As I was driving out of the store parking lot this morning, I was distracted by a woman. In the moment that I took to glance back, my van came within a few feet of a man that I had not seen. He raised his fist and with a snarl said, “Thanks for almost running over me.”
Granted, my eyes were not where they should have been. Also, the man had plenty of room and was not in the crosswalk. I didn’t even need to brake to avoid hitting him. I called out an apology as I drove by, not knowing if he understood me when I said that I hadn’t seen him.
Of course, both of our emotions had quickly surfaced. He went into anger, I went into apologetic mode. But then, the rationalizations started to rile me up. A barrage of thoughts began with “He should take responsibility for making sure a driver sees him before crossing the main lane in a parking lot.” And plenty of other “blaming, justifying, denying” thoughts were quickly piling up behind them.
Then I smiled and said to myself, “Oh, here is an opportunity to control my emotions and practice my goal of remaining peaceful, no matter what is happening.” In other words, an opportunity to practice what I preach… to walk my talk. So, I did what I suggest to my clients and took a few deep breaths. I said to myself, “I am not going to waste my day being upset by such a trivial matter. It is now in the past and I do not want to take this negativity into the future. I choose to feel peaceful. Now I will refocus my thoughts onto something else, such as paying attention to my driving.”
I immediately felt more uplifted and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to express peace. I sent him some peaceful thoughts. I asked his Guides to be sure that he heard my apology and that he could regain his peace, as well. That was the end of that. So often in the past, an incident as small as this would have sent my mind and mood into a negative spiral. I may have even kept my justification excuses to another level by telling others so they could “side” with me. But, you know what, that’s not how I choose to live this morning.
Have a blessed day!