I had a nice reminder this morning on perception.
I walked into my local coffee shop, early in the morning, the staff were busy, setting up for their day. I got my coffee, went outside and sat down.
Only one other person was there, seated at a table behind some small partition plants, smoking a cigaret. As I sat I noticed he had an ‘air’ of frustration. I took a sip and did the most practical thing I could, watched a cat do something bizarre on Facebook and chuckled to myself. I took another sip.
Suddenly, the other customer jumped up, angrily demanding a coffee. The staff although surprised, became apologetic, so he sat down again. Interesting, I said to my self, I didn’t see him come in, perhaps the staff did not either, and judging by their reaction to his shouts, almost certainly they hadn’t.
A nice reminder of how good, clear communication is loving, no matter our emotional state. When the angry customer arrived and sat without connecting to the staff, he set himself up to feel disregarded, not important or something along these lines. The longer he sat without making his presence known, the greater his sense of abandonment or unimportance became, and having me arriving after him and getting served first only added fuel to the fire he had arrived with.
Of course, the inevitable had to happen: he had a nice, fulfilling, explosive emotional release, by paying out on the staff and justifying it as “their fault”, especially after the stuff fed it back to him in the form of apologetic conformity. He then sat back down feeling relieved and justified in his actions. “I am right’’.
Hmmm, it smelled more like righteous anger. The one we all cling to so dearly.
Internally his sense of emotional pressure had reduced. The game he is used to playing out with every one has come full circle. They made me feel this, I over expressed, I’m justified, now I feel better. Inside, there is less internal emotional pressure.
He goes on thinking: Why is this shit always happening to me? Why do some people have it easy and some don’t?
Whether his pre-concept was “its their job to see me” or whatever, the deeper concept that keeps the pattern running is the wonderful universal thought “It’s the other person’s fault” or even better “they made me feel…”
This thought makes things so much easier, because that way we don’t have to own the anger as ours. Usually it goes like this: for some reason we are unable to connect with the real, underlying emotion, hence almost automatically we chose anger, which feels more powerful and gives us a false sense of righteousness. By choosing anger, however, we chose to blame the other, we chose to lie to ourselves once more. We lie to ourselves by choosing to express anger instead of the real, underline emotion that is driving us. We project. We say to other: what I feel is your fault.
What a crazy lie!
Emotions are energy, energy in motion and it takes energy to keep them from flowing, to suppress them. You can hold a rain drop in a bucket but when the bucket gets full of raindrops, the amount of energy we need to carry it around eventually exhausts us, until we find someone to spill it onto to lighten our load.
One truth of anger is: We are not angry for the reason we think we are. He came into the coffee with a feeling, maybe it was frustration, maybe guilt, who knows, something might have happened at home, something might have happened in the past. He chose not to connect with it. He chose to connect with another feeling, that of anger. The staff, on the other hand, may have reacted kindly, but how did they take it? Did they take that on as guilt or as projected anger sneezed into his coffee…?
Assumptions, I know, but where can one find peace in the world? It seems to me that peace of mind lies hidden behind a veil of prostituted projections. I sell my peace of mind and my mental and physical health to keep the thought: “it’s the others’ fault”. Why? Because it feels easier albeit deeply uneasy, deeply uncomfortable. We just get angry, because we want to run from another uncomfortable, frustrating, unexpressed seed emotion towards an imaginary freedom, but end up in a dull numbing drama.
Imagine what would happen if when he arrived, despite his feeling, he took a deep, conscious connected breath, smiled, said kalimera, sat down and used his wonderfull mind to process and express to himself how and why he felt what he felt. His coffee would taste better for one.