Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? A moment where you’re watching an overly-dramatic movie and YOU are the lead character?
I had one of those recently, in a Tommy’s supermarket parking lot in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Looking back, there really wasn’t anything to be upset about. I’m living in paradise. But still, there I was, watching the lead character (aka me) screaming and slamming the car door. You might say I was having a tantrum. Overreacting.
What was all the raucous about?
I’ll back-track a little. Ironically, I (the character) was relaxed after a peaceful meditation practice that morning.
Will (my partner) and I needed a few things, so he suggested we run to the store. Together.
So off we went.
I use the term Tommy’s supermarket “parking lot” loosely because it’s more of a parking alley, where landing a space is akin to winning the lottery. And customers relate to getting a parking spot with the same enthusiasm as if they’ve had a big win.
So, we finally found a space, sandwiched between two cars whose drivers didn’t know the meaning of parking within the lines. By some miracle, we parked our car without removing a bumper or mirror.
Everything was looking up until Will uttered those fighting words: “Why don’t you run into the store and I’ll wait here?”
I snapped. How dare he tell me what to do? Looking back at the situation objectively, I was clearly not dancing to what was happening in the here and now. Obviously something from a different place and time was triggered. An exploration best left for therapy.
We are all human, and we’re going to get upset. Things won’t always go the way we want. We are not always going to land the perfect media placement. A reporter may be rude to us on the phone. Or it could be simple; you’re just having a bad day or a moment of insanity.
What I have learned through meditation is life happens. The question is: who are you going to BE?
At every turn in life, there is a lesson – even in the supermarket parking lot!
Remember, you’ll always get to choose the next part of your script.
As I turned back into Dr. Jekyll that day, I knew I had a choice. I could continue to stick my ground and play this overly-dramatic part, or I could stop the nonsense and return to being myself.
Guess what I chose?