The other week was a bit of a train wreck for me. It seemed like everything was fighting against me. One minute I’d be really on in the universal groove and then wham the next thing I knew I was flat on my ass.
One day I spent an hour walking around the city in the rain thinking I must have forgotten where I’d parked my car. I mean surely I must have forgotten, only to find out it had been towed. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I mean, I’ve never even been pulled over for speeding before.
Immediately, I started to breathe. I was so upset. But I knew that unleashing my emotions in that moment wasn’t going to help me through it. All I could do was tell myself to keep breathing and do whatever I needed to figure out how to get to the impound and get it back.
I was annoyed and pissed off. There was no legitimate reason it should have been towed. I’ve parked a million times there and have seen other people parked there as well. I never thought something like this would happen. I’d fully planned on getting to the bottom of this as soon as I got to the towing office.
A sweet friend of mine rushed over to pick me up and I immediately felt this wave of gratitude. “How lucky am I to have friends who would drop what they are doing to help me!” We rode to get my car back and talked about what happened and my jaunt around the neighborhood in the literal pouring rain for an hour. For the moment I was enjoying wallowing with someone in my misery.
Finally we got there. Instantly my mood shifted. Holy moly this place made the hair on my back stand up and every muscle in my body tighten. Breathe. I just reminded myself to stop breathing. And then the wave came again, “I am so grateful that I don’t work in hostile environment.” Truly it was one of the most emotionally enraged and charged places I’ve walked into. I vowed to be the kindest person the service man had seen all day.
Once I got in my car. I sat there for a minute and then I cried. I allowed myself to feel the shock and distress that I’d been breathing through the whole time. And then again, “I am so grateful that I even have a car.”
As I drove home I vented about the wasted money and the inconvenience and I just let it all come out. These are issues that everyone deals with, right? But why are they so disrupting and aggravating? They take us out of our present moment and put us into a shocking different reality. It then came again “I am so grateful that I had money to cover the cost.” That one was rough to swallow. It was so true and yet so frustrating to think about. But I was, I couldn’t imagine that same situation if I didn’t have the means, or worse if that situation would have really put me under in a different way.
These segments of gratitude were little reminders to me of how quickly you can shift your perspective and adjust what your reality is from how it feels. Profound.
Is it still ridiculous that it all happened? Absolutely! Gratitude doesn’t take away what it is that happens, what it does is allow us to heal from it. The more we move into the space the more we’re able to embrace whatever we’re facing and really make it quite beautiful.
I haven’t figured out all of the lessons of everything (read: that was just one thing that happened!) but what I can say is that my continual practice of gratitude and using affirmations has allowed my mind to harness emotional adversity. In situations like this that are frustrating and others that are emotionally exhausting.
So the next time something unexpected, challenging or upsetting happens. Think of how you can view it through the lens of gratitude. How would it be different for you?