Today, for the 1st time ever in many years of putting my oldest daughter on the "short bus", I got beeped at to hurry up.
And it didn't bother me one bit.
This story is only remarkable because, for the majority of the last 15 years, I would have been horrified and guilt ridden by this. I was already keenly aware of those folks stuck behind the bus, and any other place where I was trying to maneuver my disabled child in public. How dare I inconvenience people? They have to wait for us. They must be so mad at me! And on and on. No matter how fast I moved or tried to shrink my existence, I was still taking up someone's space and time, and I had no right to.
Flash forward to today after many years of yoga philosophy, self- study, and practice. I helped Sophia onto the bus, waited while the bus aide got her buckled, kissed her goodbye, and reminded the driver that I was picking her up after school. Before I even made it off the bus, I heard beeping and saw the dump truck driver gesturing wildly at me in the universal sign of "what the hell are you doing?"
So I dramatically shrugged at him, waved to Sophia, and walked away without even looking back. No guilt, no shame, no defensive anger.
There's a cool story about the Buddha but I don't remember the details, so I'll get right to the moral......... If someone gifts you a bag of broken glass, you don't have to extend your hand and receive it.
The driver's anger and frustration was his gift to me. I could have accepted it and emotionally responded in kind, spending the rest of the day reliving it and trying on different responses (I should've yelled! I should've apologized! I should've flipped him off!). Instead, I recognized his anger as his own and not mine to take on. So I simply chose not to receive it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind enlightened being. Stuff pisses me off regularly. But today and in this circumstance, my "I need to be universally approved of at all times" trigger was silent. I know it's because of the time I've spent observing my own emotional reactivity, identifying the source, and changing those habitual thought patterns that cause my own suffering.
I want to share with you the yoga I practice, teach, and live.