I’m noticing that I spend the majority of my day thinking about what other people think. I’m not just referring to what others think about my outfit, or hair. What I’m talking about is the never-ending contemplation of why people do what they do. Why someone called or didn’t call me—why someone said or didn’t say something. My mind swirls madly with what I assume others are thinking. Usually these thoughts are very unpleasant.
While on my bicycle, glad to be returning home from a work appointment around 7:45 this morning., I was waiting at a red light and someone honked at me. In slight irritation, I turned back to see who honked. It was a woman in a car attempting to make a right-hand turn. Luckily when I turned back around, the light turned green.
Within those seconds I created reasons for not moving. All based on what I thought the “honker” was thinking. “She’s running late, needs to take her children to school so she’s regressing her anger towards me. She’s a bitch and has no concern for me as a biker and what I must do in order for her to make a right-hand turn. She herself has never been in my situation before and thus has no empathy or understanding for who has the right away in this scenario.” All of these thoughts and more popped into my head, supporting my defense. Within 10 seconds I was able, (so I thought) to figure out why she honked, what her day was like, what her life must be like and what she thought of me.
On any other day I would have carried that anger along with me the rest of the day. I did not this morning. I recognized that she had her shit going on in her life and so did I. Despite the assumptions and judgments I made about her, I had to omit to the fact that I was in the way of her car making a right hand turn and so she honked. Nothing more. The reality of that situation was all I could digest. I chose not to let that minor incident ruin my day.
My perception of people and circumstances are all in my world of thought. Nowhere else. What goes on in my head goes a mile a minute, and I can create heaven or hell. Will taking myself out of my brain and in the world of reality give me a clearer perception of life? I’m uncertain but I hope so.