“Man suffers only because he takes to seriously what the gods made for fun.” –Alan Wilson Watts
When it’s all said and done, when we are at the end of our lives, looking back- imagine all of the wasted time and energy we have spent taking life too seriously. Certain things, of course, by their very natures are meant to take in all seriousness. However, for the most part, they are not. If we take the minutes a day that we spend wasting being upset about something we cannot change, add those minutes to hours, and those hours to days- and for some, perhaps even those days to years. That is a lot of time spent frustrated, upset and angry. There are going to be some times that anger is merited and cannot be chosen- but for the most part, our anger and frustration is all in how we take things, and many are taking it all way to seriously. I am quite certain, that if many souls could come back to this lifetime, they would chose to do a few things differently- mainly taking more things with a grain of salt. Too much time has been spent in anger and frustration, and if given the chance again, most would choose to take back that time, and spend it with those important to them. Anger would be more easily dissolved and skated past. Most things that provoke our inner anger is irrelevant in the long run.
One of my favorite books, Cow in the Parking Lot, teaches us that Anger is always sprouted from one thing and one thing alone- an unmet demand. We have in our minds at all times, demands that we think and feel should be met, and when someone does not meet that demand- we become upset and angry. What is worse is that rarely we make others aware of what our demands are. We make assumptions and believe they should know what we want and read our minds. Ergo, we are half guilty of the anger we are currently harboring, because no one really knew they failed to meet a certain demand. The second part of our being guilty of harboring anger is choice- anger is a choice- yes it is a human natural reaction, and everyone gets angry. But more often than not, it is because we choose to keep those feeling close to us. We choose to be angry and choose to be the victim of circumstance. I am personally guilty of all the above.
The synopsis for Cow In the Parking Lot is this- You’ve been circling around for what seems like an eternity for a parking space, finally you spot one. You put your blinker on and wait patiently for that car to back out so that you can pull in. The car finally backs out, and out of nowhere, another car pulls around and parks in your spot. This would immediately piss anyone off. So you sit there, stewing. You want to take some sort of revenge. Scenarios float through the mind of things one could do to get back at them….nasty note leaving, keying of the car, perhaps even slashing of tires to be extreme….However more of those things change the situation. Your parking space is gone and any revenge ideas you may have will just lead to more anger and negativity. Let’s say you took revenge in some form. The person comes out to find the revenge and then they get pissed off. They drive home cutting people off, etc. The someone that got cut off, gets upset, they go home and yell at their spouse. The spouse is now upset, so they yell at the kid. Now the anger has perpetuated to the kid, who kicks the dog. The anger perpetuates in many many directions, all due to one negative event.
Now imagine the same scenario, you are waiting on that parking space, blinker on ready to be on your way with your daily business, when out of nowhere, a cow walks into the parking spot you were waiting for, and lies down. This promotes a different level of WTF. Slight annoyance with a side of funny- at how random that was. But the bottom line is- your parking spot is still taken. You still can’t park there. The difference is in the reaction- it is more light hearted. The cow in the parking space moves you less than the inconsiderate human being that took the space. The cow is oblivious to what it has done. Same for the person who took the space – either oblivious to the event or worse in that they don’t care. It is always our choice in how we react. Our reactions always perpetuate a chain reaction of energy.
The people in our lives are much like the Cow in the Parking lot, unaware that their actions have any effects on anyone else, and furthermore, just like the cow, lack any capability of the sheerest comprehension of it. Always bless them with positivity. And of course there are those who are beyond aware of their actions and negativity, people such as this need to be blessed even more so. Furthermore, it is of the utmost importance to lead by example, in doing the right so that those around us may see what it looks like, in the even they ever choose to never join us. One must always be the change in the world we want to see. We are responsible for the energy we bring into a room, no matter what is going on. One can choose to be moved by negativity, or one can choose to pave a new way of positivity. Chances are most of those we want to blast out may never fully comprehend our points anyway, which causes us more distress and frustration for us. Choose your battles in that respect. Know when to hold, and when to fold. Anger is a low level energy, it is heavy and stagnant. I’d rather not carry around the dead weight. I choose to live in the moment and be present. Smile and laugh at those around you. Engage with the souls that are accounted for here in the now. Life is too short to take it all too seriously!
“The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.”- Anton Chekov
Hope everyone has a wonderfully productive day. Choose to be great and flourish!
By J. Brochu