It is amazing how easily we humans exhibit our propensity to being annoyed. And its not just me. The people I talk to say it is the same for them. We notice, in big ways or small ones, a trigger of annoyance that we did not get what we wanted or thought we deserved, and “BANG” we curdle like milk with lemon juice.
I noticed it just yesterday. I was driving home and there, in front of me were orange cones. Workers were trimming trees. Rude! I was peaceful and perhaps even a bit happy in the car. And the second I saw my street blocked, I could feel annoyance flash through my body as if someone had injected acid into my arteries. Frustration flashed from my chest upward to my face and downward to my – well, my nether-regions. My core was converted from peace to anxiety and even frustration. And what did I want that I was not getting? A straight path home. As it was, I only had to detour one little block. Not like I had to hike around a mountain! I wondered – “why did they not do this tree trimming in the morning when I was not using the road? Why did they have to close the whole street? Why did this happen when I was in a hurry? “
We want the world to be what we want and we want our wants served. And then we get annoyed by the bumps along he way of our path. But what if we used those little upsets to train our minds and hearts and souls to not be triggered by annoyances? What if those little upsets were not able to harm us? To annoy us? What if we were not triggered – so that when big things happen we are prepared with inner strength.
Once there was an native American indian who was upset that, from time to time, he stepped on twigs and roots and stones; and it hurt his tender foot. These twigs and roots and stones annoyed him every time he felt one on his soft skin as he walked. So he decided to cover the whole world in the skins of cows, so that when he walked, no root nor stone nor stick would hurt his soft sole. But the village said no. They said he could not find so many cows to cover the land and even if he could, he may not use them that way. So one shaman sowed him a pair of moccasins – leather, which covered each foot. He was delighted that, as he walked, the sharp things of the land did not hurt his feet.
Perhaps rather than trying to stop our wives and husbands, our children and bosses, our politicians and neighbors from making us annoyed; perhaps we might simply train our own minds to greet disappointment, betrayal, upset, regret, loss with curiosity rather than with anger. In that way, we wear moccasins rather than covering the planet with cow hides or bubble wrap.