On our way back from Livingstone we got pulled over by the police. My immediate thoughts were “Oh this cop is bullshitting us because we are in a van full of white people. There is nothing wrong with our car. He will want a bribe”.
Not the best way to start out an interaction. Instead of being friendly I was a bit aggro, right of the bat. The cop did not take this well and started threatening me to use his power. I backed off and let someone else handle the situation.
It turned out there actually was something wrong with our car. No biggie, but it was something most likely worth a small fine, but for some reason – despite my attitude – the cop let us go.
For the next hour orso as we drove on I was angry at the cop for threatening me. I was looking for reasons he was wrong and I was right. I was trying to manipulate the story in a way that made me right and him wrong. I found a million ways to do this, but none of them dissolved my anger – in fact they only made it stronger.
We had another four hours of driving ahead of us and I decided to deal with this issue head on, no excuses. Where was this anger really coming from? Once you set a goal like this and open yourself an answer is likely to arrive soon. It did.
I found out my feeling of unease and anger did not come from the officer threatening me, but from the fact that I was just wrong. We did break the law, if ever so slightly, but above all I just handled the situation completely wrong. I handled out of fear and anger instead out of love. That is where my anger came from: I made a mistake and I refused to acknowledge it and blame it on the situation and someone else.
You know what. We make mistakes, despite our best intentions. It is OK. I know this about myself and therefore also about others. Forgive others, but above all forgive yourself.
Once I fully accepted my mistake, the anger disappeared and peace returned.