One of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons involves Homer being caught in a situation in which he is utterly without beer or television, and subsequently goes mad. The past couple of days I have humorously found myself in such a position.
I have no internet access and no television. As soon as the repair people can make it over to my place they will find out what is wrong and fix the problem, but for now I have neither. Moreover, I realized a couple of days ago that I am out of cellphone data, leaving me without internet more completely than I otherwise would have been. So how am I even writing this post? I’m staying late at my place of work where the internet is gloriously plentiful!
Going without internet and TV is not a problem, but as I have discovered, my ego feels differently. Last night when I realized that there wasn’t any quick fix to the issue I immediately became stressed. I started to think about all of the work I had to do that I couldn’t get done, and all of the essential tasks that I had planned on completing which require the use of the internet. (I am also a big TV fan but I find that a lot easier to let go of).
My boyfriend taught me a great lesson in not perpetuating stress when he left me to myself for a moment and decided not to become stressed out by the situation along with me. It is so easy to take on the emotions of others you are close to, but it also creates more of that which is causing the pain. Along with this great reminder of how to stay present even when those around you are taken over by thoughts or emotions, I also found out how attached I was to these luxuries. I had become identified with my outer circumstance.
I showered and listened to Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, which I find always snaps me out of identification with form, the ego. The more present I became, the more I smiled at my ego. In the calming hot water it became easier to see that the voice in my head was attached to the situation and to the idea that my needs were not being met.
A great teacher recently talked to me about seeing the world as God, or the universe, sees the world. This means looking at the world just as it is, with complete acceptance. I didn’t know how I was going to get directions to all of the places I had to visit today. I didn’t know how I was going to email myself a lesson plan, or write on my blog. But when I took a moment to look at my situation without demanding it be a certain way there was no longer any stress, there was no longer anything to worry about. As the invaluable quote, which I often use to comfort myself in times of stress or worry, from the movie Gravity states, “no harm, no foul.”