The Practice of a Broken Car
A day after writing about being thankful for what is, I find myself faced with the practice of believing that.
Awaking this morning with great plans to write a blog post then head out to do some Christmas shopping, I felt rather excited about the possibilities of the day. That is, until we were waiting in the car for the school bus while the rain dripped around us. I flashed my lights to signal a "hello" to the bus driver...and my radio turned off. (Not a good sign.)
By the time I pulled into the garage and turned off the car, the battery (or connection to it) was completely gone. No working car = no Christmas shopping.
I know we are fortunate. My husband gets home this afternoon. We'll be able to jump the battery and take the car to the repair shop. It'll be tight, but we'll still be able to pay bills if their is a repair needed.
I know I am fortunate. I am in a warm home with my daughter and dog. We had no appointments today, no one we are letting down because the car doesn't work.
And yet, that pull of "what could be", "what should be", "what might be" won't leave me alone. Frustration over change of plans and fear over cost of repairs floods my thoughts.
This. This is the practice. Where What Is meets What Was Expected. They don't match and therefore I am invited to practice.
In thinking about what was expected, I feel trapped. Suddenly I want to do nothing more than get out. I'm craving Noodles & Company and freaked out over the tumble my daughter had (how would I get her to the doctor?!).
In thinking about what is, I feel alive. I have endless opportunities to create, dance with my daughter, delight in the deliciousness of a rainy day at home.
I will not reject my feelings of fear and disappointment. Yes, I'm angry! And it feels like crap knowing what I want to do and not being able to. But what we resist, persists. I will not cling to my projects at home. We still need to take care of the car this afternoon. I simply practice taking the next step in full awareness of my feelings of fortunate and misfortunate.
Every single moment of our lives is an invitation to experience the infinite possibilities of life. A weekend at a spa or a meditation hall offers no more opportunity than the car breaking down. Both invite me to breathe, to be aware of my actions and reactions, to be fully present. Both invite me to let go of judgments as to whether the situation is "good" or "bad", whether I am "lucky" or "unlucky"...and to just acknowledge what is happening.
You are given the same opportunities.
May we remember the practice and find peace in love, life, and broken down cars.