Let's consider something I like to refer to as "Altitude Sickness"—not the kind you get from traveling to places high above sea level. Rather, the kind you get by opting for the "high road" in a given situation.
The high road? What exactly is that? It's an active choice we make to rise above the fuss and upset of a given encounter:
If someone cuts you off when you're driving, do you flip them off and curse?
When confronted by a friend who's acting out and in a bad mood, do you snarl at them
and launch into an etiquette lesson?
If someone you don't like is having a bad day, do you revel in that?
These are just a few examples of chances for us to rise to the occasion and opt for neutrality, if not kindness—move into our Higher Selves instead of defaulting to our Lower Selves.
I can hear the defensive mind chatter already:
"They were nasty, rude, mean (fill in the blank)to me!"
"Why should I give them a break? They don't deserve one!"
"They're getting away with something at my expense!"
"Letting this pass makes me a wimp, loser, doormat."
Enough? ....... Enough!
What they're exhibiting is just another aspect of yourself that you probably don't want to recognize.
Shift the energy of the moment by taking these 3 simple steps:
1. Stop. Do nothing, if only for a whisper of a moment.
2. Breathe. A simple breath shifts everything.
3. Dare to make a different choice, even if it's just opting for choice #1.
Remember, this type of "Altitude Sickness" is just a metaphor. Keep in mind there are no lingering physical affects like light headedness, nausea, or shortness of breath.
Dare to redirect the energy of the exchange. At best? You might give the other person a moment of compassion or understanding that turns around their entire day, and allows them a sense of peace they hadn't had before this moment. At worst? You'll get to practice your Practice.
Small "price" to pay in the long run, isn't it? Besides, the view is invariably better than the one offered by the low road. Try it. What is there -- really -- to lose?