I used to do this ‘thing’ in my relationships where I’d spontaneously slip into a bad mood and, without taking the time to figure out why I was feeling that way, I’d shut out someone I loved. It was a defense mechanism that had worked for me for 30+ years. But…not only was I denying myself from feeling my emotions, I was hurting–and confusing–the person on the receiving end of my own personal “Occupy What-the-hell-is-going-on-with-me” movement. And it stunk.
This past Sunday, I started to feel that ‘thing’ suddenly creep in again. It’d been awhile so I wasn’t expecting it, just the way you don’t expect a Jehovah’s Witness to ring your doorbell at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. There was no advance warning, just a tidal wave of icky bitchiness. ‘Not again,’ I thought. This time, however–thanks to my meditation practice and studying the work of people I admire (Raphael Cushnir, Mastin Kipp, Katherine Woodward Thomas)–I was able to immediately identify the trigger: residual pain from past relationships.
So when my boyfriend called on Sunday afternoon to check in, I was a) a mess but b) able to express my emotions freely. To my surprise, I said three very important words to him:
“It’s. Just. Fear.”
After I hung up the phone, I went for a run. It seemed like a sensible antidote to the ‘stuff’ swirling around in my head. I ran faster and longer than I had in months. As I was finishing my last lap, I noticed that a vintage light blue Cadillac had pulled up and parked on the grass next to the track. It seemed strange since this was a high school and there were empty parking spaces everywhere. I spotted the driver of the Cadillac, an older man, walking in his dress shoes on the other side of the track. And then I had a crazy thought: what if this was the Universe’s message to me that I was being checked up on? What if this white-haired man (whose face I could not see) was really God–or the embodiment of the Universe–to let me know that I was doing good work and that when we do good work, God shows himself? If this was God…and God does, in fact, drive a Cadillac…well, then the Universe has a great sense of humor.