At the airport I got a shuttle with six other people and headed to my hotel. When I was dropped off at the hotel, I noticed the bellman grab my bag before I had a chance to collect my thoughts. I felt scattered as I focused on paying the driver, delivering the tip and confirming that I was at the right hotel.
I was excited because I was hired for a speaking engagement with NASA headquarters in Washington DC and this was a big jump in my career.
After paying the fee, before I could even catch my breath, I realized that not only did I not get a receipt, but also the driver took off with my other bag that had all of my clothing in it. In a panic, I rushed to the front desk to explain my dilemma. I remembered one of the passengers saying they were going to the Hyatt so I asked the concierge to call the Hyatt so that I could get the shuttle driver to bring back my bags.
When the concierge handed me the phone to speak to the Hyatt front desk, my frustration mounted. “My name is Marlene Chism and the shuttle that is coming to your hotel has my bag. He just dropped me off at the Holiday Capital, and I would like to see if he could bring it back immediately. "
The concierge standing across from me corrected me: “You are not at the Holiday Capital, you are at the Holiday on the Hill. "
I shrieked, “I’m not even at the right hotel!" I said to the other concierge on the phone line, " I’m at Holiday on the Hill. Can you have him return my bags here?"
"Consider it done. " Said the concierge on the phone.
Although I had the Hyatt Concierges’ word, I did not consider it done. My past experience with travel was a reminder that promises made and promises delivered depend not so much on the integrity of the person making the promise, but upon the culture of the person making the promise. In some cultures it is considered bad manners not to give you the answer you want to hear, so as a result you are likely to hear wrong directions or empty promises just to make you happy in the moment.
I was conscious enough to know that my body was in a state of anxiety, and when I feel that degree of anxiety it usually results in a bad cold or some other weakness to my immune system. I decided to sit down and think for a moment. It dawned on me that I might not see my bags until the next day, which would be too late. What would I wear to the workshop? How could I use the rest of the day to prepare for this mishap? All kinds of stories started invading my peace as my mind left the present moment and wandered aimlessly into the future.
Then consciousness came back to me: What would I teach if this was a seminar and the lost bag and wrong hotel dilemma was someone else’s problem? What would I tell someone else to do if his or her life was not in the flow? I would ask the question: “what are your choices?" That was my momentary answer. I considered my choices.
I could take a cab to the right hotel so that I could get settled in. The problem with that is that now the bag was coming back to the wrong hotel and I’d probably have to pay another cab fee to get the bag there. That would mean three cab fees simply because of the mistake of the shuttle driver. I didn’t like that solution.
The next choice is to wait. I may have to wait three hours. Depression started to settle in, and I felt my eyes get wet. I realized I was stuck and my life was not flowing. I was resisting the present moment.
Gary Zukav, author of Heart of the Soul, says that stress is the consequence of resistance to your life. I was definitely resisting. When you resist that means you need to own your stuff. It means you have forgiveness work to do so that you can allow the flow of life to come to you.
I decided to forgive the shuttle driver. He barely speaks English, and didn’t mean to run off with my bags, I reasoned.
That forgiveness didn’t do much for me. I didn’t really feel much resentment to begin with. There is nothing to forgive if you didn’t condemn in the first place.
What could it be? Where am I holding a negative judgment? At that moment it dawned on me and I said, “I forgive myself for not being a sophisticated traveler. "
Immediately the shuttle driver circled around to pick me up and take me to the right hotel. This is the magic of forgiveness. It opens the life flow.
Marlene Chism works with people who want to stop the drama and take charge of their lives. To learn more about life purpose, the Karpman Triangle or the Three Life Tragedies go to http://www.stopyourdrama.com Marlene is available for speaking engagements by calling 1. 888.434.9085.