Several days ago, I received a letter from the bank notifying me of an issue with my on-line account. I was very tired, and a little irritable, when I opened it, but I didn’t stop to center myself before phoning them. The call was a disaster. The woman who answered the phone was unfriendly and unhelpful. She actually told me that I had withdrawn a fairly large sum of money on a certain date. When I told her that I hadn’t, she said, “You must have.” So I asked to speak to the manager, but was informed that he wouldn’t be back until the following week.
The phone call ended with no resolution but my level of frustration had escalated.
Usually, when I am feeling off, I know enough not to make phone calls or to try to resolve “issues” with anyone…but not on this day. What I did next was to return a call to the dealership where I’d just purchased my car. They said that they needed a certain document signed (which was overlooked at the initial purchase) and that they had sent me a copy to sign. As I looked the document over, I didn’t understand one paragraph and asked the man to explain it to me. He said, “No one has ever asked me this before. Can’t you just sign it?” When I said that I’d like an explanation, he replied, “So you aren’t going to cooperate with us?”
For about 10 seconds, I couldn’t even respond. That conversation did not end well.
Then Jack called to say that he’d just had a very unpleasant talk with our home owner’s insurance company who said they hadn’t received our last 3 payments (all of which had been sent on time) so they were canceling our policy.
I sat in my chair wondering what was going on. It felt like the Muncil/Metzger household had been plunged into Dante’s 5th circle of hell.
In that moment, I realized that there was something I needed to do. I hung up the phone and said out loud, “Help me”, and then I closed my eyes and imagined all of this paperwork being lovingly picked up by the hands of Spirit. Within 5 minutes the phone rang. It was a bank manager who quickly sorted out the mishap. I thanked him, hung up the phone, and said out loud, “Thank you”.
The next morning, I was tempted to call the car dealership back to resolve the unsigned document issue, but as I picked up the form, I immediately put it down again and imagined my hands blessing it. Several minutes later, a manager from the car dealership called me. Everything was explained and resolved in 2 minutes.
As I thought about this day, it was clear that my reactions were the cause of all of my pain. Had I taken the time to center and calm myself before making that first call, I know that it would have gone differently. As challenging as it is to admit, both of those unpleasant people mirrored my inner feelings/mind pretty accurately. But what is equally important to remember is that as soon as I asked my higher self for help, the help appeared…first in the form of a calmer, less frantic, inner self, and then with people who actually could help me.
As these brilliant words from the literature of AA remind us, ” 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.“* This is such a good thing to remember. The world is my mirror. When I strike out in anger or frustration or try to resolve anything from a mind that is filled with frustration and worry, I am bound to create more of the same.
It is so good to remember that before we do anything we can ask for help…and we can rest assured that it will be there.
*page 47 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA