“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
So this weekend I forgot for a few moments to spread love. Sometimes using technology is my kryptonite. If I have to fill out forms, or change my website, I get all flustered because the forms ask questions I don’t know how to answer or the steps to make the necessary changes to whatever it is I’m doing don’t make sense to me.
This past weekend we decided to purchase a new mattress. We’ve needed to buy one for a very long time. And, of course, we had to decided how to pay for it. Use our savings, a credit card, or finance it. Well, financing the purchase seemed the best choice. But there I was filling out financial info, which drives me crazy. And I had questions about what they wanted for some of the sections. I emailed my question, and finally after waiting for what seemed like an hour or two but was probably really only thirty minutes, I made some phone calls. When I finally got the correct person on the line to answer my question, I was frustrated but trying really hard to be kind and reasonable. But, the answer she gave me made me nervous. I didn’t think we’d get the financing, and we’d have to start all over with Barry filling out the forms. I wanted to scream.
I thought I had ended the call. I mean, I’d pressed the red end call button right? I turned to Barry and exploded with some expletives and then I heard this kind voice on the other end of the line say, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” I was mortified. I told her no and thanked her in the kindest voice I could muster and ended the call.
The pit of my stomach was sinking into knots. I’d yelled at the customer service person who didn’t deserve it. I felt terrible as I finished filling out the form, and SURPRISE got approved for the financing. The order was placed and confirmed. Then I left my computer for a while to calm down.
With my stomach still rolling around with self-recrimination, I remembered the Ho’oponopono meditation. So I sat down, thought of that customer service agent and said, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you,” sending myself and her good energy. I said it several times until my stomach unclenched and I felt that somehow she felt better too.
What that experience taught me is that, I brought all that drama onto myself. I didn’t have to get upset. Perhaps the way forms and websites are set up don’t always work for me because my brain works differently than the people who programed them. That doesn’t mean they’re right and I’m wrong. It means I have to be patient with the process. I have to decide how I’m going to react. One way I have found to deal with these stressful situations is to take breaks to calm down and try to see the procedure from a new perspective instead of insisting the developers configure things to suit me.
The next day when I was waking up, I remembered an entry from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. It happens to be one of my favorite bits of wisdom from that book, but I hadn’t thought of it in a very long time.
This is from a translation by Victor H. Mair, and was reprinted for the 1997 Book-of-the-Month Club offering with permission of Bantam Books. The poem is eerily appropriate for the times in which we live.
Human beings are
soft and supple when alive,
stiff and straight when dead.
The myriad creatures, the grasses and trees are
soft and fragile when alive,
dry and withered when dead.
Therefore, it is said:
The rigid person is a disciple of death;
The soft, supple, and delicate are lovers of life.
An army that is inflexible will not conquer;
A tree that is inflexible will snap.
The unyielding and mighty shall be brought low;
The soft, supple, and delicate will be set above.
Each of us has times when we are inflexible. I’m inflexible when it comes to computer technology. But I have to learn to bend and go with the flow because having a rigid idea of how the apps and websites should work doesn’t make me feel good and the bad energy emanates outside myself. Who knows where it might get stuck?
It’s the same with people. I have to be flexible, listen and accept others as they are instead of who I want them to be, because we each have our place and purpose in the world or we wouldn’t be here.
As I’m writing this, outside my window the wind is blowing the grasses and trees in a beautiful dance. This prompts me to add, I’m sorry, please forgive me for forgetting to spread love, I love you, thank you. I still have a lot of work to do on myself. Maybe one day I’ll automatically remember to spread love in every situation in which I find myself.
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I appreciate your support.
I’m adding a place for you to donate to my blog and or podcast if you’d like to support my work. I feel a little strange about that, but I’ve been thinking that I need to support artists so they can continue their work, so I might as well join them in allowing people to support my creative efforts as well. You are under no obligation to contribute. Thank you if you do. I appreciate it.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.