I’m standing in line, minding my own business, waiting to pay for my groceries. With social distancing it’s hard to know what’s going on, but suddenly I’m aware that the lady in front of me can’t get her debit card to work.
I’m a little antsy because I’ve got a client in 30 minutes and time is ticking, and inside my head I have the thought, “you should have picked the other line Gail!”
Then a new thought jumps into my head.
“Would you just hurry up and fix the problem already? I’ve got somewhere else to be”.
Five minutes later it’s clear that whatever they’re doing is not working. Next thing I know the cashier comes out from behind her glass wall, and says “you need to put in your number” and I hear “… but I don’t know my number”.
A new thought jumps in. And not a nice one.
Really? You don’t know your PIN number? Come on? Seriously lady?
I hear myself in a loud voice say “you should know your number”. I don’t where it came from but it’s out before I can help myself.
Then, as if to make matters worse, I repeat it. “You need to know your number”. With the mandated 6 ft physical distancing I want to make sure she hears me so I’ve raised my voice. Looking back at me she says apologetically “it’s not my card“.
My eyes scan the store and looking at the other cash that’s open, I see its lineup is now 5 people deep.
Five more minutes pass which feels like an hour, and I finally ask the cashier, in a somewhat exasperated voice “could you please take this lady to the side to resolve this. I want to pay for my groceries. I’ve been standing here for a long time.”
Next thought … Can’t you see me? I’m important.
They both look up at me and say nothing. Recognizing my stress and lack of control in the situation, I pull out my phone.
9:48 am. My call is at 10 am.
I send a text to my client. “I’m running late. I will call you by 10:15”.
I begin to calm down, and eventually a supervisor shows up, the situation is resolved, and I pay for my groceries.
Then I hear it. It’s not loud, but it’s there.
A new thought, in the form of a wee voice inside my head saying “you were not very nice Gail, go and apologize.”
It’s not a new message, but normally it comes from my kids when I’ve been rude to a server. “Mom, why’d you have to be such a bitch?”
Being stressed can ruin any good situation. Being rude can really get in the way of joy.
Lucky for me the lady’s still there, standing off to the side fumbling in her purse.
“Excuse me” I say, as I bring my cart up to hers, totally forgetting about the 6 ft physical distancing. “I was rude to you earlier. I was frustrated and shouldn’t have talked to you like that. I’m sorry”.
She looks at me wide-eyed. “It was my fault”, she says. “I just got here. I’m from India”.
Oh crap. Now I feel worse, and a memory floods back to being in a Slovenian grocery store with my daughter purchasing her first groceries, and desperately hoping her credit card works.
I’m suddenly aware the lady’s still talking. “It’s different in India” she’s saying “I don’t know what to do here”.
I feel worse. Then another thought comes.
Everyone has a story. We never know who someone is, or what they’re going through.
I smile because I’ve had this thought many times.
“Welcome to Canada”, I tell her. “I’m sorry I was rude”. She smiles back. “it’s okay, thank you”.
And as I leave the store another thought comes to me.
What goes around, comes around and self-awareness can change it.
This is the guiding principle in all the work I do. It’s the first A in my “4A Process”; AWARENESS.
When we know better, we do better.
When we want to change our future we need to be intimately familiar with our present. And self-awareness can change what happens next.
Want to know how? Watch my Dream Life Masterclass here. It will teach you the 5 steps to creating a life that you will love.
This is not the first time I’ve gone back to apologize. Eat crow. Own my stuff.
In 12 Step Recovery Programs it’s called “making amends”. It’s when you realize you messed up and you want to make it right. Sometimes making it right is just to yourself.
An offer of forgiveness is triggered by another person, healing for us and never about them.
Don’t get me wrong, there would have been a day when I would have felt very justified speaking like that and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I would have also told the story to anyone who listened and it would have been total drama.
Drama creates karma.
Which thoughts are you having? What karma are you creating?
If you’ve got old patterns, limiting beliefs, and heavy baggage from the past showing up with jealousy, anger and projection, you need to let go of all that, and change your karma.
Connect with me today and let’s get you started.