May I share a little story this morning? It’s about my airplane flight from Hancock to Chicago last month. A fellow sat next to me. A big guy. Not overweight, simply big. That’s fine. Except he took over our armrest. I had no place to rest my arm. Shame on him!
The mind started imagining all sorts of stories. The arrogance of that fellow! The conceit! Did he realize he was invading my personal space? Plus, he didn’t even have the politeness to say hello. Fie on him!
The thoughts fumed for a while. I watched them fume. I craftily asserted my arm space when he reached for a magazine. We sat in silence.
Eventually, I rested in the silence between thoughts. You know, the heart space where we might suddenly remember this isn’t a sham of a human being. He is a fellow traveler, just like you or me. He probably hurts about something. Who knows, maybe he’s not even aware that he’s taking up so much space. Maybe he can’t help himself. Maybe there’s something to learn here.
Ego makes room for spirit. Space opens up, large enough for all thoughts and feelings.
I settled in that heart space, breathing. I included his large presence in my meditation. My heart softened a bit more. OK, maybe he was welcome in this space. Maybe there is a part of me that’s not comfortable being big. Maybe there is a part that wants to be bigger. Maybe there’s a part that hasn’t learned to embrace its own perception of arrogance.
Two-thirds into the trip I ventured to ask him a question about his destination. We chatted, back and forth, sharing rudimentary information.
He asked how long I had between flights.
“Almost two hours,” I said.
“Would you like to hang out in the United lounge?” he inquired. “I will be with someone else, but would love to give you the opportunity. There are free drinks and a nice buffet. There is also wi-fi, comfy chairs and it’s quiet. I would love for you to be my guest.”
I agreed. Smiled at what the Universe does when boundaries are stretched. When dissonance is invited into meditation. When something or someone disliked is included in the heart. You never know what might happen then, do you?
Have you experienced a gift like this after spiritually opening your perception?