Our interactions with people can be our greatest teachers. And yesterday I was taught a big lesson. I’d taken myself off to a cafe to treat myself to some sacred ‘me time’ with a muffin, tea and a book. I sat on a high table which permitted me a clear view of other patrons in the cafe as well as out to the ocean. It was perfect.
However it wasn’t long until my perfect scenario was quashed. I’d sat at the big centre table which was shared by other people. I was seated in the middle and along came three people who sat opposite me, completely obstructing my view to the ocean.
I became a little peeved, however decided it was time to order. I got up, leaving my book and jacket to mind my spot, and went to order at the counter. Once ordered I strolled back to where I’d been sitting only to find one of the three people had actually moved to a seat that was literally pushed up against mine. There was hardly any room for me now and I felt a little strange that they had done this when I’d gone up to order. I felt like they were crowding me on purpose to push me out. My mind was firing off all sorts of scenarios.
I pushed back (obviously in reactive ego-state) and re-claimed my seat. My arm was literally touching his and I felt his big energy dominating mine. Now I was definitely peeved. If I moved my chair further away from him I would literally be pushed up against a pole and have all my table space taken away with the pole and vase which was on the table. And that wasn’t even the point. I was there first.
After a few uncomfortable minutes I decided I would move, as it dawned on me that I was choosing to stay in a situation that was impeding my enjoyment. It took a lot for me to move, but I did so. Staring down at the table stewing in my own thoughts, I waited for the intruders to apologise, or at least offer a sympathetic smile. No such luck. In fact it was quite the opposite, the man moved and spread out even more, enjoying the extra space he’d gained.
Sitting with nothing but my own thoughts, I breathed. I took stock of what was going on and I remembered an enlightening idea from Eckhart Tolle that teaches us the purpose of relationships (which could be interpreted as all interactions with other people) as being to become conscious. Not for fulfillment, happiness, joy, etc. The only true purpose to seek in relationships is to help highlight areas within ourselves that we are asleep and unconsciously reacting, and then it is our job to bring these areas into the light of our conscious awareness.
That is the function of a conscious relationship.
As I looked up to reflect upon the lesson, I noticed how in moving to the other side of the pole, I again had a view of the ocean. There were also stunning flowers sprouting from the vase on the table which perfectly framed my view. It was beautiful.
It dawned on me that the place where I now sat was ideal, in fact it was more than ideal than what I had chosen for myself moments earlier, and the universe had gifted it to me. I had nearly missed it due to my unwillingness to look past what my ego thought was happening.
The universe had guided me to move places through an interaction with other people, and what it presented to me was something better than what I had chosen for myself (along with the lesson).
This is life. That’s the way the universe works. However, we limit ourselves by attempting to control our lives from the narrow view-point of our own perspective.
If only we would surrender control and resistence to reality, then we could walk with greater ease into potentially a better experience than one we might have envisaged for ourselves.