I Choose to See It Differently!
My car broke down and I had to have a mechanic look at it.
After having been charged thousands of dollars by the dealership for previous repairs, I was gladly in possession of a business card of a privately owned shop. “The owner is very knowledgeable, efficient and honest. He did a great job with my car and didn’t charge that much,” my acquaintance had told me, handing his card to me not that long ago…
When I got to that shop, the owner examined the car and told me that the transmission was leaking, but they could seal it by the following morning. It sounded like he knew what he was talking about and the estimate was fair, so I agreed to it.
Early next morning I received a phone call that my car had been fixed and was ready to be picked up. My total expense was a few hundred instead of the usual thousands, so I was happy.
The next day I was meeting a friend for lunch, and when I got dressed and opened my house’s garage door, I stopped in shock – there was a huge, dark, oily puddle under my car, and when I say “huge,” I mean it – it covered most of the floor in the garage.
It looked like all the transmission fluid had come out.
I called my friend, saying I was unable to make it to lunch and sat at the kitchen table, trying to figure out what to do next.
I heard my mind speaking. No, not “speaking,” more like “having the time of its life:” “Charlatans! Amateurs! Those impostors have ruined my car! Took my money and made things worse! I’m going to give them a piece of my mind! I’m going to write the worst review they’ve ever seen! I’m going to tell everyone! My car was fine before they ‘fixed’ it! At least I could drive it before, and now I don’t have a car! They saw that I was by myself and decided to take advantage of a young, ignorant woman! Why on earth did I trust them? I should have just taken the car to the dealership! Yes, it’s thousands of dollars, but at least they’ll repair the car instead of breaking it! What now? I can’t drive it without any transmission liquid! So what now, I am asking you? Have you learned your lesson? Call the dealership and let the people who know something about cars fix it!..”
I got tired of listening to this hysterical, gradually becoming abusive monologue, so I reminded myself of one of my most favorite quotes by Eckhart Tolle: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”
I became conscious of the fact that what was happening in my head was “the old way,” and I had decided a long time ago that the egoic way of living was something that I did not want to participate in anymore – I thought it was ugly, painful, difficult, limiting, unpleasant, unnecessary and unnatural – and this was the time to practice my “new,” chosen way of being.
I became curious and asked myself, “So, if it is true that ‘life does not happen TO us, but FOR us’ and this situation really was designed and customized specifically for me, why would that be? What could be the lesson that I am to learn from it?”
I thought of my belief in LOVE – that it was the only true thing in this world, that it was ALWAYS possible and that it was THE ONLY true way, and then I asked myself, “What would LOVE do?”
The answer was to first drop all the drama and examine the facts, so I took the inventory: “I cannot drive this car until it is repaired. It will have to be towed to a repair shop. Today is Sunday, so nothing can be done until tomorrow morning. If I call the dealership, they will charge me thousands of dollars for towing the car, fixing it…., and they ALWAYS find something else that “needs to be done right away,” which costs even more thousands and I never know if what they say is true.
Another alternative is to call the garage that has already worked on the car and ask them what they would do in this situation and how much they would charge for it. It is possible that the total even with the new repair would be less than taking the car to the dealership. Can I trust these people to do a good job this time? Maybe. The dealership is not going anywhere anyway – I can always go there if and when I have to, but I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, even this car repair shop.”
Once I decided to contact the shop owner, I asked myself again, “What would be a loving (and not attacking) way to communicate with him?”
I went to my house’s garage, took pictures of the car and e-mailed them to the shop owner, describing what had happened without using any expletives or even emotional adjectives, asking him what he would recommend.
When I clicked on “Send” and closed the laptop, I noticed a light and joyful feeling of relief, of freedom spread over my body. It also felt like I suddenly just got half of my day back – since I didn’t need to worry about and replay any of this in my mind anymore, I was free to do other things.
I was astonished at how easy it was to do what “A Course in Miracles” teaches – whenever you experience some “problem” and start drowning in fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, pain, righteousness…, say, “I want to see it differently,” invite miracles (“the shift in perception from fear to love”) by announcing that you are willing to choose love, peace and harmony.
It was so much easier to do than staying angry and worried.
At 8 o’clock next morning I received a phone call from the garage. The owner said that he was terrified when he saw my photos. They paid for the towing truck and did not charge me anything for the repair that day; the car was ready in an hour, I drove home, and haven’t had any trouble since.
Reflecting on this situation on my way home that day, I realized that that “problem” WAS specifically designed just for me. It proved to me for the millionth time that spirituality was not a luxury or some kind of a “woo-woo” or “airy-fairy” thing that anyone can leisurely discuss on a “good day,” but that has no practical value when things “go wrong.” It showed me again that it is always possible to make choices not out of our insane egos, but out of our True Nature, out of Love, and it isn’t that hard to do either…
The Dalai Lama was right when he said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
The only thing that is ever asked of us is to be willing to see the situation differently. The Universe always takes care of the rest…