I got gas today. I wasn’t real happy about it it, since it cost me over $2.70 a gallon. After I filled up my tank the pump began to beep, asking me in its insistent little way if I wanted to take my receipt. As usual, I deliberately ignored the machine, indulging in a little psychological payback for ‘ripping’ me off; “Forget it, pump. You can beep all you want, sucker. Take your receipt and…..” For the first time I stopped myself in mid silent-rant. What was I doing?
I suddenly became aware of all the harmless little ways I took out my anger, ways in which I never really hurt anyone. Like the time my local bank had been bought by a big national company without our knowing about it. We didn’t realize (the Lord giveth and the fine print taketh away!) that the new bank had a policy that all deposited checks were held for 5 business days. Suddenly we were being charged hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees even though we had more than enough in the bank to cover all the checks. Since they refused to accommodate us, we withdrew all of our money. Except for $1.42 cents which I left in savings just to aggravate them. They have been sending me statements on that account for over 2 years now.
And then there was a time I closed out my credit cards because of the way they kept finding reasons to raise my interest rates. I made a point of overpaying a couple of these companies by a few bucks or so. Occasionally they would send me checks for the balance but I wouldn’t cash them. It was worth it to know that I was costing them money, albeit not very much.
Even though I hadn’t really hurt anyone personally, I realized that there was a victim here. Myself. By refusing to let things go, by letting circumstances get to me, even just a little bit, I was allowing some of that worldly poison to seep into my heart. And like the leavening that we have been talking about on another thread, that poison has a way of growing, working its way through my entire being.
So from now on I will try to refrain from kicking the lawn mower. Even though it may deserve it.