I am currently on hold with my cell phone company. My mood is fluxtuating between anger, frustration and the false calm I try to give myself when something is taking longer than it should. I’m guessing by the end of this I may feel that I blew the whole thing out of proportion and that it really wasn’t a big deal.
And really it’s not. I’m just trying to figure out my bill. But why is it so hard to get anything from a company I have been with for 15 years? We’ve literally grown up together and this is how I get treated. Long hold times and odd jazz music.
I know this is no big deal and that this is a first-world problem. I often forget that I am lucky to have access to any internet, let alone a cell phone that I bought (payed off slowly) myself. This moment of inconvenience is nothing, but if this jazz music could just calm-the-beep down maybe I could too.
How can I put this into perspective? One, this is forcing me to take a break from anything that needs a more focused attention. Allowing me the chance to write and vent. Two, I get to practice not biting the operators face off the moment he or she comes on the line. A little compassion work for the day. Three, I guess the music isn’t so bad.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. What I just did above is what I force myself to do all the time. I get angry, frustrated, sad and disappointed all the time. I feel it happening and I let it. Then I bring a new thought into the equation and I feel better. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the situation, there’s is only something wrong with my thinking on the situation. If I can see my crap feelings as the result of crap thoughts, I can change my thoughts/feelings for the better.
It’s not a perfect system, but it does let me see things as they are, not as I wish them to be or as a burden on me. Things are as they are and I reacted based on prior situations. What I am really trying to do is respond instead of react. This means I have to pause and pay attention; see the truth in what is happening. When my emotions spiral out of control it’s harder to see that I am reacting to my thinking about something and not the actual something. It can be a hard pill to swallow when I realize my thoughts, and the following reactions, caused my turmoil. Nothing outside of me is the cause (99.9% of the time).
Imagine if you knew that you were going to get a shock in ten minutes. You might think about it, dwell on it, and fret over how bad it will be. Possibly making the shock so much worse. Now what if you didn’t know it was going to happen? Ten minutes pass. BAM! Shocked. Happened and done. Which version of you had a worse time? I can’t say for everyone, but I’d rather not dwell on something that will happen, no matter what I do. Nor do I want to dwell on it long after it is done.
This example shows (sort of) what our thoughts can do to us. The experience is not as bad as we worry it will be and when it’s done we don’t have to drag it around afterward. We can do the same thing with people (or phone companies). I read once that true forgiveness is getting back to the place before the forgiving needed to happen. To still treat the person as the person they were. Maybe that’s not always possible, but I can forgive enough to not hold on to what has happened. To not think about it anymore. Let it go.
Now, though I’m still on hold, I no longer feel frustrated. What is happening was never personal, though I originally felt it personally. I can think of something as good or bad or as nothing at all. My thoughts dictate my mood and nothing else.
“We’re only ever one new thought away from a completely different experience of being alive.” – Michael Neill
Thanks Mike! So helpful, that one.
My biggest question for you is if you didn’t have any of your prior life experience behind you, would you still react the same way to today’s experiences? This can be a great way to approach tough times and help you understand your thinking. Just a thought.
Much love and good jazz music,
P.S. Just so you know, the operator was a wonderful lady from Main. She gently allowed me to realize that if I would have had a little more patience, and let the web page reload, then I wouldn’t have needed to call in the first place. No jazz music necessary. I often think I came to this earth to learn patience, but that is another topic