How a Tow-Away Became a Lesson of Compassion

I rushed out in the morning just to discover that I was not going to be on time for a seminar. My car had disappeared during the night. I've always wondered how I would react to this situation. Now I wished that I wouldn't have wondered that, as the Universe was kindly providing me the experience!

Instantly, I knew that my car had been towed. In hindsight, I realized that my intuition had tried to warn me, remembering noticing the word permit written in capital letters on the asphalt, but I had thought it was okay as I had parked here the night before with no problems.

Now I was upset because I needed to pay a towing fee of $260 to get my car back! Why had I ignored the sign? Why had I trusted my friend without double-checking the parking rules? Why did this have to happen to me today? The wide road of endless self-blame was calling me. I saw all the ingredients for a major outburst. Luckily, I recalled a lesson from my professors Ron and Mary Hulnick from the University of Santa Monica. I could hear them saying in chorus in my head 'how you relate to an issue is the issue, and how you relate to yourself while you go through an issue is the issue.'

I could have chosen to blame the security guards for not advising me about their parking rules. Like seriously, who reads the small print on those visitor's permits? I could have unleashed my frustration to the clerk who worked in the towing center. Most certainly, I could have pointed my finger towards my friend and refused to take any responsibility. I could have played a role of a true victim and marinated myself in self-pity, but I chose something else.

Then I recalled another principle taught to me by my professors. I can use everything for my upliftment, growth, and learning. I could not change what had happened, but I could find a way to create something positive out of this experience, like this blog post! It was interesting to start experimenting in this new way. My first step was to acknowledge the frustration of the situation, but then I chose to just observe it without trying to make it go away. I realized that I needed to change my point of view and embrace myself and the situation with love and kindness. Even though I still found it challenging to take the full responsibility of what had happened, as it would be so much easier to play the blame game. Instead, I decided to initiate a new game where I started to call out my judgments regarding the situation. How did I handle it? I melted them one by one with compassionate self-forgiveness.

By the time I arrived at the seminar venue one hour later, still feeling a bit upset, but I was already leaning towards inner peace. When I went to a breakfast bar to get my usual morning coffee, the barista said that the coffee was on the house. I felt such gratitude for this gesture of kindness. It was a reminder from the Universe that life still loves me! I told her how much her random act of kindness meant to me, especially after my hellacious morning. Then, during the lunch break, the Universe gave me another gift. A waiter in the Italian restaurant surprised me with a delicious Tiramisu. I was so grateful to experience another random act of kindness.

I learned from this experience that magic happens when I choose to stay in my loving zone! My view in a situation truly depends on how I relate to that issue, and how I relate to myself when I'm going through the issue. I have learned that if I choose compassion, I will sail away from turmoil and knowing that the sun is always shining no matter what.