Friday, September 11, 2015

Wait and see

He raised his voice at me. I turned on my heel and walked away. I could still hear him back in the kitchen where I left him saying things under his breath, slamming drawers and cupboard doors shut. Angry, seething, I went back in there to engage in the argument. It was on. He was mistaken and I was going to set him right. But when I got there, I looked at him, took a deep breath and walked away. All I had to do was wait and see. It was a miracle.

I inherited his temper. My dad and I have short fuses and we can argue like the best of them. We know which buttons to push. I can't remember, though, our last argument – and that was the miracle: the recognition of the impermanence of the argument, of our behavior and of our perceptions, the letting go of my self-importance and self-interest. In that moment, I realized that none of what was happening was real and that it too shall pass. And it has. I was able to see through to my dad – a man I love, respect and admire. A man who, just as radically, forgives.

Today is a good day to remember that only what love holds is everlasting – kindness, respect, compassion, forgiveness. Everything else – our issues, misunderstandings, circumstances, points of view, justifications, whether we are right or wrong – is impermanent. Releasing our hold on what doesn't matter opens us up to what does – peace of mind, harmonious relationships, joy of life, well-being. Next time you are in a confrontation with anyone, whether it is someone you love or a stranger on the street, wait, let it pass and see.

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