Today’s blog is about me messing up. Again. That’s really life isn’t it? We mess up, try to learn from it, and keep trying. So, I guess I’m writing today about life: doing the best we can and moving forward.
I got the chance to go and visit my daughter in Minnesota, which is a 7 hour drive for me. Before I left I wanted to get my oil changed. I made an appointment for 7:30 a.m. so that I could get right in and not have to wait because I wanted to be in Minneapolis before dark. Good thinking! I was there 5 minutes early, got all checked in and went to the waiting room to wait. I’ve really been hyper-focused on trying to be mindful of all of my thoughts and I’ve been trying to spend time focusing on God’s presence in my soul. Sounds good. Right? So I settled in with a magazine (I’m not comfortable with people knowing I’m meditating – but that’s a whole other blog) and I started to use my meditation beads. The whole idea of meditating is not about being some weird, hippy, freak who trips out into the twilight zone. For me, it’s really just trying to empty my head of thoughts so I can just concentrate on the fact that God’s inside of me and I’m trying to feel Him and get closer to Him. That’s all I do when I meditate. So I did this for about 10 minutes. Then my mind started to wander and a bunch of thoughts starting popping in. No problem. I just visualized them poofing away and tried to focus back on God. Shouldn’t be hard. Right? I mean I’m thinking about God, should be the easiest, greatest thing in the world to do. Right? Well, it’s not easy for me. I have to keep bringing myself back. But that’s ok. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to bring myself back to God. After half an hour, I was really getting antsy in my pantsy. I was ready to hit the road. I knew if I left late, I would get there during rush hour traffic in the dark. I did NOT want that. So, I was getting more and more anxious about something that hadn’t even happened yet! Finally after 45 minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I got up to go and check on the progress. My car was right where I left it! They hadn’t moved it! So I asked how much longer it was going to be and the poor man looked at me in shock. I watched his face fall and he said “We forgot all about you”. THEY FORGOT ALL ABOUT ME?!!!!! I was not happy. Peaceful, spend time reconnecting with God Molly just poof – vanished. In came, I’m pissed and somebody is going to pay Molly. I got attitude and told him that I couldn’t wait any longer and that I was going to leave. The man apologized all over himself, but I kept my “I’m irritated with you” attitude. They backed my car out and I took off. So, was I justified in my anger? Sure. Was it ok that I got angry? Sure. But, I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t at peace. Worse than that, my outside self moved further away from my inside self. And to make that even worse – I knew it was happening the whole time I had irritated attitude. I knew that I was moving away from God. I could even hear His little voice in my head saying “You’re being a jerk”. But did that stop me? Nooooo. I was mad and they were going to know that I was mad. Urgh. So, the whole way home I worked on the steps to contentment. Time to start over.
So, now I’m finally on the road and I vowed to do better. I spent a LOT of time during that trip trying to just be with God. I could do this. I could be the person I’m meant to be. I can reconnect my outside self with my inside self. And then… I stopped for gas. I took all that work and tossed it to the wind. It was a pre-pay only gas station so I put my credit card in. It was accepted so I picked which grade of gas I wanted. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I kept trying. Still nothing. I was afraid to just go to a different pump, because my card had been accepted. So, I looked around and saw a man emptying garbage cans. Perfect. I called him over and told him what happened. I got a deer-in-headlights stare and knew I was in trouble. After several seconds of him thinking, he called the person working behind the counter. They said they would cancel it and for me to go to pump six. They would switch my card to that pump. Great! I moved my car to pump six. It worked! I got gas! At a trickle. After 2 minutes I had only pumped 86 cents worth of gas. Urgh. More irritation setting in. I called the man back over and with irritated attitude told him this one wasn’t working either. He just looked at me. I was mad. Again. So, completely ignoring this poor man, I slammed the nozzle back in good ol’ pump number 6 and drove to a different pump, put my card in and…….. it was declined. By this time the credit card company probably figured it was stolen. Great. So I went inside to pay. With attitude. I gave the man at the register my money and told him if this pump didn’t work, I was leaving. Oooooh. Big threat. He apologized, but I wasn’t having it. I stomped out to the pump and it worked. I got my gas. Of course I had given him too much money so I had to stomp back in to get my change. He apologized again, but I was still mad. I said “It’s not your fault” because I thought that would be gracious of me, but I said it with attitude. So how gracious was I? I didn’t mean it. I was mad. I stomped back to my car and took off – 30 minutes after I pulled in. I was mad. I sure wasn’t content.
Again, was I justified in being mad? Sure. Was it ok that I was mad? Sure. But, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t closer to God. In fact, I moved 3 steps away. Again. So, I took some deep breaths and I did the steps to contentment. Only I slowed down with them this time. I usually try to rush right through them, because I want to get to the happy part at the end. But this time, I really thought about them. I figured out what was scaring me to make me react with anger and irritation. With me, 99% of the time that I’m not content it’s because something happened to make me feel like I’m not loved. Something makes me feel unlovable. That usually makes me mad or sad or whatever, so I act it. I think that by slowing down with the steps and really, really thinking about them, it helped. I actually thought about that fear of not being loved. It hurts to do, but you need to do that if you want to get rid of that fear monster. I could actually feel my anger breaking up. I could actually feel my heartrate slowing back down and I actually felt much better. It worked!
Again, the really sad thing about this was, (aside from the fact that I treated people like crap) I knew that I was pulling away from God. I knew it. I could, once again, hear His little voice in my head telling me not to do it. I could feel my stomach tighten up and my heartrate speed up. I could feel myself sending out negative energy. I knew it was the wrong choice and I made it anyway. I knew I was moving my outside self further away from God’s spirit in my soul and I did it anyway. I guess the point is not that we’re perfect. It’s not that we always do the right thing. It’s that we keep trying. We keep trying to reconnect. We keep trying to send out positive energy. We keep trying to act with love and not attitude. We just keep trying. We’re the like the energizer bunny. We just keep going and going and going… So instead of beating myself up for messing up. AGAIN. I’m going to be grateful that I got the chance to look at just how big my fear of not being loved or of not being lovable – fear monster is and I got another chance to take a wack out of it. It’s not that I did the wrong thing at the gas station or at the car dealership, it’s that I looked at that fear monster. I faced it, I owned it, I released it to God to take care of, and I will keep trying. That’s all I can do. I’ll keep trying. Boy do I have a long way to go. I won’t be perfect at this. I might not even be good at it. But, I will keep trying and I won’t beat myself up when I mess up. Messing up just gives me another chance to to a whack out of my fear monster!
I wish you all the peace in the world,