Okay. I’ve been thinking about writing about this for over a week. I kept wondering why I was resisting. Was it that I was ashamed to tell you how very human I am? How much little things can bug me? Or was it that I didn’t want to deal with what was in front of me?
Probably a little of all of it.
Here’s the situation. I live in Boston in the city part, not the suburb part, which means that the streets are small, narrow. We’re lucky that we have some off street parking, as do most of our neighbors.
AARGHH! I can feel my annoyance even writing about this. It’s crazy. Such a little thing that had gotten under my skin. One of my neighbors consistently parks in front of our house, never in front of hers. (I know, I know — it’s a really small thing….) but somehow over all these months it has become a territorial thing.
I feel like my boundary is pushed. Like some spatial separation that is supposed to be there keeps getting violated. I could go into all kinds of stories and rationalizations I have about it — but I’m not. I want to transform this situation so it’s irrelevant to me.
The other day I left the house — and yes, her car was there. She lives across the street but she’s in front of our house, even with her driveway empty. (I can feel the story taking even more hold in front of me as I write the words. I keep reinforcing the “charge”, the “energy” around it.
Anyway, I was leaving the house to have lunch with my colleague and friend, Mike Ward, who is a wonderful therapist if any of you ever need one in Brookline, MA. We had a wonderful conversation spanning spirituality, psychotherapy models, our personal lives and development. During the conversation he talked about some annoyance he was in and how he was saying metta for this person.
Ah, duh. Of course, that’s what I should be doing. Saying metta for this person who “intrudes on my space.” I resolved to do so.
That was last week. I did do metta a couple times but keep falling off the bandwagon.
Once the pattern gets established, in this case, I now have months of feeling irritated with her — once that gets established it’s a hard habit to break. I have been watching how immediate the pull is to swim in the ocean of irritation rather than the ocean of love.
Reordering the flow of my energy takes conscious determination. I have to set the intention to flow love and kindness to her in a global way – and in each of those moments when I walk out the door, or drive home and see her “where she’s not supposed to be….” You know what I mean.
This is my practice at the moment. Day in and day out, metta to her. Metta to her individually, and metta to all the ways I can get irritated.
It’s a humble practice, of returning to being present, here, now, connected to my heart.