This week has been another opportunity to learn some lessons in life. If I think about it, there’s probably opportunities every moment for me to keep learning.
I’ve been one of those people with friends conscious of spiritual and broader world views of their lives, and every once in a while it’s not unusual for me to hear one of them tell me about something they’re “putting out to the universe” to happen. I admit I struggle with that concept, more so when I hear the phrase but don’t see any activity on the part of someone to participate in bringing something about in the world. I struggle with the thought of someone sitting on the couch of life and just waiting for the universe to come through for them. I feel strongly that intention is backed by action that flows from it. Don’t get me wrong…I’m also a strong believer in things just happening unexpectedly, but my life experience has taught me those instances aren’t normally the norm so to speak. Yet this week’s lesson involves me having a better understanding of how we really can bring about change in the our world in even the smallest ways and trusting that flows onward to keep making a difference.
Last weekend, during one of my walks with my dog Baxter, he stopped as is his custom at yet another set of bushes in front of a house to sniff away and normally leave his mark. In this instance, while he was doing so the owner came out of the house on his cell phone obviously in the middle of a call and just stood on the porch watching us. Within a minute, he finally said while still on the phone, “Buddy, can you get your dog out of there?” I responded that the dog really was just sniffing and hadn’t done anything of note, but my response seemed to anger the man more and he restated his request in juicer terms with a more fevered pitch. You know how anger can beget anger…not so innocent me responded back in like and told the man he really needed to chill out and relax a bit. Not the type of response that really makes a difference in an instance like that, or at least a good difference. And if that didn’t anger me enough, I found myself upon getting home googling who owns the little piece of land between the sidewalk and the curb. Who does that? Well, I think someone who still has a tinge of anger in himself! The next morning during my meditation to start my day, I was still angry, but more so at myself for responding the way I did to the man. Did I bring any good to the situation responding the way I did? Did I have to take his comment personally? Why was I really angry? And in that instance I forgave myself for being stupid and angry in that moment, and there was a nice release…but I wasn’t finished. I was conscious of a man in my neighborhood I would more than likely see again and I didn’t provide my normal opportunity to connect. In fact, I provided exactly the opposite and gave no reason for the man to want to connect with me. So I also decided during my meditation my work wasn’t yet done with the situation.
The beginning of the week came…if you like to think of normal flows in our life as beginnings and endings, I was conscious I had opportunities to begin anew if I act on them. In walking Baxter I passed by the same house and interestingly enough the man was out on his porch and spotted me approaching. As I came in front of his house I said, “Good morning. I’m really sorry I angered you last week. What I said wasn’t really necessary and I’m sure you acted out of your care for your property. I’m sorry.” He looked at me with such a beautiful smile and said, “That’s okay. We all get angry at things sometimes, don’t we? Thank you for your words.”
When I got back home and took my time in my favorite chair with my music playing and my mind beginning to meditate, I realized I had acted within the universe and set the world in motion for the day. It may not sound that profound, but for me I was conscious of a few things: I was no longer angry. I think he was no longer angry. I think we both started the day in better frames of mind. I know I did, and I can only trust he did as a result at least in part from my actions. Yes, I don’t really know if that made a significant difference in his day, but I do believe the next time I see him we’ll have good interaction. And that because I chose to swallow my pride and take my stupid action of the previous week and turn it into a personal connection with another human being. It’s really a small thing, but small things can make big differences in the world and in the universe. So I realize I set the world in motion that morning…at least the part of the world I am in where I interact with those I do. I believe if I act consciously with that realization in mind I really can make changes in the world. I set my intention. I acted on it. And the universe hopefully had a positive shift in the lives of maybe not just myself and the man in my neighborhood, but maybe in the lives of those each of us also encountered that day and in that new week.