I got a speeding citation a few days ago. I was speechless. I haven’t gotten a moving violation since I first started driving at 16. Of course, I communicated my disbelief, and the officer pulled down his sunglasses and replied, “Are there any more games we have to play?” It struck me, in that moment, that this cop has to deal with all sorts of defensive and evasive maneuvers each time he cites anyone. I wonder if anyone says, “Wow, I’m so glad you cited me because I really didn’t realize how fast I drive and now I’ll be more conscious and perhaps prevent an accident. That’s definitely worth a few hundred dollars!” (I’ll have to ask that next time I run into a cop.)
Of course, I mentioned the incident venting to a loved one…because I knew I would have my feelings validated. Her response to story: “That [insert explitive]! They are out to make money off of innocent people. He must be trying to make his quota before the holidays.”
I agreed, and villainized the policeman in my mind, framing the incident with my victim archetype. I listed all the details that supported my innocence in my imaginatory courtroom, quoting Bernouli’s effect to the judge. I even told my loved ones that I planned to fight the citation and listed again my theorem of justice.
That night, I had trouble sleeping. My mind had trouble turning off because there was an unresolved conflict. I ran over the details of the incident in my mind, and went through a few strategies on how to best approach the situation. As I scripted a defense in my head, I realized that I was going through the experience of feeling attacked, defensive, angry, helpless, aggressive, hurt, and well, you get the picture.
Wait a minute. If I decide to fight this citation, that means I have to deal with this mind being preoccupied, and all of my cells feeling the effects of those emotional states surrounding the situation, until the verdict is reached. That could be months. And, the verdict could have an outcome that affirms my victim stance. Hmmm…a few hundred dollars may be worth my peace of mind in having the situation resolved, and more importantly, to not have to sit in the energetic container of all the above emotions. I can just pay the price, assume that it was a small price to pay for accident prevention and emotional balance over the next few months, and move on in joy. The energy I would have spent fighting this citation could go to other activities that earn more money. Deal! I’m happy to invest in my experience of life being more joyful in the next two months.
The most valuable part of this experience was the insight I came to on the value of my vibrational state/ emotional valence/ energetic container/ experience of life. This lesson was definitely worth the citation experience, as it will pay off for me to prioritize my feelings over “being right” every time.
Make your decisions based on what feelings, or experiences are part and parcel for the given choice. You know yourself best, and just have to be honest with yourself about your likely emotional responses. In the above example, I know I have a tendency to keep running scenarios in the background of my mind until the conflict is resolved (a.k.a. a tendency toward vata pitta imbalance). The choice that has a matrix of emotional responses that is most favorable for you, is the path of least resistance.
In other words, at each junction, there is another path we may not always recognize at first; the path that is how we use the experience to propel our spiritual growth.
At this point, I’m actually even happy to pay the street sweeping ticket I got two days later. (and I won’t even slander LBPD here…:))