Little did I know last Sunday my ego was setting me up for the perfect descent into anger, frustration, and judgment. I hadn’t gotten much sleep on Saturday night, and Sunday was a full day. I wish I had time for a nap before my return flight to Houston, but I wanted to get to the airport early to return my rental car. I also wanted to give myself plenty of time to get through security in case there were long lines due to the recent government shutdown. It turns out returning the car was a breeze and there were no long lines at security. I arrived at my gate an hour and a half before my flight was scheduled to board.
That wouldn’t have been so bad if stormy weather hadn’t delayed our flight crew from arriving on another flight. That extra hour seemed like four due to a headache that was growing in my temples and the cold air blowing through the airport. I felt like I was sitting in a refrigerator. I’m also certain someone turned up the volume on the jazz music playing at the gates. There was no escape from those brass instruments! I was so ready to be in my warm bed at home!
I began to get hopeful when the crew finally arrived and we were allowed to board the plane. Unfortunately, the inclement weather caused a back up with air traffic and we sat on the runway for another forty-five minutes. A good portion of that time I was dozing which thankfully relieved my headache a great deal. When we were finally airborne I found myself unable to fall back to sleep so I opened the Southwest App on my iPhone to watch a little mindless TV.
The only thing I found that was remotely interesting was an episode of Dateline. This is not the kind of show I usually watch, but it didn’t take long for me to get hooked into the story of a man accused of killing his wife. As those shows are meant to do, it took me on a roller coaster ride from disbelief to anger. The circumstances of this case were so preposterous I couldn’t believe there was any question of whether or not he did it. It certainly didn’t believe it was an owl as one theory suggested. I soon found myself hoping this man would be found guilty and sent to prison.
That’s when I realized I had fallen right into the ego’s trap! I was tired, frustrated, and angry, and I wanted to project those uncomfortable feelings onto anyone that was available. This man was the perfect target. I was getting upset about someone I didn’t even know and a situation over which I had no control. I let a TV show take away my peace. A Course in Miracles says that despite outward appearances, we are all pure spirit, innocent and whole. It also reminds us:
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. (T-8.III.4)
I wish I could say I remembered this quote and was able to shift my thinking from fear to love by the end of the show, but that would not be true. It took a good night’s sleep before I could laugh at myself for taking the ego’s bait. It made a good story for our ACIM Study Group last Monday night at Unity of Houston. The reason I’m sharing it again here is to point out how easy it is to fall into the ego’s trap when we’re tired or not feeling well. When it happens, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself until you can climb back out. It’s never too late to see things differently and experience a miracle.
Is there a situation in your life where you could use a miracle? I would be honored to help you see things differently with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can be done from anywhere in the world thanks to technology. Please look around my website to learn more about both of these miraculous opportunities or send me an email to schedule an appointment.
Until next time, watch out for the ego’s perfect setup. You can fall into its trap even when you’re 30,000 feet in the air!