I was running late, driving around, lost in an unsafe part of the city, my GPS annoyingly silent as I tried to navigate my way back to where the concert I was attending was being held. My frustration and anger were quickly escalating, as every single light that I approached turned red, delaying me even more. As I finally approached my destination, the parking garage—the only safe place where I knew to park—was full.
My rage couldn’t be contained, I began yelling loudly and cursing in my car. My son’s recommendation to arrive early, as the garage fills up quickly, played back in my mind, along with the self-recrimination, you should have left the meeting earlier to give yourself more time, you should have been better prepared…etc. These thoughts fueled my anger even more, bringing on even more yelling at myself. I was supposed to be here having fun, not driving around in like this. I finally found a place to park, unsure of how close I was to the venue, and whether or not it was even a safe area to park because I was alone. I hoped for the best.
I was relieved to find that I was only a block over from the theater. I took my place in the line to get in, noting that if I had arrived earlier I only would have waited in line longer. Instead of paying for parking in the garage like I had intended, I found free parking on the street. My anger dissipated.
I entered the theater, found a spot near the stage and began talking with some of the people near me. I began to relax and enjoy myself as the music played. Throughout the concert my mind would wander back to the stressful events of trying to get there. I felt bad about how angry I became, how I had yelled and cursed so loudly in my car. I silently reprimanded myself, you have so much to be thankful for, so many blessings, so many things going right in your life, why did you behave like that, why did you get so angry? Despite my occasional internal scolding, I enjoyed the concert immensely. There is something about appreciating an artist’s talent and music along with several hundred other people that is magical to me.
I arrived home after the concert and began replaying the evening’s events over in my mind, including the stressful trip to get there. As I reflected on how I had behaved, instead of judging myself, I heard an inner voice instead say, what makes you think that it was not ok to get so angry and frustrated? Who said it was wrong to get so angry and then vent like you did? That it was not all in its perfection? The same person who always does: ME.
In truth, I am always the one who judges things harshly, determining what should or should not be. I am merciless with my assessment of how things should be. I am hard on myself and others because of it. I criticize myself for emotionally eating when I am not hungry, for being unorganized, for not looking how I should, not feeling how I think I should (happy and joyous all the time), etc. The list of how I and my reality never quite measure up to my expectations of how they should be is endless. I try to control and manipulate things so that I can “feel better.” I set daily goals that I don’t keep for myself. I plan and schedule every moment of my time then wonder, why do I feel so overburdened? I leave little room for spontaneity, and when I do allow myself some flexibility I feel anxious because I am not getting something else done off my things-to-do list. I am valiant in my effort to make everything perfect!
The gentle reminder of, who said you were not perfect in your anger, in your sadness, in how you look or feel in every moment, or how things look in your world, brings an understanding and release. I do not need to try to control the outer world or have it look a certain way. I do not need others to be a certain way for me to be happy or feel good. The perfection is already present; all I have to do is release my resistance to it by believing it is exactly the way it should be.
The true celebration of life is accepting all without judging and resisting. For it is all here to serve, the darkness and the light. Honoring and appreciating both—that is the presence of perfection.
Ann Darwicki RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associates Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a life long affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302.750.0574 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.