I was in the Post Office today with Abandon, her wearing a bright red harness with her Service Dog I.D. card and me wearing the same clothes I’ve been wearing for the past three days. Abandon is very well trained and sat by my side as I waited on line.
When I got to the open window, the postal worker at the other window–a man who I had shared a few brief talks and laughs with and even gave a $50 gift card to a supplement company that I am affiliated with–elevated from his seat and came over to my window, “You can’t have a dog in here. I like dogs as much as the next person but it can’t be in here.”
Tired of being harassed, and actually legally correct for a change, I said with mild vitriole, “She has a service dog tag. Do you want to see it?”
“Yes, I’d like to see it,” he said, seeming more challenging than authentic with this.
“This is what you left your window for?” I said somewhat condescendingly.
That was the end of our interaction for the moment, as I focused my business on money orders and stamps with Kesha (without the dollar sign), who gave me a smile that said she was on my side and as much as I like teammates, as long as there are “sides” we all lose.
I dug into my mind with the language of psychology and saw that my snappy response was due to anger and frustration at a world with so many rules and enforcers who were messing with me just wanting to live my life with its own expression, unobstructed. This was probably why I have issues with authority and have been fired from most of the jobs I’ve held.
I dug into my soul with yoga and asked, “Who is angry?” and reconnected with my understanding that Who I Am is untouched by the nonsense I allow ego to create like a theatrical production. And yet, like most others, I still allow external stimuli to send me into a state of unconsciousness that has me identify with thoughts and feelings and philosophies.
When I finished with Kesha, I immediately went up to the window where my ego sparring partner was and said, “I’m sorry for speaking rudely to you. I got a little defensive but that is my issue not yours.”
He smiled the broad smile not of a man gloating because he had won an argument but of a man who found a long lost friend. And despite there being a bulletproof glass partition between us, we felt as close as a hug.
So many seek to “win a competition” in their social interactions and forget that we are all on the same team. Sometimes your teammates score the winning goal and sometimes they cause the losing one–but they are your teammates and that is more important than any silly game. Even if you do manage to “win” the game, your teammates hugs are worth more than any trophy or newspaper headline. And, win or lose, you can always hug a friend.