This past weekend my family decided that we had to cancel our trip to visit our children on the East Coast. We were so looking forward to it.
To add in the celebration of going, my daughter and her husband also bought a house that we have yet to visit. Oh, and did I mention the additional benefit that we were supposed to see our son and his fiancé driving down from NY to be with us? A truly family gathering. With all of us! How cool was that going to be?!
As you can imagine the decision was not an easy one to make or to even entertain! Bob began this conversation about the possibility of canceling our trip last Thursday. Oh, was I angry! “Why do we have to change our plans? Why can’t we go? We will protect ourselves,” I kept saying. “We have a mask, a visor, gloves. I will even put on the jacket all the way and cover my hair. No one will even be able to recognize me. AND, we booked a direct flight for a reason. To be protected,” no?
What can go wrong?
Well, the number of cases is increasing as we speak.
And deep down I knew that it was probably the right choice to make.
And then, as if we needed another sign, the airline helped us in making this decision. An email arrived over the weekend changing our flight. Now we were scheduled to stop and have a few hours waiting in another airport. A stop that was not planned.
Almost as a message from above, directed at us to rethink this trip.
To share with you honestly, I was not very receptive to this conversation. In truth, I was resentful. Resentful with the messenger of bad news – my dear husband, Bob. Yes, me- the positive intelligence coach, the positive thinking human that I am. I was angry.
Should I have been angry with Bob? No. Was I? Yes. Because he is the one who asked me to wake up to the present reality. To the fact that Covid19 is also Covid20, and maybe will even surf as Covid21!
It felt so sad. It still feels disappointing.
But something else happened in the process.
Usually, I would be making faces (of sorrow and pain, or resentful and ignoring) for a much longer time than I actually did. This time it took me only a few hours to feel sad and bad for myself.
I asked myself, “How long, Dorice, do you want to feel resentful, angry and sad? Is this serving you?” As Shirzad Chamine poses, how long do you want to keep your hand on the hot stove?
In the past, I am willing to admit that I would have kept my entire self (not just my hand) on the hot stove because why the heck not?
Let other people feel bad for me, almost as if to punish them for making me change.
And slowly, low and behold, I began realizing that I am punishing myself. Who really wants to stay in this space of anger and disappointment? Over what? That which we have no control over? How beneficial is this?
So after a few pouting episodes between me and myself (I did let my dog comfort me…he literally came over and put his face next to my nose showing me he cares…it was so sweet; it made me cry), I was ready to move on. With a few PQ reps techniques of literally shifting my thoughts from negative to positive, from problems to possibilities, Bob and I sat together to come up with solutions. Explore our options.
No, we cannot go now, that is the fact. Can we go later? Yes.
Can we go and stay longer? Yes.
Can we stay for over a month? Well, maybe only me- I’ll still take it!
The sage perspective in Positive Intelligence is that every problem can become a gift and an opportunity for something else. It does not mean that what happened was good or desirable. The impact/lessons/opportunities from it, however, can be found. Sometimes it takes years, and sometimes we can shift quicker.
Slowly I am learning to replace the sense of disappointment with options. What is possible instead of what cannot happen. Achieving what can be real instead of that which is out of our control or choice.
That is called mindset shifting.
Here is a Hebrew gem for all of you, language lovers: Disappointment in Hebrew is אכזבה achzavah, sharing the same root as the Hebrew word lying כיזב kizev. Therefor these two words are connected. Can we consider that being disappointment is form of lying to ourselves? We may be disappointed, but can we then realize the possibilities out there that are more real? Can we have even a better-quality visit with the family when we are not under stress? When there are more options?
It will not surprise you that the word for quality in Hebrew is איכותEichut. It shares the same Hebrew root as the biblical words Aicha אייכה(where are you) and Eichaאיכה (how are you). What is the connection, you ask?
When we know where we are, both mentally and physically, that is when we achieve quality.
The quality of whatever we do is better when we are present. When we are not stressed, and instead, we show up with our full selves, life is better. When these three concepts (where we are, what we are and what we do) are in alignment, we are in a positive creation mode. It is when our brain allows itself to be more resourceful.
And we always have to start with ourselves. With empathy toward what and where we are. This is a difficult time for all of us. Each one of us has their own “basket” of goodies (and not so good issues and situations) to take care of. And when your loved ones bring up resentment toward them- how long would you want to keep it up? Is it benefiting you? Or can you replace that negative feelings with “let’s come up with something that I will look forward to because right now it sucks?” activities.
And above all—can we be thankful? Yes, even now…
Thanks for what we do have. And then follow it up with showing gratefulness to the people around you.
Because being thankful is a feeling and grateful is an action. And no one is perfect. No one has a black belt in any of this. We are all in this to learn to be better humans. Better people. And it starts with ourselves.
Gratefulness is showing others how thankful you are. And even though life can be challenging and “suck” at certain moments, most would agree that it beats the alternative. Right?