The Point Is....
“No man is free who is not master of himself.” Epictetus
The Point Is….
Saturday is shopping day. It doesn’t seem to matter what the weather man predicts, ‘the public’ comes out in force. Where I live, this is especially true for our neighbors to the north, Mooresville. Have you ever been on Route 150 trying to get to Interstate 77 when we ‘the public’ are gathered together? The roads begin to look like the insides of a newly opened can of sardines.
When luck is with us traffic moves smoothly albeit slowly. Then an accident happens on the interstate. The smooth, slow movement grinds to a halt, on and off ramps are closed. That, which began to look like a can of sardines, becomes a can of sardines.
Thank goodness for the good, old back roads! Oh wait, that is what ‘the public’ thinks. The effort to avoid ‘the’ traffic jam deposits us on roads that become just as packed. So, it does not matter what direction we wish to head, whatever the road we take, we sit. And, sit and sit and sit. Then, floating through the air, like mist above the lake just before the sun rises over the horizon, is the blast of a car horn. Beeeeep, beep, beep, brilliant! Every eye moves first to the rearview mirror, then to the side mirrors, and finally like a scene from a Linda Blair movie, the head starts spinning around, looking for the originator of the blast. ‘How dare they’ we think to ourselves! Who in their right mind would be so inconsiderate, so rude? Do they not know we are all stuck? The next thought we have is in regard to the genius who created the predicament in the first place. The euphemistic pointed finger pops up! Look at what ‘they’ have caused.
Oh yes, if ‘they’ had not had an accident, traffic would not have ground to a resounding halt. And what about all those impatient horn blowers, they are just taking up space. And then the real crux of the problem becomes a concrete thought; if so many people were not out shopping, traffic would not be so bad! And so on and so forth go the thoughts. Sound familiar?
Have you ever taken that moment to say to yourself, ‘hey wait just a second, I am here too, I am a part of the congestion’? No? Oh my goodness, are you a finger pointer?
A good notion to keep in mind, when your finger pops up, pointing at another is that the other end of the pointer is facing you. That is right, more often than not, when something has gone awry and you are stuck in the middle, the common denominator in the fray is you. Therefore, look not to what everybody else is doing, because somebody is always doing something. If you are busy minding every one else’s business, who is minding yours?
What ever the circumstance; traffic jam, office upset, family interactions, it is important to remember that we are often part of the ‘to do,’ whether we volunteered to be there, or not. So, put your finger down, take a deep, relaxing breath (three breaths work really well to reset the brain) and go with the flow. We are at any given moment exactly where we are supposed to be. If that’s stuck in traffic, then take the moment to notice something special about your surroundings. If the fray is at work or at home, step back and become an observer, not a pointer. The fraction of time you take to let go of negative thoughts can change the light of any situation. Best of all, when it is you minding your business, an expert is at the wheel!
2 months ago