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Gaining Self-Knowledge on My Trip to the Mechanic

pavlin
Experience submitted by Pavlin Boev

All throughout my life, I have often wondered why communicating with some people is smooth and getting along with them seems natural, whereas with others there always seems to be some kind of tension – the feeling of having something unspoken between you, if not open conflict.

Coming across Belsebuub’s work has been a revealing journey of learning how my communication with other people is more than just words and gestures.

Communication Beyond Words and Gestures

In this video (around 7:30), Belsebuub talks about how negative feelings towards another person can be picked up and felt by them, and thus create a reaction back to us. In this way tension and arguments can be generated.

In my everyday communication with other people I have been able to confirm this many times. Sometimes I have sensed the other person’s mood or negativity influencing me, and other times, regrettably I have been the source of negativity, only to see the consequences later.

I will share one experience that helped me see the value of trying to activate my consciousness, which Belsebuub explains is the spiritual part within that is different from the usual chaos, negativity and pleasures that are referred to as ego states.

A Visit to the Car Mechanic

There was a time when I went to have the oil changed in my car. I went to a place that was recommended to me and I hadn’t been there before. I arrived and as I got out of the car I greeted the mechanic and asked if they could work on my car. He looked at me with an annoyed expression and just gestured at a spot, almost commanding me to park the car there. This surprised me.

As I was moving the car, I still felt surprised by his attitude and I could sense my response to this negativity in my own negativity. I felt heaviness in my solar plexus and my thoughts varied from ‘I want to run away‘ to ‘who is he to be talking to me like that‘, but simultaneously I knew that I didn’t want to be in this internal state.

Winner or Loser

I knew this was a game of egos, where the more negative person would be perceived as the ‘winner‘. I didn’t want to be a winner or a loser – I didn’t want to participate. Yet I felt how I was involuntarily being dragged into it through my own automatic reaction, with anger and hurt building up in my solar plexus and my mind plotting all kinds of spiteful responses.

As I turned off the engine I went outside and looked at the sky, I prayed that all this heaviness may be taken away and that I can be clear. I prayed that I may not bring this negativity out into the outside world. I also said in my mind that I don’t want to be fighting with this man. For a second I had an understanding of the heaviness of his way of being and I felt compassion for his compulsion to act like that.

Public domain image found here. (Image has been modified)
Public domain image found here. (Image has been modified)

After a few minutes, I was called in by the mechanic to give some information about the car and what I wanted to have changed. I tried to ground myself into the moment and be as clear as possible in my mind and emotions.

He didn’t try to hide his judgment of and dissatisfaction with some of my answers. I tried to stay ‘sealed’ internally, keep my clarity and focus on completing the procedure. Being aware of the other person’s negativity towards me didn’t make it pleasant, but it allowed me not to be drained of my own energy and to respond as best as I could. Even though it seemed like no matter what I said, it was met with the same attitude.

Turning Point

Then the mechanic and his workmates started working on the car. They were quite efficient and were soon finished. I went to pay and as I came back and prepared to start the engine, the same mechanic came to my window, handing me a plastic bottle and saying in a friendly way: “Here is the leftover of your oil.

His use of the polite form of ‘you‘ in my native Bulgarian language was a change of attitude that I didn’t expect. Was this the same person?

I was grateful that my prayer had been answered instantly and I was able to stay clear enough not to allow my ego states to get into a useless fight. I was also grateful that the mechanic was able to get out of his own negativity. By the end of our interaction we were both able to say a sincere friendly goodbye.

I’ve had similar situations where even though I have tried my best, it didn’t seem to immediately affect the other person’s negative state. So I think I can’t always expect miracles, and I have come to experience that it’s also up to the other person whether they will discard their negative state or not.

As difficult as it was for me most of the time, I was grateful for this experience, because it showed me that when I make the effort to change inside it saves me from the poison of the egos and can have the potential to help other people as well, or at least spare them from my own negativity.

* Featured image is a public domain photo found here. (image has been modified)

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21 comments
  • I had similar situations like the one described here occur to me today, several actually, strangely enough. Not quite as big (neither was I bringing my car in to the mechanic ;). ) But there were some ‘arguments’ that I was in. Maybe because they weren’t very severe or I was less attached to them I managed to go through them in a more detached way. Even though the other person was ragin’ a bit I just stated my case, but not from a point of view as if I was trying to force my own way.

    Anyway the interesting part of it was that it showed me how I can possibly be like in the future. I could feel love towards the other person during one these arguments, and I refused to let go of that throughout. I kept explaining things in an honest and ‘vulnerable’ sort of of way, until the person noticed I wasn’t their ‘enemy’ so to speak, and the dynamics changed. In thinking potential different purpose these interactions can have, I thought wow. They can potentially be turned around and be used to help make a change in other people.

    In another situation I didn’t fare so well. The ego’s states in those heat of the moments are so quick! To quick to almost consciously catch, if we do not have enough knowledge on them beforehand. And I was left dealing with those temptations to ‘lash out’ more in a subconscious way.

    Looking forward to exploring such future situations and be in the best possible state I can.

  • It is great that you didn’t want to be part of that “ego game” Pavlin. I find that it is a lot easier to let go and fight our unconscious with people who are not close to us than with those that are close to us. Practising this kind of interaction with those non-close people seem to be a way to learn how to let go and really fight our darkness when in conflict with those close to us.

