Monday, March 06, 2006

Freed from the Cell of Old Patterns

Sunday, March 5, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico

I’m driving by my mobile phone company’s local retail outlet and resisting a lifetime’s conditioning to park and go inside.

Maybe your cell company’s store is better, but mine here in Santa Fe condemns its patrons to lengthy waits and, if you’re not buying something or signing up for service, a less than welcoming demeanor.

You see, they owe me $20 plus tax for a return that wasn’t properly credited in mid-February. But I was so flustered by my 40-minute wait, preoccupied sales clerk and complex refund receipt that I didn’t notice the anomaly until I was doing my accounts last week.

Of course I want the $20. Yet I know that it will cost me more than $20 in waiting time and aggravation if I go in to claim it.

An old part of me would have gone in anyhow, on principle.

A new part of me asks, Which principle?

The one that values money over time? The one that subscribes to scarcity over infinite supply? The one that values a skewed sense of justice over peace of mind? The one that seeks easy outlets for repressed anger?

As a Libra, injustice doesn’t sit well with me. You know, the scales of justice and all that. It grates even more when the injustice is directed toward me.

As my mother’s son, it’s hard to walk away from money that is rightfully mine.

And as a human being, there’s nothing more certain to push my buttons than the certainty that I’m being taken advantage of.

Yet, here I am, driving by this nightmare of a store, refusing to be drawn in by the prison cell of my patterns and conditioning.

I feel a tug as I turn the corner onto Cerillos and away from the store, as I watch the building shrink into the distance. But I determine that as a Libra, personal equilibrium also has value — more than $20 worth, as it turns out.

So I let it go, even as the parts of me that still relate to lack and victimhood don’t want “them” to get away with it. (That’s the part that also doesn’t quite get that there is no “them.” Them is an aspect of me that will keep showing up until I transform and transcend it.)

And then I remember the $40 stuffed in my pocket. I gifted some new friends with a short sound initiation earlier today and, as I was leaving, one of them stuffed two $20 bills into my hand as a love offering.

So, really, I’m not down $20. I’m ahead $20...and I’m always taken care of.

The offending sales slip, evidence of the cell company’s heinous misdeed, has been sitting next to me in the car for a few days now, waiting for me to find myself in the right part of town. When I get home, it moves from car to expense file, where it belongs. And I move into a future freed from the prison cell of at least one limiting pattern and behavior, where I belong.

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