A few weeks ago, the Miller family, our friends from Boston, visited Tampa to spend the weekend with us. They are a family of four, and we are a family of three, along with our 100-lb yellow lab, Charlie, who can almost count as an additional ‘person.’
We had a packed schedule, including a Rays game, a visit to the St. Pete pier, and walks around Ybor and downtown Tampa; my 5-seat CRV wouldn’t cut it. Thus, we opted to rent a minivan for the weekend.
Thanks to the generous state employee discount I receive, I managed to secure a minivan from Avis for $130 from Friday to Monday. Score!
Spending time with the Millers was a blast. We’ve known each other for a decade, and having them around felt like a slice of home.
On Monday, my husband Ron returned the van. He texted me saying he had provided Avis with the requested pictures of the fuel gauge and mileage and that drop-off went smoothly. Wonderful!
A couple of days later, reviewing my Amex transactions online, I saw a charge from Avis for over $600. Filled with panic, I immediately dialed Avis.
After enduring some time on hold, a representative admitted he was not entirely sure about the charge but said he would request a copy of the invoice to be emailed to me. When the invoice arrived, it simply stated, ‘Miscellaneous Charge: $450.’
Anxiety washed over me, and my lip quivered in response. How is this situation acceptable? How could Avis charge me such a hefty fee without notification or explanation? How could they do this to others? What if this enormous mystery fee hit someone’s bank account who was living paycheck to paycheck?
I redialed Avis, requesting to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor explained that the $450 fee pertained to a pet cleaning charge. The explanation baffled me. While a few of Charlie’s hairs might have been present, they hardly warranted a $450 expense. Why hadn’t we been advised to vacuum the vehicle before returning it or when dropping it to avoid such a fee? Why hadn’t a more reasonable fee, say $50 or even $75 for vacuuming, been charged?
Upon hearing the reasoning behind the $450, my composure crumbled, and tears flowed uncontrollably. I wept for the escalating greed and corruption in the world; I cried for the diminishing compassion, communication, and ethics that characterize the current times.
I managed to negotiate the charge down to $200; however, the emotional impact had already been made. This incident stirred up a lot within me, leading me to retreat and focus on healing for the next few days. I indulged in a Gilmore Girls binge-watch, enjoyed a long soothing bath, and went to bed at 8pm three nights in a row.
And now, I’ve resurfaced. I’ve reclaimed my “glass-half-full” attitude and positive vibes, as that’s the outlook I’ve consciously chosen to adopt. I’ve decided to elevate my energy so that my awareness of malice doesn’t define me. Simultaneously, I’ve deliberately chosen to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all: the wonders of nature, signs and synchronicities, and the unwavering love from my family and friends.
Considering the state of the world today, it’s likely that you, too, have encountered similar experiences to my Avis scenario – small reminders that are big reminders that the world is broken; reminders of injustice and greed caused by the absence of compassion and systems and structures that no longer work, or perhaps never did work.
The encouraging side to all of it, at least for me is, I believe the wickedness of the world is being shown to us more and more to give us as a collective the opportunity to amplify our positive energy and spark change – to exercise our inner-power, transcend the noise, advocate for truth, and ascend. For every heartbreak I have encountered, I know I am better for it, because I have chosen to let that situation teach me more about living in love and light.
So please, take the time you need to grieve, recuperate and recharge, but don’t feel low and isolate yourself for too long as there’s no need – this time we are in has a purpose.
Dr. Danielle Clark | Psychic Medium
PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when the world feels heavy, ‘I have the power to be heart-centered and optimistic, even in the hardest of times. I know that every challenge has a deeper purpose guiding me and humanity towards growth and transformation.’
PPS – We don’t need to wait for a trigger (like my Avis situation) to explore and release pent-up emotions about the state of the world. Grab your pen and journal. Reflect on a recent situation in the world that has been weighing on your heart. Describe the emotions it stirs within you. How has this event affected your daily thoughts and actions? Allow your pen to freely express your frustrations, fears, and any other emotions you’re experiencing. How can these feelings help elevate both yourself and society? This journal prompt may be a beneficial one to use several times a week, helping you to process, transmute, and release feelings as needed.