Sunday morning, I was reading and came across these lines:
“I can choose to see the world as a prison, or as a classroom. How I see it is my choice---my choice! I am free to make that choice.”
A Workbook Companion-Commentaries on the Workbook for Students from A Course in Miracles by Allen Watson and Robert Perry
Wow! They really landed and stuck with me!
How I’m viewing the world is determined by how I’m feeling and that is determined by what I’m thinking about it. When I believe that I’m stuck, trapped or a victim of a situation, I’m putting myself behind bars. Then, I start doing things to get through life rather than enjoying it along the way. Then I start to get sick and tired of it and then I literally feel sick and tired.
When I’m embodying “the prisoner”, it feels like life is against me, life is too hard, or I’m all alone. When I’m embodying “the learner” I show up curious and ready to learn something new. I am open to whatever shows up.
It’s my choice.
This week I have been observing myself. Am I choosing the classroom or the prison? And believe me, I have had SEVERAL opportunities. In fact, I’m realizing that my day is filled with constant opportunities to choose to sit mentally in the classroom or in a prison cell.
On Monday, a parking situation came up where I live. I got home from errands to see that the spot that I normally park in was being labeled for a “compact car”. I do not have a compact car. This decision reduced the number of spaces for the 8 people in the building where I lived. There would now be 5 for us to park in. Two were now labeled for compact cars and the other was a handicapped space. No one in our building drives a compact car. So, it would be a game of musical cars.
I could feel my anger rising any time I thought about it. I remembered the quote and continued using my tools and handing it over to Spirit. A bigger part of me wanted to be pissed though. I had a whole script planned for what I would say to my next-door neighbors, who I believed were the cause of this situation. My angry story was keeping me prisoner. When I realized that, I started visualizing myself sitting at a desk in a classroom. I did have a willingness to shift it. But I bounced between the two worlds for 24 hours.
Then BOOM! LOVE prevailed!
Last night (Tuesday) I attended a neighborhood event. When I arrived, the only seat left was a seat with the neighbor’s that I had been building a story of resentment about. As I sat down, they started talking to me. Here is what they said:
We’re so happy you’re here tonight. We wanted you to know, it wasn’t you the way that you were parking that upset us. You were the only one that parked in a way that allowed us to get out of our driveway. We went to the office and mentioned our frustration and told that if that spot could be permanently assigned to you, that would be great. When you don’t park there, others do, and they don’t pull in far enough and that makes it hard for us. We suggested a solution to them and they chose instead to mark the parking space “compact cars only”. We think that’s silly. We’re so glad that you’re here tonight!
Sidenote: The solution they suggested was the same one I had suggested when I saw the new label on the parking space.
After that, we talked and got to know each other. I mentioned that I like to sit on my sun porch and that I would have to put up shades so that it would block the way the sun shined into it during the day. They offered to help me install them. This morning as I left for my walk the wife was outside watering her plants. She greeted me with a smile and as we were talking, she mentioned that she was trying to be more accountable to her walking practice. Long story short, I have a new walking buddy.
Boy did I get schooled on the fact that life as we know it is all just a matter of perspective. LOL! What a total shift in perspective!
LOVE wins again!