The parking lot was not full when I drove up. I slid into one of many available spots, grabbed my mat and headed in to a yoga class. I got some exercise, met my physical and mental edge, practiced staying present, and closed with a moment of stillness.
That last step was important.
Because when I came out to my car, this is what I found.
My zen evaporated and a rush of anger come over me. I stormed back into the gym, thinking of all the ways I wanted to make this jerk pay for their transgression. Jackass.
You Park Like an Idiot!
The front desk paged The Jackass by license plate number. I waited by my car for several minutes, desperately wanting to know what such a high-order jackass looks like, but no one came.
Perhaps because I’d just come from savasana (corpse pose, where we attempt to find stillness), I began to observe myself.
I noticed that I wanted revenge more than I wanted to get on my way. My primary need had become to key The Jackass’s car, not to get into my own. I had visions of chewing out the offender, which were extremely satisfying, but would come at the expense of meeting the obligations I had on my calendar that morning.
So instead of waiting for The Jackass to finish their workout and appear so that I could spew my righteous anger all over them, I got into my car on the passenger side. I reaaaaaally struggled to overcome the intense INTENSE urge to mark up that car. I imagined myself being seen doing so on the security videos and was able to stop myself for legal reasons, not for moral reasons (it’s still wrong to key a Jackass’s car, isn’t it?).
I went on about my day but couldn’t stop thinking about The Jackass. I wanted to tell everyone about it. Like a mosquito bite that never quite stops itching, my mind kept going back to how I was victimized by The Jackass.
Scratch that. The mosquito bite DID stop itching. But whenever it did, I’d keep reactivating it . This is a really strange thing. Why did I keep choosing to feel hyper-angry?
I Was Jackassing Myself!
Because self-righteous anger felt so gooooooooood.
I was hanging on to being a victim of The Jackass because it felt good. How messed up is that?
Once again, I had competing needs and was at cross purposes with myself. It wasn’t until I asked out loud, Lori, is this obsession serving you? — that I was able to choose to reclaim my day and consciously decide not to give The Jackass any more of my attention.
But I did get a satisfying little kick out of writing this post.
Have you noticed a time when it felt good to feel bad? When was the last time you chose to hang on to bad feelings longer than you needed to?