Love in the Midst of Chaos

December 14, 2017

I did not want to be in the check-out line at the grocery store that afternoon because it was so very crowded. Yet, Easter was the next day and I had family coming to dinner. I attempted to move my cart a few inches to the right, hoping to find more space. Yet, there was no space to my right or left because the line had morphed into people pushing their baskets beside each other instead of front to back. This was going to take a while.

Somehow, a man I did not know had moved to the front of his basket, maneuvering himself to my immediate left. Without an introduction, he began moving his hands all over some of my food, then began fondling my basket handle as he said, “You want to have a good time tonight?”

“I’m happily married,” I answered.

Yet, that had nothing to do with his intentions. He touched my shoulder, saying, “Not all the time, are you?”

Quickly, I moved my shoulder out from under his hand. I was absolutely, completely mortified to the point that I had trouble even answering him; my breathing became shallow as I began to unavoidably go into a shock-induced fight or flight mode. After another quick but firm no, I looked to my right again, hoping to find space to get away from him. There was none as another basket was inches away. However, there was space in front of me, if only the elderly lady would move her basket forward a bit. Because she was sorting her coupons, she had not noticed that the basket in front of her had been emptied and the clerk was checking out the shopper.

“Excuse me,” I said, my voice quivering slightly. “Do you mind moving up a little bit?” I either had to move forward, get the manager, or leave. Moving forward was my first choice, for I truly needed the groceries. I wasn’t prepared for her answer.

“If you are so rude, and in such a hurry, then you just move ahead of me!” she immediately screamed. On she went, her voice getting louder and louder. She called me names, she talked of the rudeness of some people, and she began to speak in a harsh voice about me to the clerk, who had by this time pulled her basket forward to empty it.

Frankly, I did not know what to do. People were beginning to stare at us, shaking their heads at me, the woman who had been rude to the older lady. Not wanting to match her intensity, I tried to explain to her in my gentlest voice that I was not in a hurry, that I only needed space, but she would have none of it. I was not comfortable trying to explain to her why I needed the space. Besides, when the older lady started screaming at me, the man I was afraid of quickly moved away. She never saw him.

The more I tried to explain, the worse she reacted. Quickly, I realized that nothing I could do would make one bit of difference to her. The manager had come over, but her presence had no effect on the older lady. By this time she was pointing at me, announcing in a loud voice to all around that I was the rudest person on earth. The clerk was moving in warp speed, trying to get the older lady checked out so she could leave. She looked at me several times, shaking her head while wondering why I had been so rude.

What in the world was I to do? I already was in borderline panic mode because the sexually aggressive man had frightened me so. And now I was being screamed at in an accusatory tone. How was I to handle this?
I did what I always do when in trouble. My prayer was quick, short, and to the point. “Help me, God. Tell me how to handle this.”

Immediately, the intuited answer came to me from a place beyond me, yet connected to me. “Stay in a state of Holy Love. Claim the feeling of Holy Love. Surround yourself in Holy Love and let it radiate around you.” I breathed deeply, allowing Holy Love that is readily available for each of us to take over my emotions, to calm my temperament, and to support me. I could feel it in every cell in my body. I even was aware that it was radiating out from me. Even though I had been on the verge of panic, I now felt like I was sitting by a woodland stream watching a gurgling brook swish over smooth rocks while butterflies flitted near and ancient oaks dipped their leafy wisdom toward the stream. I could not have been in a more peaceful mode if I tried. Meanwhile, the older lady raged on, shaking her finger toward me. Her words just passed me by.

Thinking back to this incident, I understand now that the man has his own issues to manage. The older woman may have not understood my situation, over reacted, or perhaps she was aging in non-optimal ways. Maybe she reacted to the underlying horror in my voice. I have no idea.

What I do know is that each of us was quite human in that moment, with our own issues. I chose to move beyond my fears, claiming Divine Love in the situation. As I was paying for my own groceries, the same clerk asked me how I was able to remain calm. I simply told her the truth.

“Divine Love is stronger than fear, rage, and misconduct. All we have to do is claim it for ourselves.”

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MAKING CONSCIOUS CHOICES

December 7, 2017

Settling down last night after a rather full day, we delightfully discovered a program on TV that made us think, then one that made us laugh. Yet, it took less than five minutes of watching the news before we cut that nonsense off. What was reported to be news actually was sensationalism, exaggerated horror stories made from events that weren’t really newsworthy at all. It was as if the intention of the newscasters was to shock you into some sort of negative frenzy by portraying only the evils of the human condition.

This morning I am finishing my tea while watching the birds come and go at the feeder. Small songbirds all gather at once, moving quickly when the large woodpecker arrives in order to give him room. They return unbothered when he leaves. The doves waddle on the ground under the feeder, sharing discards with two squirrels. The blue jay is our local intimidator, but no other birds seem to mind, just accepting him as he is. When old, toothless Alice the cat appears from around the corner of the garage, the squirrel makes a loud noise and all flee momentarily. Alice doesn’t even glance at the feeder, but just moves to her sleeping place on the glider cushions ready for a morning nap. All work peacefully together, taking only what they need.

Birds, old Alice the cat, and squirrels just all seem to have good personal boundaries, respect others differences, and go about their business in peace. Supposedly, we humans have a higher intelligence. Yet, it is our species that emerges with greed, envy, control, and all sorts of bothersome behaviors. Some want to hear of others’ horror stories not out of compassion but because it makes us feel better to know that someone else has had it worse. Yes, there is good news in the world, but rarely will you have it shown on television news hours. Even though we have been given the ability to rationalize, discover, and make conscious choices, perhaps we have forgotten the innate gifts of love, respect, and the beauty of good, wholesome boundaries that allow life to be fully appreciated instead of just endured. Perhaps it’s time to make better choices for ourselves, relearning what is innate to nature and discovered within our very souls and then applying it to our lives. Perhaps it’s past time.

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Consciousness Begins Individually

November 30, 2017

The other day while cleaning out a drawer in one of the vacant bedrooms, I rediscovered some old photographs I had taken when on a trip to Greece overlooking the Mediterranean. The pictures jogged an old memory of rather concerning thoughts that flooded yet again into my mind. Oh, the area was so beautiful. But, […]

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Unity In Diversity

November 23, 2017

The blue sky stretched out above me as an all encompassing joy.  The trees were busy doing whatever trees do in early spring when old leaves lay scattered about in crispy applause for life and new ones are an internal nudge pushing out toward the light of day. Two squirrels were playing tag between the […]

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What If?

November 16, 2017

Consider the POSSIBILITIES… WHAT IF…. …you simply wake up one day realizing that you had evolved so much your life so far felt like someone else’s story. …you could at that moment of recognition, write the rest of your life from a place of empowerment, a place of conscious decisions, a place of spiritual connection, […]

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Bigger Dreams

November 9, 2017

According to our cat, Sir George… To get dinner every night, he has to follow a rather specific procedure.  At the first sign of tummy growling, he goes through the kitty door at the bottom of the screened porch door. While standing on his hind legs, he boxes continually on the glass kitchen door.  Sometimes this boxing […]

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