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Seeing Ego States on the Way to an Appointment

Experience submitted by Sofios
Experience submitted by Sof

Running late for set appointments is something I dislike doing. I seem to have this angst around the whole experience of being on time (and perhaps earlier) to appointments.

One recent experience caught me by surprise — and so did my reactions and struggles with it.

I was able to see so much of my internal nature stirring in just this one experience. Having done Belsebuub’s courses helped me to get through this one experience (and many others too).

I had a scheduled appointment late in the afternoon, giving me plenty of time to do other errands and tasks earlier in the day. I had a friend with me for the afternoon as we had both planned to visit a couple of stores looking for products/items that we were needing for this project we were planning.

All was going according to plan, we had done our research and simply needed to head to the opposite side of town to pick up the parts. We leisurely drove to the store to pay and pick up the parts.

We had plenty of time so far. I just needed to finalise the purchase of the items and then head to my appointment…WRONG. It turns out, this store only had one of the parts, the other part was at their other store which was further out of town, another 10 minutes away.

This sounded alarm bells in my head (it potentially meant I was cutting it close for my 4.30pm appointment that afternoon and I hate being late), but I also needed to finish what I had started (that is, pick up all parts as this was the plan).

I could feel this internal turmoil going on between thoughts, emotions and body tension. This situation was such a small thing yet it was stirring so much inside of me.

I have learnt from Belsebuub’s courses and books to look at those internal reactions. Through self-knowledge, inner peace can be found. Self observation is key. But on this day I struggled with it.

It’s as though I had not noticed it early enough to keep abreast of it. Or, perhaps it is such an old pattern of mine that it is much stronger than I realised.

After a few moments of weighing up these two options, I decided to go for the other part and drive the extra distance (as I couldn’t foresee when I would be making my way to this part of town anytime soon).

This of course would potentially make me late for my appointment. I felt an uneasiness as I started to make it to the car to head off to the other store. I remember feeling a tension in my body and a feeling of fear about the possibility of being late for my appointment.

Then another process kicked in, one which was designed to override the fear and anxious feeling I initially felt, this part of me sounded annoyed and wanted to get this over and done with. My friend noticed my emotional build up and simply reassured me that things will work out (his attitude was a blessing!).

Driving to the next warehouse took longer than 10 mins because of traffic. My annoyance was persistent even though I kept trying to be aware, in the present moment and self-observe as much as I could.

I parked the car and we made our way into the warehouse. As I opened the door and stepped inside, I saw another customer was waiting to be served. This seemed to add fuel to the emotional state I was fighting within me.

Knowing about awareness and self-observation, I kept my focus on observing the thought patterns in the mind and the tightness/anxiousness around my stomach area.

The more my mind repeated the thought ‘you are going to be late‘ the more I asked for help to get through this. As the customer before me was finishing up I had noticed that the part I needed was on the counter waiting for me to pick it up.

I suddenly felt a swell of impatience come over me which seemed to flare up my internal turmoil. Why was it so hard to be peaceful internally today? It seems I was being bombarded with a range of inner states that I had to keep battling through.

I approached the counter, showed the warehouse guy the paperwork and he simply gave me the part sitting on the counter. It was such a quick exchange compared to the process that had unfolded so far, it felt ironic!

I quickly made my way to the car to head to my appointment, it was going to take me at least 30 minutes (with minimal traffic) to get to my appointment which was on the other side of town.

As I headed off I knew that I was going to be a late, but not sure by how long. I got a rude shock to see the traffic building up (which I couldn’t do anything about). I had not anticipated this much traffic.

My thoughts and anxious feelings started up again. The more this happened the more I prayed to have these inner states be diminished and removed, which in turn affected my ability to be clearer, aware and in the moment.

As 4:30pm was approaching on the clock, I decided to let the doctor know I was running late with a quick phone call. Reception thanked me for letting them know. They also told me that the doctor was waiting for me as I was his last appointment for the day.

This comment tugged at me, made me feel uneasy. I continued re-assuring myself that I could not do anything further to change my situation and to stay present and in the moment as best I can.

When I would get caught up at the traffic lights I simply continued with my prayer for my internal state to shift from this anxious, turmoiled way into a more calm and centred one by using the elimination technique to remove egos.

I finally arrived at my appointment, I was 25 minutes late. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the doctor in the foyer, and that he was making jokes with me.

His demeanour helped to calm me down a bit too (I was not sure how he would respond to me being late). I also apologised to him for being late. He was accepting of it. I was able to go into my appointment with the doctor, like nothing had happened.

This made me realise more than ever, my thoughts and feelings are fleeting moments within my life. How much weight I place on them at the end of the day is a choice I can make. I also have access to the tools that can help me overcome them.

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8 comments
  • Oh, haven’t we all had so many days like this?! It sounds like you saw a lot of the inner tensions and negativity that those series of events provoked Sof!

    Patience is such an incredible virtue. I still feel a million miles away from possessing it! I think I will still have to go through a few more experiences like this to be able to start to meet obstacles without the corresponding force, and anger, that rises to push back!

  • Hi, Sofios, thanks for sharing this experience. What stood out for me is how you remembered that thoughts are passing and inconstant. And even though the events were constantly bringing them up,, you we able to hold your ground and not go along with the reactions.

    It’s a great reminder, thanks a lot!

  • Thanks for all of your comments on my experiences.

    There are 2 quotes that I reflect on often, which are: “Life is what happens after you make plans” & “Things don’t change, we do”

    These quotes ring so true in life.

