How often do we go to the thought ‘This shouldn’t be happening’ when we are faced with a difficult situation? And the larger the difficulty the stronger this thought becomes. We start looking for everything that is wrong. The mistakes people made, the bad luck, the negative impact it is all having. Needless to say, this negative energy feels bad and, not only does it NOT solve the problem, it always makes things even worse. Because now we have whatever the original issue is AND palatable stress, anxiety, and worry. As we all know, our actions out of this state can produce untold pain and suffering. 

 

Like the time I was in the Chicago airport and all flights were cancelled. The mayhem that ensued was intense. The airline counters all had queues of dozens of people all wanting to rebook as soon as possible. A wave of escalated worry grew and for some this translated into a lack of kindness and even anger. I heard people around me say over and over – I can’t believe this is happening. And yet it was happening. Those trying to deny it and/or find blame for it (another form of denial) were only adding to the frustration and making the problem worse…..for everyone.  

 

Thinking things shouldn’t be happening when they are in fact happening is its own category of conflict. Arguing with reality will only ever get us MORE of whatever misery our current problem is presenting us with. 

Our biggest problem with conflict is thinking we shouldn’t have it.

Which means our first job when faced with a difficult situation, issue or conflict is to accept it…even though it brings discomfort or even pain. And then our second job is to direct our attention in a way that best meets the situation, solves the problem, or bridges a misunderstanding. Finding a way to approach our problems with an enthused attitude for a better future – be it in the next hour, day, week, or year.  

That day at the airport was a disruption for everyone. For some, it was a mild nuisance and for others a devastating delay. But for everyone it was an opportunity to accept what is and show up with the best version of ourself in thought, feeling and deed even amid adversity.  

Acceptance of our reality is always the first step to owning our power in the world.

PS- On that day in Chicago, I ended up at a first-class hotel overnight – had a great meal, a short but super night’s sleep, and arrived at my destination 16 hours later than planned.

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