Reality shifted on me the other day, and it helped me realize that I have more control than my “preshifted” thoughts allowed me to see. Now, with a “time-control outlook,” I can try to change my world for the better.
I was an hour late for services Sunday. But I didn’t know it. The time was changed in the United States as we reverted back to Daylight Saving Time. All clocks had to “spring forward” a full hour. So, instead of arriving well before 10 A.M., I went strolling pass the prayerful a whopping hour late.
I thought I was early, having parked about 10 minutes before the “old time.” I saw my friend Greg chatting with someone outside the entrance doors. I believed many of the faithful were inside preparing things for the weekly gathering. In “reality,” Greg was catching a smoke during a break in the service. I did not know this walking in with him, even though I was surprised to see so many people had arrived and already had taken their places. I nodded to some of these “early birds” and quietly said hello to some wide-eyed meditators.
It wasn’t until after the service that I realized something was amiss. It ended a full hour earlier than usual. Could they have started at a different time and I simply missed the message? Something was wrong. But, I didn’t feel wrong.
That was the gist of the shift in reality. I felt no guilt or angst that would have normally accompanied me when running late. I usually drive faster and push myself when late, becoming more and more angry for being so careless. Why do I constantly put myself in such stressful situations, I ask myself, rushing here and there to keep an appointment and be “on time?”
Whose time is it, really? You think the Creator is going to get so ticked off He’ll send a 5-star calamity my way? Or am I more concerned about what I perceive is my reputation? Will it suffer when others see how disrespectful and slovenly I was to treat their company, their prayers, and their supplications by arriving late?
I felt peaceful driving the 20 minutes from home to Center City Philadelphia. I was going to mingle with like-minded friends; I was in a good mood, in no rush, and content with the flow of traffic winding its way some 15 miles from Conshohocken.
The mood remained fixed throughout the time with my fellow practitioners, as we contemplated compassion and understanding for each other and all sentient beings. There was no anger, no sense of desperation that I might have felt had I viewed time differently.
I avoided all the pitfalls such anxiety might have caused through my lateness. Instead of remorse and good old Catholic guilt, I felt nothing except good old-fashioned goodness.
More importantly, I learned that the way I look at things can shape and form my reality. I’m not advocating a complete ignorance of the world around me, but only a shift in the “intent” of viewing the world. I want to see a world without fear, anger, and hurt as much as possible. I can shape reality by shifting the emphasis I place on my outlook, my attitude, and my intent.
I don’t need a clock to dictate reality to me. I can transform it with kindness and loving affection for all.