Re: Good things, Bad things, Who Knows?
1,144 Miles SW of Henry’s Pond
Saturday, August 1, 2020 (6:15am)
Dear Reader and Subscriber,
A lot of stories exist that contrast of “good and bad,” I have four favorites. Three from different religious texts. And one from personal experience.
They all have the same conclusion.
Let me share my experience with you.
I don’t remember the year. It happened when I was still a drunk. Pre-2004.
I’m just about to leave for work. Might be a little late. My roommate says, “You do know rent was due three days ago?”
My bank was in the Ralph’s Parking lot on PCH going south. Work was in Laguna Beach. I’m probably going to be late, so I rush out the door, run through the alley to Hennessy’s where my truck lived.
They used to call me “One Way Tim” — when you saw me park the truck, it most likely wasn’t leaving until the next day.
I get in the truck. Zoom through the parking lot, take a left, then a left at Killer Dana Surf Shop.
At the time, PCH split through Dana Point. Ocean Side moved south. Other moved North. Both had three lanes.
I pulled out into the far left lane through a yellow light. When the light turned green everyone floored it. And the person in front of me slapped the blinker on to parallel park .
Worst parallel parker in the history of the automobile. She rolled in and out of the parking spot seven or eight times. Traffic flowed steadily enough in lane two and three to keep me trapped behind her.
I nearly lost my mind.
She finally parked.
I probably flipped her off and yelled obscenities out the window or something. A block later, I pull into the parking lot. The bank has a security guard and two cops standing outside.
I look in through the glass doors and see a few women crying hysterically.
I get waived away from the door, so I go to the ATM, deposit money and head back home to finish getting ready.
As the door opens, my roommate jumps off the couch, kind of freaking out, and explains to me that the Bank had just gotten robbed.
A man with a submachine gun walked in one door. Held up everyone in line, and took the cash drawers minus the die packs, then walked through the parking lot spraying bullets. All of that happened while I impatiently waited for Blind Betty to Park her Lexus.
Had she been better at parking, I would have been in line with those other people, my money wouldn’t have made into my account, and I would have definitely been late for work…
I recall that story often.
It’s a reminder that I just don’t know what the rest of the day…. week… month… life will bring.
Our reaction to life unfolding creates a secondary experience. It’s completely made up. Probably 80% of what we experience.
That’s where everything gets messy.
The labels we put on everything as it unfolds creates an alternate reality. The weird part is, that it’s real to us. We’ll tell the story, the way we experienced it over and over again.
Some stories actually become entrenched in our identity.
Once that happens, there’s no escape. We trap ourselves in these stories. Limit our innate creative potential inside of a confabulated tale of woe is me.
I encourage you, to notice this habit.
Pay attention to what you’ve arbitrarily labeled bad.
When I look back over my life, I can pinpoint at least 20 different situations that in the moment really sucked. But, those “bad” events triggered decisions, that made my life a lot better. I think that way of every failed relationship — they all led to my wife, so none of them were bad — they just were.
When you experience some sort of bad event, ask yourself these two questions.
“Could this end up being the best thing to ever happen to me?”
“What can I do to make this the best thing to happen to me?”
You’ll be surprised what your brain comes up with in these situations.
(side note — some events are traumatic, and in no way should we minimize the effects of those events. If needed, get therapy to help sort it out. Those aren’t the types of events I’m talking about here.)
Try it out.
Hope this helps.
Love your face.
PS The other three stories…
Bhagavad Gita — Arjuna, the greatest warrior of his times sees his own family on the other side of the battle field. This is a dilemma. Krishna comes down from heaven and explains to him that he doesn’t have the perspective of Universal Wisdom to know if this is good or bad — he was built for war, and it’s his duty to go to war. Krishna further explains that none of us are entitled to the fruits of our labor, it’s the labor that is the fruit. (That last sentence is important… stop chasing the results, fall in love with the work)
A Sufi tale about a Horse farmer and his son — Moral — Good thing, Bad thing, Who Knows?
And the story of Adam and Eve — The reason mankind can’t live in the eternal Garden of Eden is because our ancestors ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That’s what separates us from the Universal Nature of Being. If you look at that parable, you’ll see that we possess the power of creation and since we are incapable of experiencing the Perspective of God, we were cast out of the Eternal Garden and lost the gift of Eternal Life.
Can you regurgitate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
If you do, even for a moment, you’ll realize we’re still in the Garden. We just “Paved Paradise and put up a parking lot. 😉