I had an ‘attachment’ incident in 2008 when my middle son was playing football at a junior college in California. It was not pretty. I listened to most of the games online on the radio station that broadcasted them, but near the end of the season I got an unbelievable surprise. The station was broadcasting a high school game—high school!—at the same time the JC game was on.
I couldn’t believe it. I closed the browser and signed on again, certain it was some kind of crossed-wires problem. “Okay,” I thought, “it must be late in the fourth quarter,” and I listened for the announcer to assure us JC listeners this was true. “I’ll bet it’s overtime,” I thought. The quarter ended and he announced the score at the end of the second quarter. “HALFTIME! HALFTIME? Are you kidding me?” I shouted at the computer. I went to the programming schedule and on that day at that time, right there in black and white, it said they would be broadcasting the junior college game.
That’s when the name-calling began. “You idiots! Buttheads! Incompetents!” I even fired off an angry email. (And, yes, I’m not proud of myself.) The worst part was that I knew from the first second that I was out-of-control—that I was throwing a fit—and I didn’t stop myself. It was hours until I could meditate and calm myself and, shamefaced, I apologized to God/my Higher Self/the Universe. I vowed I would never again lose control like that and that I would be on guard for other ‘attachment’ checks. As hard as it was to acknowledge the truth, I decided, “That was a great lesson in realizing that I, and what’s important to me, are not at the center of the universe.”
“Surrender means accepting this moment, this body, and this life with open arms. Surrender involves getting out of our own way and living in accord with a higher will, expressed as the wisdom of the heart. Far more than passive acceptance, surrender uses every challenge as a means of spiritual growth and expanded awareness. Learn to surrender by shifting your perspective, shifting your energy and attention from the desire of a smaller will to the wisdom of a Higher Will. Be like water, flowing and flexible, to blend with life’s forces, rather than struggling against them. The more you let go of attachments, the more you expand into greater freedom and peace.”
Good stuff from Dan Millman. It’s a special book.
Then last Saturday night rolled around and with it a football game between the University of Arizona, where my middle son is a linebacker, and Cal Berkeley. I added a sports channel package to our cable service for $5 a month because the game was being broadcasted on Fox College Sports/Pacific—channel 404 where I live. My son had said the game started at 7:07, but the programming guide said 7:30. I tuned in at 7:00 just in case, as did my eldest son who also attends college in another town. Another game, Michigan vs. someone, was on.
7:07 came and went. My eldest called and we agreed the game must be at 7:30 then. Meanwhile, one of the teams scored a couple of times and the game was tied. 7:30 comes and goes and play goes into overtime. My eldest calls again and he is as upset as I am. “Are you kidding me?” we shout at our TVs. “Michigan isn’t even in the PAC-10!” (You can probably figure out the rest of the story here. Except for the surprise ending.)
Then, adding insult to our injured psyches, the Michigan game went into a second overtime. “You idiots! Buttheads! Incompetents!” and by the time it was over it was after 8:00. The Arizona/CAL game had started at 7:07 and we had missed the first hour. I cried and my son used loud expletives. I knew, again, that I was throwing a fit but I was so mad, this time I didn’t care. “They are idiots!” I told myself. It took me until yesterday to find my center again.
Why am I telling you this story? Because the universe is so obliging when we choose a deeper, know-ourselves path that whatever lessons we need about being crazy-attached to someone or some plan of ours truly are gifted us, shown to us through our behaviors, our acting-out our parts in the ‘upset’ play. Hammering home the point was the fact that my brother and his family, who live across town and have that same sports-channel package I do, watched the whole game on channel 404 beginning at 7:07. Hmmmm.