The other day Jack and I went to Saratoga (to get a bagel at Uncommon Grounds and then on to Mrs. London’s for dessert!). While I was waiting for Jack, I checked my iPhone and saw that someone had posted a disturbing story on my website. I tried to remove it but because I wasn’t at my home computer, I couldn’t log on to change things, or at least I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I started getting physically hot and felt really irritated. By the time Jack got to the table with our bagels and soup, and I had told him what happened, I wasn’t even hungry anymore.
I didn’t want to rush home, but I felt like I needed to do something IMMEDIATELY; my energy was spinning, and a voice was saying, “This is really bad. What if people think that you advocate things like this?” My entire self went into crisis mode. It was suddenly not just something that happened that I didn’t like, to my ego it was a life and death situation. It is frightening how fast negative emotions can escalate when we don’t catch them.
What happened next was so lovely. Jack said, “I have an idea. What would you tell a client if they were in your shoes right now?” It was the perfect question. I started to imagine being on the other side of the drama/trauma story, and I could feel this calm, centered, totally OK version of me talking to myself. I also imagined putting a beautiful light around the situation and protecting all from harm, (and I didn’t add to the harm by reacting with alarm and anger).
I had never dealt with anything like this, and my initial reaction was fear. I have felt this way before when things have gone wrong with my website or computer though. The internet and computer technology are things that I am only a little bit comfortable with. I really have no idea how they work. I even get “kicked off” my own blog every now and then and have to re-sign up! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the lack of control, and in the past I might have let that stop me from going further, but this is not the way that I choose to live now. I’ve learned, mostly the hard way, that when I quit things because I am frustrated or afraid, I just carry that energy with me and I make more of a mess for myself in the end.
What I do know, and what I continue to practice, is that no matter what is presented to me, my first priority is to center myself and get into a place of inner quiet before I act. The more that I practice this, the easier it becomes. I did get to this place the other day, we had a wonderful rest of the outing, and by the time I got home, I had almost forgotten about the little situation. I took care of it in a state of peace.
Hoping that everyone has a calm (inside) and peaceful (inside) weekend!
We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our first need was to quiet that disturbance, regardless of who or what we thought caused it.
c. 1952 AAWS, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 47