Enough Already

She said, “Enough already,” as she aggressively brushed by me in the grocery store.  I was talking to my sister on the phone, enthusiastically sharing the details of my weekend.  I immediately sensed that the comment was directed at me. I let my sister know I had to go and hung up.  My face flushed, and I felt a surge of reactive energy in my body, signaling the familiar readiness for a fight.
I had a choice; this realization alone spoke volumes to my personal transformation.  I took three full breaths and found my feet- a practiced gateway to consciousness for me.  It thwarted the roaring, circular movement in my belly and led to a place of remembrance.  As my system slowed, I recalled my intention for living: to travel the high road. I want to feel good.  I want to be free of conditioned patterns of reactivity. I want to embody joy.
I searched the store for the woman, already knowing that I did not want to defend myself or convince her that I was “right”. I found her standing by the bread counter and asked, “Were you talking to me?” She curtly replied, “Yes, I was talking to you.  You were so loud on the phone.” As a keen observer of body language, I could see her readiness for battle. Her eyes were beady and her face red and hardened.  I took a conscious breath and said, “I am so sorry I upset you. You are right- in my excitement on the phone I got too loud.  I can see how it could upset you and others.  I will note my excessive volume in the future and refrain from it.” Her body softened, eyes widened, and normal facial color began to return. She then apologized to me, admitting that she was often guilty of the same “crime”. We parted ways, and I took another full breath. It was over. There would be no recycling of the drama. I would not carry this story home with me and prolong it for another day or two- my old pattern for such encounters.
To me, we take the high road when we choose to live our grace, as opposed to intellectualizing it. We put down our swords and shields. We understand that there is a high price to be paid for letting circumstances hijack our composure, contract our cells, and diminish our precious energy. We give way to others.  We go first. We know that that is our privilege. And, at the end of the day, instead of rehashing our story about how we felt wronged and the retaliation we sought to “feel better”, we meet our families with presence and love, eager to see and hear them.