  • Gosh that sounds like a really challenging series of events. Just reading about that being late, the traffic, etc., made me feel a little anxious. Thank you for sharing this experience, Sof. It’s really good that you were persistent.

    Your realization that it is a personal choice in the moment as to how much weight to give to different thoughts/emotions is quite a powerful one… and one I seem to discover again and again in different circumstances.

  • Its great you kept persisting with trying to be clear and keep going, and it seems you had the support to fight that battle and win it.

    I’ve seen those worries, anxieties and their physical sensations myself Sof and its really easy to get caught up in the welling up those emotions and even externalise it with anger, frustration and blame, but in the end it just leaves us drained emotionally, mentally and physically. And I know what you mean, it seems like such a minor situation and yet inside there is a whole commotion of emotions and thoughts just wanting to burst out but to have a bite at what’s going on but in the end if they do burst out it just leaves us full of regret later on, when there presence is gone and we have a chance to look back. While it seems so hard to fight to be clear and clear these thoughts and emotions away, its just so worth it have fought for inner peace not only in that time but when at the end of the day we can look back over the situation and see that the battle was worth it as we’re not drained and had fought for the light within, and interesting we feel stronger instead of feeling weaker and drained, had we not fought.

    I hope that your light continues to grow in illumination and purpose!

    Thank you Sof, you highlighted how important those ordinary events of life really are precious moments worth fighting for.

  • Thanks Sofios for bringing up this area of study through your example.

    That drive or goal which gets hindered and all of the nasty things this brings up in us… I can only relate too well, as probably everyone does. Your example is pretty good I think, because even though it seems like a small thing, or something simple within us. It’s actually quite big and there’s so much more to study to it than I originally thought.

    Even while typing now I’m just thinking of so many experiences and insights that are related.

    I like an analogy I once read about here as well, where a pipe with water running through it is likened to that drive or desire within, and when it is blocked that pressure increases and wants to burst through.

    From studying this topic within myself I’ve seen how unpleasant it is to go about my day with such hurrying drives. For example it used to really ruin my mornings, which affected the rest of my day as well. I saw that I was the one causing this and doing this to myself, unnecessarily.

    A related point about timeliness. I used to think when I was often just on time, or when I saw other people being late consistently, that it’s only a matter of me leaving 10 minutes earlier, or getting up 10 minutes earlier, would be enough to solve it. Ha! that certainly hasn’t been the case. Not for me at least. And there was actually so much behind it that needed to be seen to change that pattern (or improve let’s say, don’t think I’m fully there yet 😉 )

  • I could really relate to the internal turmoil you described in this series of events Sof. I also hate being late for appointments and have ended up getting caught up by the same patterns of anxiety, impatience and frustration, which played out in the scenario you described. Ironically, I ended up being pushed for time for an appointment in the afternoon, after reading your article in the morning, so had to try and bear in mind the need to go against the inner states that wanted to manifest.

    One thing that sometimes helps me to get a clearer perspective on these situations is when I try to assess objectively if there was anything I could have done to prevent it. I’ve definitely fallen into the trap you described of thinking “I’ll just try to finish this task off first” and then finding unexpected events have stretched it out far longer than I have anticipated. But I’ve also had scenarios where unforeseen events have caused disruption, despite my best plans.

    When I was working on a casual contract a few years back, I used to often experience the feelings you described when travelling to work. It was a tricky situation, as I had some health problems that restricted my availability for work and although I explained these limitations to my boss, I would often be under pressure to take on more than I could manage, in order to cover staff absences.
    A particular occasion stands out, where I had to leave later than would be ideal. Then mid-way through its route, the bus stopped its journey, as it turned out there was a pregnant woman on the bus, who may have been going into labour.

    After waiting for another bus, I eventually arrived to work about 20 minutes late, to the dismay of a colleague who was a stickler for time and was anxious about being late for a staff meeting. I felt really bad about the situation, particularly as I didn’t have the phone number of the place I was going to in advance, in order to inform them of the delay.

    Afterwards, I realised that a big part of this emotional turmoil is related to pride, as I wanted to appear organised and reliable, but then unexpected events came along to tarnish my self-image.

    Although I’ve lived a fairly unconventional life in many ways, I’ve found that the internal desire to meet social pressures and conventions can be so ingrained that it can be very challenging to overcome the various nuances of the breaking those expectations. I’ve personally found it to be an important area to study.

  • Very relatable experience, Sof 🙂 — it’s ironic that it’s often the smallest of things / events / situations that wreak so much emotional turmoil.

    I noticed as well that when I have my mind set on something (a goal, an event, etc.) then things between that event and “now” can become obstacles in unexpected ways and it’s a lot easier to become reactive about little things that under a different circumstance wouldn’t be as important. Like for example, if I decide that I want to go running and suddenly a friend calls and I know the call will take too long and I’ll miss my opportunity to go running (as it will get dark). Somewhere in the process of deciding to go jog I can place a great importance on the event, even though in reality it’s not that important at all (I could go running tomorrow, or I could have actually gone earlier if I wanted to do it so much, but didn’t for other reasons that are in reality no different to the phone call distraction and are far less important… for example) yet the states that suddenly latch onto that decision are often so disproportionate — like maybe getting annoyed at my friend for phoning at such an inopportune time (as if they were supposed to know not to phone somehow), or maybe be dismissive or quick to deal with the things they are bringing up (even though they might be much more important than my jog, etc.). It’s a silly example, but it’s interesting to observe the interplay of things internally when things don’t go according to my plan…

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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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