’t sure. I continued reading until I stopped at a question: Do you seek to control others?
The answer, I thought, was that I used to. Not anymore. I was enlightened and had moved far beyond that co-dependent, manipulative girl. But after looking at my day and having just asked what that unscheduled event was supposed to show me, I admitted (with a little reluctance) that yes, I do seek to control others, especially when I’m triggered, which happened to be the case here.
When Sante was blowing off some steam, I was trying to control his rage. I didn’t want him to be so pissed off, probably because I don’t like being around anger. As a kid I was totally programmed to make peace whenever there was fighting. Expressed anger was my sworn enemy.
So I tried to keep things light, making optimistic comments, ignoring the anger as if it would go away. Then I became alarmed at his suggestion of splitting up, that he would leave me, so I tried to make him feel guilty. I didn’t want to be left because I was afraid he might never come back, again another early childhood trigger.
I’m trying to control situations that no longer exist in the present but seem very real inside my body. The reason I’m trying to control him is because I’m trying to right wrongs that are no longer happening.
I’m replaying the same cycle in my head and until I learn from it, it’s just going to keep looping around. And it’s also going to make the people closest to me think I’m acting just a touch unreasonable. Maybe it will even hurt them.
So when this karmic lesson comes around again, I aim to recognize it and choose a different path. Maybe just saying outloud “I’m feeling really uncomfortable with your anger right now. I know this feeling doesn’t have much to do with the present, and I want you to know I’m doing my best to act rationally,” might work.
Or I think maybe taking a breath or two, stopping in a coffee shop and sitting down might have helped too. Sensory overload has a tendency to sever the connection between my head and my heart.
I guess the big lesson I need to learn is that the Universe controls what happens, not me. I can not know its grand plan because even this writer’s imagination pales in comparison to what it’s got brewing for my future. I want to stop making choices based out of fear, putting energy into that fear.
I want to start making choices built on freedom and love. I know logically that control is an illusion. I’d just like to be able to embrace that concept a bit more fully. It seems to me that holding onto the need for control is like carrying around all the negative energy I’m trying so hard to purge myself from.
That’s some serious baggage and I’ve only got two hands. And so, as reluctant as I am to say this with a flight across the ocean to my new home this weekend, bring on the unscheduled events! I’m all for a little divine direction.