This past weekend, Matt and I took a quick getaway to our favorite place on earth — Disney World. No, I’m serious, we even have a Disney blog, Yo Ho Disney. There’s something about the magical place where you can believe all your dreams will come true. We had spent four days pretending to be a kid again (without kids), and were now on our way back to reality. We don’t fly that much, so I was over the moon that I’d be sitting by the window on our flight home. It’s the little things I get excited about.
As we shuffled through our crowded plane, whacking arms and bumping into heads, I noticed a sprout of braids in the spot I was supposed to be. Inwardly I groaned, because now I’d have to ask someone to move out of my seat. As we came up to our row, the androgynous girl slouched in her seat with her arms crossed wide across her oversized men’s clothes, gave off every sign that dared the world to challenge her. Not wanting to test the truth of her tough exterior, I made an instant decision. I whispered to Matt, I think we should just let the girl have the window seat. Matt nodded and shrugged since he wasn’t getting to sit by the window either way.
I wedged myself into my middle seat, careful not to disturb my new neighbor’s intense study of the wing out
my her window. I buckled up and waited for the rest of our cabin-mates to settle in. The plane was loud with so many young children, which is to be expected coming from the fairytale capital of the world, but there was one little tyke, in particular, a few rows behind us that was especially perturbed to be leaving her princesses behind, and she didn’t care who knew it. I exhaled a prayer for that dear momma doing her best back there. I know her struggled all too well, but apparently my neighbor didn’t see it that way, because she let out a growl, and with gritted teeth she stood and turned to glare at the unsuspecting mother. Once she made her opinion clear to those around her, she resumed her position looking out the window with a dramatic huff.
I knew that moment I made the right decision to let her have the window seat, but my anxiety went up a few levels. My body was tense, and I felt agitated. Geez, how did I end up next to Ms. I-hate-the-world?
I stopped myself right there. Have I learned anything in these past few years?! I’m not a victim in my world. My circumstances don’t dictate me, I dictate my circumstances. I can’t change or control anyone, but I can change and control myself.
I wasn’t going to return anger with anger or fear, but return with Love. I took my thoughts captive. I grabbed the negativity by the wrist, and to bring Love back to the forefront of my mind, I’d do a quiet meditation. I closed my eyes, and began to breathe deep and slow. I leaned my head on the back of my seat and pictured Love within me as a light filling my body. Then, like an invisible bubble I envisioned my light expanding to my row, engulfing Matt and the girl next to me.
We are created in the likeness of the Infinite. Love connects me to those around me.
Then, I expanded my bubble of Love to surround the entire plane.
I am connected to everyone on this plane. We are all vulnerable, and yet we are safe in Love. Love engulfs us.
I was just about to expand my light bubble of Love to encompass Florida when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I opened my eyes and turned to meet the gaze of the girl. She was staring at me pointing down. I looked down confused. I didn’t see anything amiss. She must’ve figured out my confusion, because she popped out an earbud and said, You can have the armrest. Hopefully, that’ll help you feel more comfortable on the plane.
I smiled and said, Thank you.
She flashed me a smile, shoved her earbud back in her ear, readjusted herself to lean against the window, and returned to her own world.
My heart flooded with love, and I couldn’t help but smile, because Love passed between us. It’s not like we were BFFs after that. In fact, we didn’t say more than five words to each the entire flight, but I was reminded of two things in that moment:
You can’t judge a person by her shell, and
Love still conquers all.