It’s 8 pm, Saturday night. I figure it’s a good time to head to the Dollar Tree Store, being “off peak” shopping hours. I can get in and out fast. I am not a shopper. Once upon a time when I was a teenager and through out college into my early twenties, I made shopping a part time career. I actually thought about becoming a professional shopper. Now I am the polar opposite. I cannot stand the malls or even going to the store, any store. I get anxiety, start sweating and have a hard time breathing after a certain time. Usually one hour is my max. I also have no patience when it comes to waiting on lines. This is something I have always struggled with, and felt frustrated with myself about. I never go into the bank, only use ATMs; and if I walk into the post office and there’s a line I just walk right out. My thought was that it was a character defect or some part of my brain that God forgot to wire correctly when He/She was making me. Like my sense of direction; if the sun is not out and I’m trying to figure out which way is north, south, east or west, I am doomed…guaranteed to go in wrong direction. I am definitely no Magellan. So I just figured like my lack of sense of direction, along with my intolerance for lines and no patience for traffic, there was a part of me that went awry. Part of the reason I quit my job as a financial consultant, besides it was boring as balls and I sat on my butt all day long, was driving in rush hour traffic. I could not deal with it. It would send me into eye twitches that would last a month. Talk about embarrassing when you are opening an account to invest money for someone and you can’t look directly at them because your eye won’t stop twitching. I had a bad case of impatience.
Tonight on line at the Dollar Tree however something of a miracle happened in my life. And yes, to me it was a miracle because it was a complete shift in behavior. When I was younger I was ignorant; I didn’t know I was being an ugly rude person. I can see how that saying, “Ignorance is bliss,” can be true in a way. It is bliss to you because you have no idea the toxic energy you are spilling out onto others and the world. When you start to follow a spiritual path you begin looking at yourself and seeing all of you, the good and the bad, the ugly and the uglier and all the parts of you that you would like to change. Unfortunately change doesn’t happen overnight. As a result, when you start to “wake up” you find yourself struggling even more. Now you are no longer oblivious to the totally embarrassing, rude, non attractive ways you behave in public or private, but the old pattern hasn’t changed yet. You become frustrated with yourself and ashamed, which is even worse.
My type B friends probably will not really “get” this whole situation, but I know my type AAA friends will. So you know when you are in a rush, you strategically pick the shortest line at the store and then you get stuck waiting because someone had an issue and the cashier has to call for help. You look over at the longer line you were going to get on with longing as they are moving swiftly and efficiently. Ugh I should have went on that line you think, I would have been out of here by now. The annoyance begins to creep over you and you start to shift from side to side, making those annoying sucking sounds with your mouth and sighing loud enough for everyone to hear. Soon this negative energy is seeping over to other people as they start to get anxious and impatient. Negative energy is fast catching. When this happens to me, often I just leave my stuff and walk out, that’s how bad I can’t stand there and wait.
So tonight at the Dollar Tree I was on line and the cashier, who was an elderly woman was very slow. I mean slower than slow, probably the slowest cashier I have ever encountered in my life. Her line was the shorter one with only one other option open. It’s the holiday season and everyone is trying to get last minute shopping in and the line began building. Being sensitive to energy I could feel the tension starting to elevate. She was wrapping my glasses and mugs in newspaper one at a time, so slow and methodical that I had to take over, making a joke that I could finally go home and read the newspaper. It wasn’t a funny joke but I made her laugh and cut the tension slightly, until the dreaded final transaction. When she took my credit card she had no idea what to do. I almost felt like this was too weird to be happening, like any minute John Quinones from the TV show, “What Would You Do” would walk out. She fumbled with the keys to the cash register, kept pressing buttons and nothing worked. We sat there for probably five minutes which is a long time for a normal simple transaction, which seemed like an eternity at this point. The natives were getting beyond restless by now and I felt the hostility of the woman behind me as she kept trying to make eye contact with me. She was invested in getting me to join in with her disapproval and disbelief, anger and impatience. For the first time in my life, A. it wasn’t me starting the toxic energy and B. I did not participate with her. I refused to look at her. I would not join in with her negativity. I looked down at the poor cashiers’ hands and they looked old and deformed as if riddled with arthritis. My heart immediately felt for her. Not that there is anything wrong with working as a cashier at the Dollar Tree, but when she was a little girl I’m sure her dream wasn’t to go back to work after she retired as a cashier to make minimum wage and deal with rude and obnoxious people. She was someone’s mother and grandmother, I am sure. I felt so much compassion for her. She kept apologizing and I kept telling her it was ok. Meanwhile the woman behind me would not let up with her hostile energy. I was determined to hold the space of love and compassion, so determined that the angry woman left the line and went over to the other register to wait. The elderly cashier finally called out for help. I held my breath in suspense hoping the young cashier wouldn’t answer her with an impatient attitude. She didn’t, she was kind and respectful in her tone and words and showed her what to do. Phew! That made me feel better.
I have been that angry impatient woman on line behind me. I cannot judge her because I was once her and there might be a time in the future that I fall off and am her again. But I know how good it felt to be the light, to be the higher vibration and hold the space of love in that moment. I will try my hardest to stay there. I mean is the five extra minutes of waiting on line going to affect your life that much? No, not really. But will waiting there with patience, understanding and kindness affect the quality of the world? Yes, I believe it will. Sometimes that’s all we can do, but that’s what it takes to change the world. One small, kind feeling, deed, transaction/interaction with each other at a time. Imagine how the world would be if we all had more patience, tolerance and compassion for each other, even and especially when they are not doing what you need them to do, as fast as you would like them to, driving as fast as you would like them to, or being their best. We can shift the vibration of the world. We are.
As the woman finalized my transaction, she apologized sweetly again for about the tenth time. I said “It’s okay, no worries. Merry Christmas”, and sent her a big wave of love her way! Walking out I noticed the angry woman still on line at the other register. Karma’s a bitch!
Peace on Earth. Kindness to all, even the angry ones…especially the angry ones. Merry Christmas soul family.