A few days ago, after checking first, to make sure I wasn't being followed closely enough to be rear-ended, I slowed to stop for a pedestrian at an unmarked crossing, and when he looked at me to make sure that's what I was doing, I waved him on. He was young, in his early twenties at the most, and when he smiled, gave a wave of thanks, and stepped off jauntily to cross the four lanes of traffic, a shattering blast of horn broke out behind me. He froze in front of my car - he knew that I, at least, knew he was there and wouldn't mow him down.
A look in my rearview mirror, and I saw the man in the large pickup behind me, wave his arms in that gesture meaning, "What are you doing!"
I pointed to the pedestrian, wondering if the driver hadn't seen him, and was thinking I'd stopped at the end of the block for no real reason.
His response was to punch the fist of one hand, violently into the palm of the other, face suffused with rage.
I thought of the phrase I use as a meditative tool: "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." and not knowing I was about to do so, blew the enraged driver a kiss.
Rather than respond with increased fury, the driver's rage seemed to deflate; he changed lanes and dropped back. It was as though he'd lost interest in that which had so infuriated him just a moment before.
I thought of myself, so angry at everything when I came into this program, so completely unable to see my own part in the troubles of my life, so desperately longing for connection and a sense of love, and yet unable to attain it, becauce first, I had to understand that if I wish to have a friend, I must be one. If I wish love, I need to behave in a way that does not alienate and hurt the people in my life.
We none of us live in a vacuum, but so many of us newly in, are self-absorbed to the point we are unable to recognise the pain that we have called. We rationalise all of that.
Step 4, we stop with the game-playing and the blaming. We accept that each of us has human frailty, and admit that we have done some harm ourselves.