Here's an example of a real life everyday occurrence...
Today someone I live with took a lot of time & trouble to go to the cable office to exchange a cable box. Going to the cable office in my city can be harrowing. Especially if you go without good intention. An example of good intention would have been "I am going to the cable office. The traffic will be clear and I will get out of the line fast" once in the office another affirmation: "This line is moving quickly, I am going to get my task done easily". Now, the person I speak of has yet to be convinced of the power of positive intention. So, this person dragged himself to get up and go. Words coming out of his mouth such as "I hate having to do this, Going there is always such a task" etc.. Upon reaching the cable office, He immediately texted me "It is Packed!". I affirm to him via text, "before going in please say to yourself, this will be painless and the line is moving quickly." I received no response. I texted additionally, "Visualize yourself, in your car with everything you have come for and smiling." The response I got back : "There are more people behind me now than in front of me". I responded, "Great! Can you see the tide changing for you?" No response.
45 mins later he returns in a horrible huff. He goes on to explain that he thinks he has been screwed and that he will need to call the cable company immediately. I slow him down and ask... "what happened?" (big mistake) He goes on to say that he thinks that the guy at the cable company was in the wrong account and that the service that we got was not at the level that was in the computer. I brought him the bill where proof showed the service we were looking to restore with an exchange of faulty equipment was in fact what we paid for. He went on to call the cable company, and the morning was blown. When he finished screaming at the cable company (shaking my head the whole time), He came to me and asked if I was going to go install the equipment. I simply explained that right now would not be a good time, and that I needed a breather. He scoffed and went into the room and attempted to install the equipment. I left to go into my bedroom. I needed solitude. I felt physically ill. I felt that I had been in a war zone. Stress does that to you. just being exposed to stressful situation that I recognize has nothing to do with me, made me physically ill and trepidous. My body is literally telling me...THIS IS NOT A GOOD SITUATION! Doesnt seem effective does it? My mind starts to question itself. Is positive thinking making me weak? How do I address stress?
Hold on... is this MY stress?
Is this MY situation?
Ok, In my accounting I could have made better choices. After laying down and closing my eyes for what seemed to be milliseconds, I realized, I walked straight into the negativity. I invited it in. Why was I concerned about how this was going to go? Why was I concerned about how he would react in this situation. I, the supposed enlightened person was perpetuating what I DID NOT want. At the very beginning of this situation I was already worried. I should have instead affirmed it myself. The power was mine. Instead of asking him to affirm, why didn't I do it for myself? I could have said "The cable equipment has been returned without incident. I am grateful for the internet, and the cable working perfectly." Period.
Ok, Aha moment realized!
After I came out of my bedroom I began to immediately go into cooking mode. I was feeling a little better and realized that He was upset that I was not excited that he went to the cable office for me and I was not grateful for his going. So, I went to him and said, please go to bed you need to go to work, I understand that you think I am ungrateful and not excited, but I will take care and install the equipment later. I simply feel, to try to install this now in an angry stressful situation would not produce a positive outcome. He became irate. I left the room, He then became enraged, that I left the room! I realize that : 1.) I should not have gone into the room. 2). To maintain peace I could have not instilled my feelings on the situation. (I don't have to fix things)
In order to deal with everyday stressors such as living with someone who does not maintain my same mindset, I have to realize that his reality is not mine. Investing emotion into his hysteria, I now have "minded his business". Let me clarify; I am of the mind-set that if you "mind" other people's business you are not taking care of your own. I have my own agenda. I want to maintain a clear mind, and peaceful heart. In investing emotion (especially negative emotion) in someone else's problems I am not helping and probably making the situation worse. I also am not investing any attention or positive emotion into mine. This is a colossal waste of energy and time away from my path. A detour to futility. No matter how much I want to think I have learned these lessons I also need to realize I cannot change this other person. Only He has the power to do so, if he wants to. That's the idea of Free Will. Who am I to change someone else? Especially when I have not done such hot job with my own choices. I freely recognize that I still have a lot of work to do. And, oooohhhhh there are detour signs everywhere!
I now need the tools to help me as blinders to the detours & magnifiers to my best path.
What have been your biggest "detours"? How do you handle them? What is your best tool? Leave me a comment. Let me learn from you :)
*Next Time: The Science behind Bad Relationships.
- Emotional Acceptance: Why Feeling Bad is Good (psychologytoday.com)