“People talk about the reality of their life as if it is important. And we want you to understand it’s only the temporary indicator. Do you go to the gas station-your gas gauge is on empty-do you go to the gas station and look at your gas gauge in horror? ‘How did this happen? Why, why, why did this happen to me?’ Do you lay your head on the steering wheel and just sob? ‘Oh, look what it’s come to. I’m finished. I’ve lived all of this life, and look where I am.’ Or do you just fill up?” – Esther Abraham-Hicks
Every once in awhile, I come across a quote that slaps me into awareness. The above quote did just that as I read it and ended with a nod in agreement and a knowing smile.
Before I read the quote, I was throwing myself a pity party. I have a situation going on where things just aren’t working the way I would like. I’ve been reaching out to others for help, but I’m not finding them to be as receptive or supportive as I expected them to be. I used to be one of those people who would come running when someone had a problem. If I couldn’t do anything to help you, I would, at least, hold your hand while you go through it or let you know that I’m with you. Over time, I’ve realized that not everyone feels the need to give that same level of support.
This day, I was facing roadblocks at every turn in trying to find a solution to my problem. I was also dealing with the end of a relationship and an illness. I just felt overwhelmed and I was looking for relief to come from somewhere and was surprised to find it nowhere. I received a phone call that I was hoping would be the solution, but it was just another no. I launched into self-defeating and negative thoughts. Why me? There’s no point in being a good person because no one helps you when you need them. And, on and on and on. At the end of it, I felt no better. If anything, I felt worse. And, I knew that none of it was true.
Eventually, I pulled myself together and cleaned up my thinking. Even though, I try to focus on the positive in life. I am not immune to moments of feeling let down and overwhelmed. But, I don’t allow myself to dwell in it any longer. I allow myself 15 minutes of complaining and negativity and then I try to work on another solution.
Then, I read the quote above and I felt silly. I laughed at myself. I realized that the situation I am dealing with is nothing that no one else hasn’t faced before and gotten through. It wasn’t personal. It wasn’t a punishment and no one was telling me no to hurt me. It is just the way the situation is working out at the moment. And, like the gas tank, I just need to find the fuel and fill it up. That’s all it demands from me. In that moment, I was able to take a step back and look at the situation. Not only shouldn’t I expect more of others, but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. In that moment, I was able to accept the situation for what it was and I was able to let myself off the hook if I couldn’t resolve it.
I let it go. And, guess what, it’s still not resolved. In fact, it’s a little bit worse than it was in that moment. But, it still is just what it is. A situation. I’m confident that it will work out the way it is meant to work out. I’m not stressing myself out about it. I’m not falling on the ground, screaming and crying. I’m not beating myself up. I’m just living, watching it unfold and doing everything that can be expected of me to resolve it. And, that is all anyone can ever ask. The only thing that changed was me. I realize that if I hadn’t change that I would be in a very bad state of mind at this point, but instead I’m at peace.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ― Steve Maraboli
Can you take a step back and look at a situation differently?
Can you let yourself off the hook today?
Can you trust that it will work out in your favor?