I quoted Viktor Frankl in my dharma talk at yoga class last week: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
The sentiment really resonated with me. Heavy demands and tight deadlines had been weighing me down. Everything that could have gone wrong, had. I was exhausted and my brain was in overload.
After class was over, I locked the studio door and stepped outside, looking forward to a relaxing evening at home. And then it hit me. My car was gone! Trying not to freak out, I noticed a guy standing nearby and asked if he’d seen anyone take it.
‘I sure did, lady. I watched them tow it.’
I began to melt down.
As I walked to the police station, tears filled my eyes and anger filled my heart. I tried to calm myself. Didn’t the world know I needed a win?
I rang the buzzer and the officer let me in. I look at him puzzled and asked gently, ‘Why would you tow my car?’
He replied, old and icy. ‘Overdue registration, lady.’
I stared at him. He looked away, clearly seeing I was upset but not saying a word. Waiting for me to lose my cool. (I was waiting for me to lose my cool, in fact.) He prepared himself for the worst, and I was silent.
I knew I was in the wrong. I couldn’t win this one.
What happened next left me speechless.
The officer looked at me and apologized. He felt terrible that he’d towed my car.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. You’re such a nice lady.’
He felt so terrible in fact, that he drove me to the garage to pick up my car. Stunned, I couldn’t believe what was happening.
And then I remembered….
In the space between….lies our growth and our freedom.