Today has been a ‘wrapped around the axle’ kind of day. If you’re not familiar with the term, I’ll give you a quick visual that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Driving on the highway, you’re behind a car that has a plastic bag flapping underneath it. That bag is wrapped around the axle (or some other part,) flying along at a high rate of speed but not doing anything obviously useful or productive. Yes, today was one of those days.
I am committed to seeing the positive in everything. It doesn’t mean I don’t know the other things are there; I simply choose what I will focus on because I know that whatever I focus on will automatically become more prominent in my life. I want more positive in my life, so I choose to focus there.
Case in point, the plastic bag wrapped around the axle. It does serve as a point of attention and amusement. It also served as a wonderful illustration for today’s experience.
I got up much earlier than usual to attend a meeting. I even left home early, which is quite a feat for me! The Universe had other plans. Two lanes of the highway were blocked due to an earlier accident, traffic was already backed up for miles, and I knew of no efficient alternate route. Scratch my first objective off the list.
I returned home to write. Instead of writing, I got caught up in a conversation with a friend. Second objective failed.
New computer up and running, I turned my attention to updating my website. I found a new template I really like, installed it, got halfway through setting it up, and had to leave for a meeting. My website now looks like an ad for the Tempera template. Oh, joy! There’s another objective flapping in the wind.
I did make my afternoon meeting. Hmmm. Pardon me while I count the blessings in that! The receptionist is a tiny thing and it was COLD outside. She’d forgotten her jacket; I loaned her my wool duster so she could take out the trash in comfort. Good deed accomplished! The meeting also was quick and productive. Blessings abound!
A conversation with another friend on the way home set me back several pegs on my emotional scale. He confessed that he thinks the human race is scum and the planet would be better off without any humans at all. I didn’t bother to point out that made him scum; we’ve had that conversation before. He doesn’t think he adds real value to the planet. I knew better than to go there. Instead, I replied a bit sharply, “I’m sorry you think I’m scum.” He responded that there were a few exceptions. We turned the focus to better things, but something about the conversation kept nagging at me long after we hung up the phone.
Fully wrapped around the axle, I wasn’t getting anything done, so I decided to sit down and meditate on the issue. It wasn’t long before my truth smacked me in the forehead: I had believed the same thing for most of my life. I had held the opinion that most people were intrinsically evil. At one point, my goal was to become a veterinarian. It wasn’t just because I loved animals; it was mainly because I detested people and didn’t want to have anything to do with them.
If you have not caught the irony, I will point out that I am a Life Coach and my entire purpose is being involved with people at their deepest heart level.
As I went deeper into what this was about for me, I had the realization that he and I share the same passion, making the world a better place. I could feel myself starting to come loose from the axle I’d been spinning around.
However, there was a large part of me still wrapped up and spinning. That part of me needed to make him understand what I know: people are not bad at heart, they only act that way out of pain.
Ah, yeah. The problem there was not that our beliefs were different. It was not that anyone was right or wrong. The problem was that I needed him to adopt my belief so I could be more comfortable.
Oh, boy! That’s an axle-wrapper each and every time.
Trying to control someone else’s thoughts, feelings, or experience is a quick route to anxiety. After all, it is trying to control that which we have no control over.
Instead of working on his beliefs, I chose to work on my acceptance. I can accept that this is the reality he is creating for himself at this time. As much as I am uncomfortable with his reality, it is his and it must be serving him or he would not be creating it. There is a great deal of peace for me in accepting that others are free to create their experiences in any way they choose. After all, I created some pretty chaotic experiences for myself and am a better person for having had them.
That feels better! I’m now fully unwound, much more relaxed, and happily focused on what I can do instead of what I have no control over.
And lookee here! I finished a blog post while working all of that out. Acceptance truly is magic!
If you feel inspired, I’d love to know how acceptance is helping you make magic in your life. You’re invited to comment below.