For many years, I have been engaged in a half-assed pursuit of what we call Balance. Finding my Zen. Centeredness. Equanimity.
And failing miserably.
Especially in the car.
(I HATE it when someone tailgates me! Especially when there are 20 cars in front of me. And it's rush hour. And we're in the slow lane. I mean, come on! Whaddaya want me to do, levitate?
Or the idiots who try not to let you in when two lanes merge into one and your car is in front of theirs. Or you stop at a stop sign and the idiot behind you starts honking their horn and screaming at you to move. Although, when that happens, I tend to stay at that stop sign for a loooooooong time, mwha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!)
Lately, however, it's been (slowly) dawning on me that the calm I seek isn't necessarily about NOT getting angry, it's more about dealing with the anger differently. Intellectually I've known this for some time. But knowing something and KNOWING something are two different things, ya KNOW?
I realize that I have to cut MYSELF a break or two before I can do that for others. Just like I had to learn to love and forgive myself before I could truly love and forgive anyone else.
It's OK to have feelings. Even the "bad" ones, like anger, hurt, sadness. I don't have to be pleasant and reasonable all the time. I'm not a robot. On the other hand, I don't have to have tantrums and take my anger/hurt/sadness, etc. out on anyone else. Writing things down helps. As does therapy. And, hey, letting loose with a string of curses that would make a truck driver blush when I'm alone in my car isn't bad, either!
But I've also realized that my Zen model isn't a Bhuddist monk or my yoga instructor, it's Spongbob.
Spongebob gets mad. He gets sad. Sometimes he cries so much he puffs himself out to the point of near-bursting. He gets confused. But he always manages to find a solution, and to make everyone happy in the end. He's also very sweet, and never intentionally hurts anyone. He takes off his pants and runs with the jellyfish.
OK, so maybe I'll skip that part.
But The Spongy Dude ALWAYS tries to help his friends, and he is full of love.
So I have to ask myself, the next time someone is riding my bumper, what would Spongebob do?