My son and I pushed, pulled and lifted our old big screen television into my minivan to haul it off to the dump and I was feeling excited about getting rid of old things. While loading up another old television, metals from my previous business, a broken chair and other objects, I was feeling the moment and the space that’s being cleared and created for newness to arrive. And off we went.
When we arrived at the dump site, it was looking vacant with some containers closed shut and others filled. I began to wonder if I got the days mixed up. “Are they closed?” I asked rhetorically but my son answered not knowing what kind of question it was, “I don’t know.” Then a man approached my car and asked “What do you have?” “Electronics and metals”, I replied. “Oh so sorry, the electronics container is full for today, you have to come back another day” he said.
Leaving in dismay and thinking how hard we worked to get the stuff in my van, then have to return home, unload it, reload another day, and return to the dump site, I can feel my upset and disappointment. Then I started to voice what I was feeling. “This is just super. I don’t understand, blah, blah, blah”, as I complained about the situation I was in.
Unable to bear it any longer, my son turns to me and said “Mom, I am very happy right now. I’ve been happy all week and I want to stay happy. Just leave the TV in the car and on Saturday we can come back and dump it. It’s really not a big deal.”
Have you ever had such an interruption that you didn’t know how to respond so you just kept silent? Yeah, it was one of those moments for me. So, in my silence I decided to interpret what was happening even though I was feeling defensive for a minute because my son didn’t agree with me or partake in my rant. Wow! I thought. Life just interrupted my spewing and this was a teaching moment for me being given by a 19 year old. As I shifted gears and decided to be a student for a moment, I realized how I was making such a big deal out of something so small. “Is this worth descending my happiness ladder?” The answer an absolute, resounding NO! I turned to my son and said “You’re right honey, this is not worth me losing my happiness and endangering yours. So thank you for reminding me that being in a happy state was more important.”
As we drove the rest of the way home, I listened attentively to my son talk about how great his week has been. We laughed, I congratulated him on his victories and felt grateful for our time together.
Larger interruptions are more noticeable such as a death, a serious illness, or job loss. But if we can notice the tinier interruptions, the ones that trigger our defenses to go up then we can let our defenses down slowly so we can find out what we ought to learn in the moment. This will help us change not only our state of being but will allow us to get to know ourselves more deeply. When someone doesn’t share your view on something, you can become defensive and disagreeable which is normal for most people but that’s when you need to pay attention. Life is interrupting. Become an interpreter and try to find out what it is saying to you? Calling you towards? Showing you? Because life is always, always calling you towards a higher state of being.
Thanks my son.