This post is going to take a while to read, so grab your poison of choice and get comfortable :)
You could say that yesterday was a wreck. At least, it felt like that for the most part!
I’d gone to the airport to meet my sister who was flying interstate from Melbourne. I thought she was arriving at 12 noon but her flight wasn’t actually due till 1.15pm – 1st oversight on my part.
Next, I was convinced she was flying Qantas as that was the airlines she’d flown coming in from overseas – 2nd oversight on my part.
I got to the airport by 11.15am, much earlier than I needed to be. I was taing a new route to the airport and had allowed myself extra time.
I hadn’t seen my sister in over 2 years and I was quietly excited about spending the next four days on our own – something we’ve rarely had a chance to do as we’ve always had the company of other family members and friends on the rare occasions our schedules allowed us to meet across continents.
I knew we’d spend a good bit of our time talking about the thing that matters most to us – our ongoing spiritual awakening – and I was so looking forward to it.
Well, 12 noon arrived and no sister. 1 pm arrived and still no sister. 2pm and I knew something was amiss.
I’d paced the domestic airport arrivals lounge and allowed my excitement to build up each time I saw a bunch of people or a single figure appear at the top of the escalator. And each time, my spirit flagged when I didn’t see the face I was expecting!
It was a long wait, not just in hours but especially in the cycles of anticipation and disappointment! I’d also not had a drop to drink nor a bite to eat.
By 2.15pm, I knew I had to do something. Three flights from Melbourne had landed by this time. There’d been no cancellations or delays. Where could she be? Why hadn’t she called me? Surely she would think to have the airport help desk page me? Besides, we’d confirmed just the night before that she was arriving at the domestic airport and that I’d be there to meet her. Out of desperation, I decided I would go and check the international terminal just in case.
Before I went to my car, I stopped at a parking ticket machine to pay for my parking but the machine swallowed my ticket, refused to accept my $20 note and wouldn’t respond to the ‘Cancel’ button.
I pressed the intercom button which, fortunately, did work and got to speak to someone and explained the situation. I was told to pay at the exit gate. I did.
I drove in the unrelenting heat (the air conditioning in my car had packed in) to the International terminal, about a 7 minute drive, parked my car and raced over to the arrivals lounge. It had been almost a year since I’d been at that terminal and much had changed.
The arrivals lounge was almost deserted but for a solitary man. It was clear she wasn’t there and I started debating with myself whether to return to the domestic terminal or head home and call the place in Melbourne where she’d been staying the last couple of weeks. (She’d gone down for a conference).
Driving out of the car park, I noticed all four lanes to the exit gates had overhead signs saying ‘Prepaid Tickets’. I had not noticed any parking ticket machines either on my way to or from the arrivals lounge. They certainly were not where they used to be.
I realized I would not be able to pay at the gate. I drove back into the parking area, went looking for the machines and finally had to ask someone. She pointed to a corridor where they were all standing like sentry. Why wasn’t there any signage to those machines?
All this time, thoughts about my sister were running through my mind with the heat urging them on! They vacillated between unjustifiable anger and frustration towards her for not being where she was supposed to be when she was supposed to, to concern for her as this was her first time in this city.
I was finally on route home, some four hours since I’d set out in the morning, when my car brakes went! How was I going to return to the airport if I needed to? Would I get home without an accident? When would I be able to get my brakes serviced? How would we manage without a car?
I was beginning to feel that the day that had started so well had turned into a disaster. I soon realized, however, that that kind of thinking wasn’t going to help.
I switched to thinking about how I would want the day to go from this point. I also wondered why it hadn’t gone the way I’d imagined it. What was happening here?
On some level, I sensed a greater purpose to all this although I could not yet see the ‘details’. In the meantime, however, things were getting almost unbearable.
I did manage to get myself home safely when a friend called. I told him about the situation and he volunteered to go to the airport himself since he lives closer to it than I do.
In the meantime, my sister had called my landline (the number of which she had) and had left a message saying that she’d been waiting over two hours! I was both relieved and frustrated — relieved that she was safe and that both our waiting would finally be over. Relieved also that all the anxiety and frustration that go with waiting and having your best plans thwarted were nearly gone.
But how on earth had we missed each other? Still, my friend would be picking her up and bringing her home which he did, about an hour and a half later by which time I’d cooled off physically and emotionally.
What a day! I don’t believe in punishment, but it certainly felt like a punishing day! Why? What on earth had I done to deserve this?
It is at trying times that questions about things that I no longer believe in or value seem to turn up as if to have another go and getting me to reinstate those old beliefs and values! Questions about punishment and deserving things. And there emerged doubts about being a conscious creator.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by them. It’s easy to abandon your desire for freedom and joy and conscious creation when you cannot find ready answers to questions that challenge your desire, your beliefs.
I have learned to recognize some of these questions as old, unhelpful habits of a conditioned mind, a mind conditioned to be afraid to desire good things, a mind not yet prepared to take responsibility for its creations!
And it’s these moments of self-reflection, of remembering, observing and recognizing the habits of the mind that take us to the windows of inner happiness.
And it is the fresh permission we give to our desire for something better that throws wide open the windows to inner happiness!
Awakening to Happiness, Prosperity and Freedom!