Someone blocked my car again, only this time it caused me to miss an appointment with a client. This is a good example of how different orientations of belief will yield different feelings. I could have been the kind of person who treats everything as coincidence and only has my own needs in mind and not feel that anything at all is demanded of me. In that case I would let loose with anger with no holds barred. Alternatively I could have said, everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be. Every single moment has meaning and I know what that meaning is. I was blocked a few weeks ago and that means I’m blocked…
No! Everything is not the way it’s supposed to be and I’m supposed to do something about it. God didn’t necessarily have to plan for this to happen to me in order to expect me to respond to it in a certain way.
Should I be asking why this is happening? – Is it direct divine intervention or indirect? Punishment? A test? The way of the world? Is God actively intervening in my life right now to make this happen or to stop it from happening? I don’t know and I don’t care! That kind of thinking isn’t going to bring me to take a stand towards what’s happening.
One thing I know: God may not be actively intervening but God is involved. God is a behind-the-scenes educator. Divine guidance is complex and comes in all kinds of mysterious ways. It’s based on my spiritual level, my degree of trust, what I’m doing right now, what I’ve done in the past, who I essentially am and where I need to get to. Whether my relationship with God is close or distant, whether He is intervening with miracles or allowing me to make my own mistakes, God is always with me, always watching me, always interested in me, always waiting for me. What I do matters. I’m never alone. I’m never abandoned. My life was not some kind of mistake. Life is not chaotic and meaningless.
Therefore I will respond from a place of making God proud of me, imagining He’s watching from afar and rooting for me. I will respond from a place of being who I am and who I can become at the same time, from a place of a settled mind.
What is meaning of this situation? What does it require of me? I’ve never been in exactly this kind of situation before and never will be again. Even if I could recall a similar situation, I would never be the same person as I am right now.
This reality demands a response from me. “Response” doesn’t mean discounting my feelings and only functioning on the behavioral level. It means gathering all the information including my feelings and the other person and my values and look at my options.
Of all the options open to me only one made sense. – Figure out what my feelings are and then be honest about them. Seize the day! This was an opportunity to be assertive without being either nasty or apathetic, to confront from a standpoint of tolerance and acceptance. I asked myself, as a logotherapist and religious Jew, where is the hidden value here? Maybe I can contribute towards making a better world in some small way, to glorifying the name of God.
Let me be tolerant while communicating my displeasure. – I said, “Do you know what you just did? You made me late for my appointment with a client and because of that you made me lose 200 shekels.” “Do you want me to give you 200 shekels?” he said. “No,” I said. “I just want you to know that this is what happened because of what you did, and think about that next time.” Of course when I drove off I muttered to myself, “Idiot!” – Hey, I’m not perfect.