Served Cold Pizza
Continued from yesterday…
The nature of our complaints is often associated with the petty frustrations that we experience every day. For example, if we are at a restaurant and we get served cold pizza with less cheese and toppings than the other guests, the ego may take it as a personal attack.
So we may confront the waiter in a way that establishes him and the restaurant as our adversary. We were wronged because they mistreated us. Therefore, complaining about being served a cold pizza is the ego’s attempt to regain its worth by establishing the lack of worth in the other. “This is the second time I have been served cold pizza at this restaurant. Why would you bring me a cold pizza? This is terrible service. I don’t deserve to be treated this way. I demand that you make me a new pizza, and I refuse to pay for it.”
Airing our grievances in this manner fortifies the ego’s sense of identity as a victim. We feel morally superior to them, and that makes us feel closer to the good of the god of our own making.
Now I’m not suggesting that a person takes on the form of a martyr and does nothing when they are wronged, because that would be just another device of the ego to bolster its perception of being a victim. For instance, victims of abuse should not make excuses for destructive or degrading treatment by others. Often the most appropriate step of love is to leave the abuser and report the person to the authorities to minimize future abusive behavior.
And in the case of the cold pizza, you can speak to the waiter in a way that avoids making the issue about good or evil. Without a negative and accusatory tone, you can say to the waiter, “Excuse me, but my pizza is cold. Is it possible to get it heated or remade?” And then thank them for their help. From that position, you are not making the waiter your foe as a means to fortify your illusionary ego, nor are you cultivating the ego’s role as a victim. Instead, you are allowing a grateful attitude to solidify the union you share with the waiter.
To be continued tomorrow…
Adapted from section 2 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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