  • Pavlin, your experience reminded me myself when I have to go to the tax office or other civil service’s offices. I need to have in mind that people who are working there they have to face people’s negativity, complaints etc in addition to their own problems and maybe some of them don’t like their job but is something convenient for them to do.
    So every time I don’t know what I’ll meet but I wish and pray things to pass smoothly without big delays or obstacles. Some other times when I have to pass through long bureaucracy I dedicate the whole day for that and I’m getting prepared for whatever circumstances will arise. And if things are not passing smoothly I “blame” my karma and I am trying to be patient till this over.

    Thanks for sharing yours!

  • Thank you Pavlin for sharing your beautiful and inspiring experience.
    Your pray must been done deeply and sincerely by heart to be answered so instantly, you really must wanted not to be part of negativity’s nonsense game. It’s magical and beautiful to approach everyday life’s situations in this so meaningful way, we can gain so much things. Thank you for highlighting the strong importance of pray in our life, you really touched me deeply.

  • Pavlin, Nice example of putting the work to use in everyday life. I think these simple situations which show how different life can be when you’re undertaking a work inside yourself are such a great encouragement and reinforcement that these principles work. And then you can scale it!

  • A wonderful experience to share Pavlin.

    Looking at the sky and asking for help to not allow the negativity take over was like reading about a prayer in action. It highlighted to me how close we can be to the divine through that simple asking and heartfelt wanting to be clear. It also highlighted how when we do fight to get rid of the negativity it really is love in action.

    Your experience makes me want to reflect in what ‘way’ do I reach out in order for divine help to reach me.

    Thanks Pavlin, I hope you’re wonderful share here reaches more people who are seeking the divine connection for guidance and understanding in their life.

    • “It also highlighted how when we do fight to get rid of the negativity it really is love in action. “

      You’re right Layla. That’s what I also feel, but I hadn’t figured it out in my mind yet until you mentioned it, interesting.

      • Thanks Karim, you just brought a new understanding to me as well, how its love we are fighting for in all its forms – in ourselves, in others and in this world.

  • Thanks for sharing this encounter Pavlin. It’s amazing how the spiritual work can be applied to such mundane situations in everyday life! 🙂 I can relate to the interplay of unspoken negativity you mentioned and which Belsebuub describes in the video. Sometimes it can be very hard to change another person’s response, particularly when a negative behaviour is ingrained in them, but it’s great that your efforts to break through your own automatic reactions resulted in a much more pleasant interaction for both parties.

  • It takes quite a bit of willpower, self-knowledge, understanding, experience, faith… to be able to act differently in such a situation where there are forces (your and the other person’s egos) dragging you down and compelling you to be negative. I find it’s easy to get confused, so it is inspiring and gives hope to see how you persevered and got a good ending, beneficial for you both. I guess this is how the world can be changed, one interaction and moment at a time. Thank you 🙂

  • It’s the little internal battles like this that count, so it’s very inspiring you were able to just see and fight against those lower feelings within and do what you needed to do physically without going along with them. Good example of using the situations of daily life wisely – thanks for sharing this. Now the challenge will be next time you have to go to the mechanic, as no doubt you’ll be greeted with the same if not a more challenging situation to deal with!

  • I find this very inspiring Pavlin, and a good reminder to try not to be pulled into that tug of egos. I loved that you looked at the sky and prayed. That you didn’t want to be in that battle of egos.

  • That’s a great description of battling the negative emotions that can so easily arise Pavlin, and a really powerful example how we can use the really ‘mundane’ events of life to transform ourselves inwardly. At the same time (not always, but often) we can help bring about a better situation for others …

    How easy and normal it would have been to have bitten back and left the situation feeling either the ‘winner or looser’, hurt and wounded or inflated and proud. When you start to notice how this behaviour is encouraged by society you start to realise how far we’ve come from any spiritual standards.

  • What a great experience to share, Pavlin.

    Like Karim, I can appreciate how powerful it was to not get caught in the game with a winner and loser. When I’ve experienced similar instances of negativity, I know it can be exceedingly difficult to not respond back with negativity, let alone to reach a genuinely clear state and have a positive interaction. What a beautiful illustration of what it’s like to respond with consciousness and to see what an impact that can make!

  • I agree with the others. Even though it might seem like ‘small thing’, a simple situation, I believe that actually what happened there is something very powerful.

    I also find that ‘winner or loser’ a very good way of describing the situation. I can also relate to not wanting to be in that game. Yet if we are passive, the ‘loser’, we risk getting saddled up with the other person’s injustice, and worse still if we’re the ‘winner’ where we betray ourselves by going with low and vile and hateful emotions. In reality it’s a lose-lose situation. Being in those situations feels manoeuvring on a very narrow path, to get through it without giving in to negativity and yet acting correctly, so difficult yet so important.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Pavlin!

  • This is wonderful Pavlin, thanks for sharing! What great opportunities these kinds of situations are to destroy the darkness within and even to help others! If only we could use them more often…

  • Hi Pavlin, that was such a revealing experience – like Jenny mentions above, the way you described this game of winner/looser, yet how you just did not want to be part of that game, was very helpful in highlighting a different way of being. One that is not prone to the egos manipulating our minds, emotions, and feelings.
    Very helpful, i’m glad you’ve shared this.

  • Hi Pavlin — what an incredibly simple but powerful experience. I can really relate (actually my dad is a mechanic, so I can *really* relate ?). I think you summarized it well, saying “I knew this was a game of egos, where the more negative person would be perceived as the ‘winner’” — incredible that in those moments of the heaviest negativity, we are compelled to feel like proud to be that winner. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had the self-remembrance you had in that moment to stop this “game” of negativity and just deal with the situations at hand without the baggage of a previous unpleasant interaction and so on…

About Belsebuub

belsebuub mark pritchard
Image © Mark Pritchard
Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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