One night in 2001, around ten in the evening, I sat reading a newspaper in my bus in Petaluma, the southernmost stop on my run from Santa Rosa. Suddenly, a shadowy figure entered my field of peripheral vision. When I looked up, I could tell it was a man but it was too dark to see him clearly. As he walked toward the bus through the bank parking lot, I returned my attention to the newspaper. I ignored him until he reached the side of the bus and stopped behind the front door out of sight, which seemed odd. Slowly he slid sideways to peek in at me. Even before I looked up, I had begun to feel irritable and hostile. When I finally did look up at him, my mind screamed in recognition: Oh no, not you again, you must be the most disgusting, despicable, and repulsive person in the world!
Shocked by the revulsion and intensity of my reaction, I thought by thinking to myself, wait a minute, am I the source of these thoughts or is he? Before this question was finished, I knew the answer. I was picking up on thoughts and feelings he had about himself and reflecting them back to him like a mirror. How many other people acted as a mirror in response to his negative thoughts and feelings that day or every day for that matter? My heart went out to him, and sensing this radical change in me, he changed as well. As this exchange of thoughts and feelings took place between us, he straightened up, paid his fare, and sat down directly across the aisle from me.
If my memory served me right, he had ridden my bus less than a dozen times before. Half the time he quietly paid his fare, walked to the rear of the bus and slouched down in a seat, out of sight. The other half, he stopped to complain about how other bus drivers abused and disrespected him. The one time I impatiently told him to call the bus company if he had any complaints, he seemed unhappy. Almost as if it was a threat, he made it a point to tell me that he always called the bus company whenever someone abused him. The he complained about the bus company for its seeming lack of sympathy. Did he think I was abusing him now?
As we pulled away from the curb, he started talking to me about normal things, like a normal person, something he had never done before. As it turned out, we had a terrific conversation, something I never would have expected from him.
Tonight, he was a changed man, and so was I. By refusing to let myself mindlessly react to his thoughts of self-loathing and unworthiness (?), I changed the future for both of us by sending him love and understanding, instead of the hate and revulsion he seemed to be looking for. Whether the revulsion I felt for him was in response to his body language, the telepathic projection of his thoughts and feelings about himself, or a combination of both, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I refused to let his perception of himself become my perception of him. By using my Response Ability (ability to respond) to both observe and change my thoughts and feelings on the fly, I was able to change the course of history for both of us that night. As it turned out, it was the last time I saw him.
Copyright © 2007, Roger A. “Pete” Peterson
Pete – http://realtalkworld.com
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“How you define yourself and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth
In other words, we create our reality from what we believe about ourselves, and the world around us.
If we don’t consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.
If our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?
The more we love, understand and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves, and the world.
The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of your experience. Look for them!