On Netflix, I have been watching the series “Life”. It’s about a man who is wrongly incarcerated. While in prison, he discovers zen principles and puts them to work in his life as a detective. He never directly answers a question, all his remarks are ethereal and designed, I think, to keep him at peace, but not fix other’s problems. It makes me laugh and at times it is annoying, but I decided to put some of it to the test in my own life. Here’s how it went down one day at work:
A boy was cutting in line and being disruptive, kids around him were getting frustrated. I could tell they were getting frustrated because they were raising their voice and telling him to stop doing whatever it was he was doing. For expedient’s sake, I asked the boy causing the problems to go to the end of the line. I say ask, but actually I told him.
He started walking back, but on his way, he started yelling all kinds of things, use your imagination here, but finally, he yelled the question, “why do I have to go to the end of the line?”
I responded in my new experimental zen-like way with, “why is the sky blue?”
The boy looked shocked but he stopped yelling. Then a girl in the line says, “yeah, right, I have always wanted to know why the sky is blue”. Another child pipes in but I am no longer listening, I am watching the boy at the end of the line and trying to hold back a laugh ( I never said I was great with kids). He was in shock, speechless, or yell-less as the case may be. He appeared to be pondering the new question – why is the sky blue? We all pondered it until, at last I said, I guess God wanted the sky blue and they were satisfied with that and we went out to play.
I am sure it would be annoying to others if every time they tried to put their problem on me, I could use words, zen-like or not, to let the problem fall exactly where it needs to fall – in their lap, but I think for me, it would be a great relief and help me stay at peace if I could do just that. It would aid tremendously in the healing God is doing in my body to just refuse to take on what is not mine to take on. I am positive that much of my emotional pain for most of my life has been due to my inability to do this and I becoming more convinced that many of the pains in my body are related to this emotional burden. I tend to try and fix things and when I can’t, I internalize the mess and believe it is due to some lacking on my part. Do I hear codependency in here?!?!?
I am reminded again of the powerful and freeing concepts found in the Serenity Prayer:
Have you had similar experiences? I’d love to hear about them? Do you watch the show “Life”? Does he drive you nuts and make you laugh all at the same time?
pic credit 1: etsy.com
pic credit 2: madaminsideout.wordpress.com