A few days ago, when we had the umpteenth April snowstorm, to say that that I was cranky about yet one more long commute on less than safe roads with the thousands and thousands of other commuters, is an understatement. My darling husband tried to pull me from my funk. He made me my breakfast juice and tried his hardest to make me smile about the snow. It didn’t work. And so, as I pulled on my coat and my gloves, his last hurrah was to tell me to “try to find the zen in the drive. Look for the beauty in the surroundings. And enjoy your drive!”
Ahem. I would like it noted that I did not throw anything at him.
He clearly had not heard how tired of the snow I was. He clearly did not know the darkness in my heart and the sheer wrath and frustration with the weather. He CLEARLY did not know the whole story!!!! And if I’d had the time, I surely would have cleared all of this up for him. But I didn’t, so I chewed on his advice, and I was chewing with my mouth open. An angry “zen this!” was all that repeated in my head……
About an hour into my commute (which is usually 25 to 35 minutes), I found the zen. It was pretty, all that white snow covering all the tired winter’s muck. The DJ’s on the radio were trying extra hard to be entertaining. And traffic was moving so slowly that I did not see one accident.
At the two hour mark, I’d lost the zen.
I could have kept my less than stellar mindset from you and let you believe that I’m pretty good at listening and following higher calls, but that’s not always the case. I’m pretty good at listening and recognizing a higher call, but sometimes my response stays in the lower arena.
There were two things that came to mind as I processed my experience: 1.) Most of the time, we do recognize when we’re stuck in our story. We know we’re not behaving in the manner we’d be proud of, but we’re so stuck that we just can’t get out of our own way. And, 2.) those who call us to step up higher are annoying.
Is there anything more annoying then when you’re having a tough day or dealing with a tough situation and someone says to “Smile! It’s not that bad.” Really, because the last time I checked, you were not in my head. Sometimes you do need time to process stuff on your own time. Sometimes you do need to stomp, pout and get angry — just to get it out of your system. And sometimes you need someone to invite you to step up to a higher perspective.
I recognize that John wasn’t telling me to find the zen just to annoy me. But it did. We were able to laugh about it later that day when I told him about my “zen this” thoughts. We have that relationship where we feel safe enough to encourage and challenge each other. But it doesn’t make hearing those call outs any easier.
I will tell you that the rest of the week, I’ve been very aware of any “suffering” I’ve been doing. I’ve been looking for those zen moments. And when I seek, I find.
I’m sitting here in my house with the doors open and sun streaming in. The cat is in the window soaking up the sunbeam and the dog wants to be outside investigating. It’s peaceful in my heart.
It may have taken a few days …. but the zen is here.