As I stepped into the library, yesterday, to pick up a book my husband had requested for me I walked over to the shelf where it was waiting. Browsing through the long shelf of items, I came to the O’L section and picked my book club selection for this month off the shelf. Walking over to the checkout, this was supposed to be easy right, I placed my single item on the counter as my children patiently stood by….not too happy to have had to make yet another stop on the way home from school.
I smiled at the librarian and said, “My husband reserved this for me, but I don’t have his card, can I show you my licence and my library card so I can check this out?”
“No. You need his card. That is the only way I can check this out,” she replied.
“So even though we live at the same address, and have the same last name, you cannot check it out? Can you look up his number for me?” I started getting a bit agitated inside.
“No. You need to have his number.”
“Ok I’ll text him and have him send me his number,” I could feel my heart start to beat a little faster.
Meanwhile, the kids are getting antsy, “When are we going to leave?” they asked.
“After I get this book,” I calmly responded with a half-smile.
After receiving no response from the text, and making one last plea to the librarian to let me have this one book, with her now sick of me responding, “It’s against the law to check out a book without the number,” I left….without the book….and feeling significantly triggered.
The four of us (me and the 3 girls) climbed back into the van and they could sense I was a bit frustrated. I made a point to drive out of my way, to pick up this one book, and now I would have to make the time to come back again….who knows when that will be….they might as well send the requested item back where it came from, I thought.
About one mile from the scene I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out what weedy thought pattern caused me to be triggered, because I know the trigger was coming from inside me, not because OF that lady (although it would have been easy to blame my feelings on her).
Ah, ha. There is that root, I was thinking ‘I am above this and this shouldn’t be happening to me’. I’m honest, I’m a good person, why is this happening to me?? Can’t she see that I’m not like everyone else? It’s hard to admit, but it is the truth. There was one root. Oh, another one?! I was ‘wishing things were different than they were.’ Because this moment wasn’t going according to my plan I was upset. See how these mindsets caused a trigger to rise up in me?
So upon reflection, what could I have done differently? Using our RIDE THE WAVE system, (following the acronym S.T.O.P.) I could have surrendered these ideas for more peaceable ways of being. It is in moments like these that we have the chance to really see our ‘weedy roots’ for what they are and then pull them out. First (S) slow down enough not to react, acknowledge that the (T) trigger is in me. Then I could cross the bridge and take ownership for my contribution (after all, I was the one who didn’t have the proper library card with me, as is their policy) and (O) observe my thoughts to find the weedy reasons I’m being triggered (as I showed you I found while I was driving home). Then come up with a solution…it really doesn’t have to be an emotional one…truly.
Every situation is a factual one. I just gave you my ‘side’ of the story and my ‘perception’. But the truth is this is a story about a lady who wants to check out a book, doesn’t have the right card with her, and has to come back another day to pick it up. See how easy that sounds? Why do we let ourselves get so triggered by these little moments? Because we are attached to our weeds. What is the benefit of these little moments? They expose them for what they are, ego-based ways of being, which create discord in the world around us and they are rooted inside of us….they don’t come from the outside. The more you stop reacting based on thoughts like these the calmer and happier you’ll be on the inside, and the more you’ll be able to bring peace to the world around you.
So I guess today I am going to solve my problem by getting the right card, going back to the library, and checking out my book…..