It all started with a trip to Taco Bell. The woman who served me at the drive-thru was someone I had seen there a lot.
Two things occurred to me. One was that I eat entirely too much Taco Bell. The other was that this woman always gives great customer service. She always has a smile on her face and is always very polite.
Today, I decided to tell her so. The beaming smile and thank you I got in return was enough to make both our days a lot brighter. I was so glad I did it. On the way home, I got to thinking about relationships. When I think of the word "relationship," I tend to apply it to the people I know well. But in truth, I have relationships with lots of people around me, from the postman to the grocery store clerk to the bank teller.
This is even more important to remember after September 11. I am looking at my world now as more of a close-knit community. My conviction about the connection between myself and those around me is based on the fact that we are all God's children. I was thankfrul to have the example of the Taco Bell worker as someone who was living her life guided by divine Love.
As I was driving along and pondering this, another motorist cut in front of me and almost hit me. Instant mental lane change! I started right in on my usual tirade about stupid people and how no one knows how to drive. I was working up quite the tantrum!
Blowing off steam while driving is something I've always regarded as normal. I never thought there was anything wrong with it -- the other drivers were nameless, faceless people who meant nothing to me.
It was embarrassingly apparent that I was violating a sacred relationship. The people in the other cars were part of the same spiritual family as the woman at Taco Bell and myself, and yet somehow I had left them out of this loving scenario I had started in my heart.
Mentally I immediately changed lanes and got back to the loving space I'd been in just before this. I was embarrassed that I had indulged in such unkindness and that I'd let it become a habit. The hateful reaction to other drivers was not the kind of thing a person who lives her life guided by Love would do.
Living a life of Love and having the highest regard for my "siblings" in this divine family is a directive of our Creator. I can't pick and choose who gets in on this family love. It's a "one for all and all for one" package deal. I made up my mind to break this habit of instant anger and impatience.
I started by changing the way I typically did little things. For example, when stopped at a railroad crossing I waited patiently and appreciated all the other drivers around me. At four-way stop signs, I let others go first.
There are still times when I'm in a hurry and the annoyance again creeps up on me. But now it's easier to remind myself of my spiritual relationship with others, all those brothers and sisters. I remember our connection. I remember that I'm driving through the Love lane.
Then I go have a burrito.