UPS and the self-fulfilling prophecy unraveled…

I had an enlightening encounter with UPS today. Yes, UPS.

I had ordered some books off amazon.com, and forgot to call ahead and tell UPS that my buzzer to my apartment is broken. Even so, I probably wouldn’t have been home, but at least the delivery person would have known to call my cell and there would have been a remote chance of acquiring my package.

So, when I got the first yellow notice stuck to the front door of my building, I thought, “ok, well maybe I’ll be home the next time and see the truck through my window.” Then the second attempt notice came. “Ok, maybe I’ll leave a note with my phone number on the door…” Then I got the final notice of attempted delivery. When I called UPS to see where I’d have to go to pick up the package, to my dismay the office was out near Winfield! Normally it would only be a minor inconvenience, but since I travel by bus or bike, I wouldn’t be able to make it out there during office hours before the 5 day holding period was up and the package would be shipped back to sender.

Crap. So I called UPS, sure that I wouldn’t find anything helpful and it would be a “too bad, buyer beware” kind of scenario.  Then after being sent through a number of recorded lists, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. However, eventually I got a person on the phone, and she told me it wasn’t too late and I could get the package delivered to my work address tomorrow. I was shocked! I thanked the lady profusely and pinched myself. UPS is actually doing me a favor?

But this proves a very important point: sometimes we assume the worst, when we don’t actually know the truth. Our egos invent false realities to reaffirm the experiences we’ve had before, even though there is no evidence that this particular event will turn out the same. Thus the self-fulfilling prophecy! The ego invents stories to protect itself; if we prove our ego wrong, it loses power. And then we have to face the scary reality that the world isn’t really so bad and we have no excuse not to be happy!! It’s far easier to live in a habitual kind of pain than to break down its facades and step into the unfamiliar brightness of our potential. I had the preconceived notion that I’d be screwed over by a faceless corporation because I’ve had that experience before, so I expected that to perpetuate my reality. And just like heartbreak, failure, loss, betrayal, and all those other unpleasant experiences we have as human beings, if they become ingrained in our memories we come to expect them. We expect our lovers to hurt us, our friends to betray us, our families to belittle us, our bank accounts to be empty, our new jobs to turn out to be duds, etc. So even though we begin with a fresh start every day, if there is a pattern already laid out in our minds like crevices carved out in rocks, the water will always flow in the same direction.  And it works in two ways: the more we come to expect the worst and the more negative energy we send out, the more we receive. The Universe is only a mirror, and our experiences are only the manifestation of our expectations.

So, what living in the moment means to me is letting go of those wounds from our past and not letting them affect our future. It takes courage, it takes trust, and it takes strength. But it brings clarity, and allows us to find the little unexpected beauties in life, like a stranger holding a door, a flower growing through a crack in the pavement, an unexpected cheque in the mail, an anonymous love note, or UPS actually getting a package to me without having to go through a million hoops. Thanks, UPS.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Domanko
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 07:14:22

    “You have to build and create within yourself the feelings of beauty, liberation and infinity.”
    – B.K.S. Iyengar

    Reply

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