Hijacked by Anger?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Hijacked by Anger?Here’s your escape hatch!
Traveling from Chicago to Kona, in Hawaii, to accept an invitation to become a member of the Transformational Leadership Circle (a group of progressive spiritual teachers from all over the world), I was seated in front of a woman who spoke nonstop at the top of her lungs to the bleary-eyed, boundary-challenged seatmate next to her. At first I tuned her out with my iPod and noise-canceling headphones, but soon my batteries gave out, and once again, I was subjected to her endless stream of negative ranting.
I heard about her mother’s bathroom habits; the sales at Walmart versus K-mart; the obnoxious ways of her last three husbands; and the troubles she had with her dentures, hemorrhoids, cataracts, bunions, and wrinkle-cream allergies. She didn’t come up for a breath. Her voice was grating on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. Desperate for relief, my eyes darted around the plane for an empty seat to escape to. No luck. Every seat was taken. Trying to divert my attention, I picked up my book, hoping that it would distract me from the endless drone buzzing in the back of my head. I couldn’t even concentrate on one sentence. As if held prisoner, all my mind could do was wince at her every word, secretly plotting a million ways to turn around and scream, “Lady, will you please shut up!” The irony of going to be elected as a spiritual leader while secretly plotting to strangle the lady behind me was not lost on me.
The choice was simple. I could travel in psychic misery and suffer the indignity of being subjected to her banal blabber and victimized by her merciless drone, boiling in frustration and irritation until I could hardly restrain myself; or I could travel at the speed of love—peaceful, calm, and at ease. Honestly, the choice wasn’t easy. I was “in it,” meaning my ego had been sufficiently agitated and the beast had been let out of her cage. I was upset and wanted to let her know it.
It’s interesting to note just how intense being seized by the ego’s irritations can be. I had to make a choice. I turned around, looked the woman straight in the eye, and placed one finger in front of my lips, as if to suggest “Shh . . . be quiet!” She looked at me as though I had slapped her, and she stopped talking. I relaxed, Whew! Yes. Quiet. I turned around. Two short seconds later, she tapped me sharply on the shoulder.
“Excuse me. Are you implying that I’m talking too loud?”
Surprised, and just a little scared, I nodded my head, smiled, and whispered, “Just a little.”
“Well,” she snapped back. “I never!” Then she began to stage-whisper a loud, harsh “Screw you, lady” diatribe against me, which lasted a full five minutes, before she jumped back to her previous discourse and continued her nonstop babble at full volume.
What to do? How do you travel at the speed of love when you have someone behind you irritating the hell out of you, and they either don’t know or don’t care?
This is exactly the time to reach for the escape hatch from the ego and lift up. In other words, bring your attention to the energetic portal located in the very center of your heart, and begin to vibrate on a higher level. The way to enter the portal isn’t difficult. Just breathe and, with focus and concentration, open your heart. Breathe and connect with your Spirit. Breathe and accept, rather than fight what’s going on. Study the difficult situation you find yourself in with compassion, and find love for it all.
I turned around and sneaked a peek. The woman was anxious and lonely. She filled her emptiness and fear with words. She didn’t want to feel her anxiety, so she talked over it. Words were her drug. She was so frightened of her loneliness, she was unaware of anything else. I was grateful that I wasn’t in her position. Compassion replaced irritation. I understood her compulsion to talk and freed myself from being angered by it. She was simply self-soothing. I needed to do the same. The enraged beast of my ego gave one final inner growl, but then returned to its corner and quieted down. As soon as I realized her behavior wasn’t meant to be so obnoxious, I calmed down. I returned to myself. I found the portal to my heart and up I went. My heart expanded. My imagination shifted to peaceful images. I focused on the approaching island: the beauty, the ocean, the flowers, the dolphins, the sweetness of the earth. I drifted into my own daydreams. I breathed into my peace. I became lost in the beauty of my imagination for a long time. My eyes closed; eventually my mind relaxed. I felt quiet, an aura of calm surrounding me. It was peaceful. Moments later, I realized that light was flowing throughout my entire body.
The chattering woman was sleeping, and glancing backward, I could see she had a peaceful look on her face as well. With my newfound peace came some newfound insight. The first was that we cannot change another person, ever. Moreover, when aggravated by another, we cannot fight the situation either. All we can do is remember that there’s an escape hatch from all that bothers us in life, a secret portal through which we can slip into tranquility; and once we do, everything that’s bothering us will cease to irritate. That portal is one of love, and it’s located in the center of the heart. Once we focus on the heart, we begin to spiral up into a vortex of positive energy, leaving the aggravation far below.