I had attended one of Jennifer Prugh’s Foundation of Flow/Meditation class recently and the theme to her class was to dedicate the practice to someone we know who is suffering and to wish them well.

I had asked my heart to whom I should dedicate this session to and he reminded me of a recent road rage incident. Gordo, a nickname whom I have given to the middle age Mexican man, taught me a life lesson about compassion and forgiveness.

A few weeks ago, I was driving my Nissan, “The Un-Prius,” as I called my 15 miles per gallon V8 truck, on the freeway heading going home. I usually have the music blasting to the tunes of my favorite Black Eye Peas songs while driving. However, I wanted some peace and quiet that day because I was really angry. I wanted to calm my mind through silence and breathing and that was when my rage boomerang back at me.

As I exited off the freeway, I looked up my rear view mirror and noticed a dinged up 1975 silver Toyota Celica fast approaching me. When he came close enough for me to see his face, I saw a Hispanic man in his early 40s screaming and waving his arms ecstatically and yelling at me.

My first thought was, “Is he trying to warn me that there is something wrong with my vehicle because I have a flat tire?”

I had ignored him and continue to drive after the light turned green. At the second stop light, I saw the mid age man screaming at me again and now I know for sure he was upset at me.

I thought to myself, “What the heck did I do to you? I was minding my own business. Truly you got the wrong person. So what gives?”

When we both came to a full stop at the red light, Gordo got out of his car, started to run towards me with his large belly giggling up and down. He got right next to my car door and started screaming something in Spanish as he stood in the middle of the street. I told him, “I do not understand what you are saying and if I cut you off, I’m really sorry.”

Gordo did not care what I had to say even if he could understand me. Just then he wound up his left arm getting ready to punch me through the driver window. During that split second, I wanted to punch him first to protect myself. However, for some reason, my heart told me not to extend my arm because he wasn’t angry. He was just really hurt inside.

Something strange happened. He unwound his fist, withdrew his anger, and walked back to his car. When the light turned green, I drove off and continued to send thoughts of compassion and forgiveness to him.

Before Jennifer’s class, I didn’t understand why Gordo was so upset at me other than I might have cut him off on the freeway. After the meditation session, I had another prospective where that Toyota might have been Gordo’s only transportation, and he might not have auto insurance let alone medical insurance. If one does not have auto insurance in California, the driver is at fault and will also lose his driver’s license.

If Gordo had gotten into a car accident, he would have lost his driving privilege by three years, and not have the money to repair his car. If he was hurt from the accident, he won’t be able to cover his medical expenses. More importantly, he may be the only breadwinner in his family supporting his wife and three kids. If he is injured, who will be supporting his family?

I realized that underneath the anger, he was really afraid and hurt. Everyone has his or her own suffering underneath it all. Often times we use anger as a façade to protect ourselves as a form of self-defense mechanism.

When we are in an angry state, we are walking through life as if we have blinds covering the side of our eyes like the horses pulling the carriage in New York’s Central Park. We only see what is wrong with our lives and what is wrong with others and nothing else.

When we’re in that un-resourceful state, we blind ourselves from gratitude, compassion and forgiveness that empower us. The feeling of hate just makes us bitter in life, a life that hurts everyone around us, and even random strangers.

“Choose gratitude, compassion and forgiveness,” my heart says.

Spread Love, Joy, and…Peace.

*If you like this blog, please help support me by forward this to your friends. Feel free also to leave feedback and/or questions I’ll do my best to respond.

Live.Love.Journey!

Advertisements