Recently I was given a lovely, humbling, and hilarious insight. This good fortune presented itself while awaiting a Cyprus bound flight from London’s Gatwick Airport. First the images: I watched a thirty-five year old man who was entirely uncon
scious of his actions: He, in feigned, affected, noisy and labored breathing ‘in a breathless state’ moved in an asymmetrical and slow, attention-gathering gallop as he approached the gate where I stood.
As he pounded his national identity card and boarding pass to the counter, he spoke dramatically in an English that bore the lovely accent of his native country. He requested immediate assistance as he had missed his flight from a nearby gate. In response to each of four kindly delivered responses from the gate agent, he loudly exhaled an exasperated NO! She then informed that no matter how many times he made his pronouncements, circumstances remained the same: Her help is that of directing him to the airline service counter for rebooking.
The man then moved from the counter, stopping in the center of the aisle. He thrust his ID card and boarding pass to the floor and while loudly exhaling, further collapsed his shoulders. There he stood with his head hanging in seeming profound disbelief at his fate. Just two steps away, I, barely containing the incredulity of my insight, and my urge to laugh more audibly, stepped to his left side and stood mimicking his posture. In a couple moments, I turned my head toward him and in a quiet and dramatic voice said, so only he could hear, “Its fucked isn’t it?” I remained a moment longer, then slowly stood more upright…then slowly and silently walked away. Seconds later he collected his things and did the same.
My insight: I do what this man does all the time. I do it differently, of course. Yet, I too, have many unconscious habits of behavior, each with dramas large and small. Mine revolve around being impatient or being in a hurry. After all, I have so many things to do. I often move fast. I am in a hurry.
As I write this, there is a humor surfacing in me that is a blending of at least three mental and emotional states. The first is a delight in my new awareness. The second involves a bit of disbelief for the silliness of my little dramas, and for not having recognized them previously. Lastly, I feel chagrin. The second and the third are themselves examples – equivalences, though less visibly dramatic than the man’s actions in the airport.
As I rotate the prism of my perception, three perspectives vie for my attention. The first involves what I judge as the normalcy of our all too human obliviousness and somnolence: our insistence on remaining imprisoned by trivialities, on remaining dead asleep. The second angle prompts a warm compassion in seeing the plight of my own and others’ humanity. The last view prompts a remembering that I am best served when I see the humor in my own petty dramas, then let them go.
Our dramas perpetuate an embodiment of our having said ‘no’ to our lives and the Mystery. We can ill-afford to continue denying our sovereignty and the experience, expansion and creative expression awaiting us. Life asks us to announce, in an unequivocal and robust voice, ‘yes’ to the Mystery! And then to live out our lives embodying this ‘yes’ – taking all that life offers.
What will rouse me from my sleep? What will prompt the letting go of my petty and distracting dramas? What will move me to say ‘yes’ to my life? What will open me to genuinely experience the immediacy of the Mystery and my life? What will foster the expansion of my genuine nature? What will prompt my genuine creative expression?