Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Falling Off the Wagon

"Truly, the sun and moon wish to be light, but the floating clouds cover them."
--from Huai-nan-tzu, Book Eleven, 150 B.C.


Got a ticket. Not mad about it, I just plain forgot to renew my car registration. I accepted it happened. It's a good step.
I'm disappointed in myself. The entire duration of my XML class I let the actions of one individual upset me and ruin my evenings. I let the anticipation of dealing with that person sour my mood and follow me to bed to keep me awake. I let them give me a queasy stomach and I let his general asinine behavior within the group set my teeth on edge even when I wasn't dealing with schoolwork.
I want to punch this guy in the face. I really do. So much so that, as I told Bob last night, if I ever come across somebody with that same name, I ~might~ wait to confirm they went to the University of Phoenix before beating the fuck out of them.
I am just that tweaked by this person, and I can't escape it. I've tried to study it, I've tried to breathe. I couldn't even discuss what was going on with Bob without getting worked up as I was thinking about it to explain it. This individual was a HUGE cloud that I less pass in front of me. He's not the last, either, and my failure to ignore this "cloud" sits ill with me.
I am not self aware enough to know whether or not my temper is truly bad. I assume it is because I explode, and associate it with other people I have seen exploding. It seems bad, so in my mind it is. Either way, it has a rapid onset, it eats my brain, sets me on fire, and I became completely absorbed in the source of the anger. I become markedly dumber when I become angry.
And in an amusing twist, by beating myself up for not accepting the source of my anger, I am doubly removing myself from calm by not working to accept the fact that I got angry in the first place. I'm kicking myself in the head repeatedly because i failed. I've got no compassion for this person, and certainly none for myself!
It would be funny if I had the presence of mind to step back and watch it happen. As it is, I usually catch it a few minutes in and slow myself down.
It's just so damned hard to breathe, much less observe, when someone is staring you down insulting your intelligence and acting in a patronizing fashion. I'd really like to have nothing in common with such a rude control freak. But here I am, a day after I never have to see this guy again, dwelling on him.
I sigh heavily at myself in this moment.
Maybe I can forgive myself. That's probably the first step. I keep looking for something like "Buddha's Explicit Guide on How to Deal with Assholes" for moments like these, and there isn't one. At least, not one spelled out like that. But the guidance has already been given. You Breathe. You Observe. You Accept.
So... I'll get back around to breathing first and we'll work from there. This is going to be a looooong road.

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