Hi everyone, I want to take a moment to remind you that you still have options and choice in life. With this whole pandemic going on and all the social distancing and quarantining, it can be very easy to forget that we do indeed have options. We can, in fact, still enjoy our lives. The truth of this is shown in two very old and very important concepts. First, we are all doing one of two things. We are either trying to stay the same, or trying to change something. We are all trying to maintain homeostasis or trying to change our dynamic. Secondly, change is inevitable and unavoidable. The serenity prayer sums it up nicely.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Since this all started, I have been of the mindset that I was handling all this pretty well. Almost as if it wasn’t really affecting my headspace at all. That was until I got triggered pretty hard last Saturday. I have been trouble shooting and spending a lot of money on my car so I could enjoy the freedom of traveling over the last few months and finally managed to get all the lights and all the wobbles and unnerving things on it figured out this past Monday. I was SUPER EXCITED!! I had been extremely busy with work all week but my Sundays are always my get out and do something/nothing days. I kept seeing people posting with their one or two friends, or family doing fun things as they were out of work, working from home, or otherwise quarantined all week long. So, I thought I would make a post on the local hiking group page saying I had room for one person and a couple of dogs in my car if anyone wanted to join me hiking somewhere Sunday. As you can imagine, I didn’t get any takers, but I did get some instant flack for it. And Man! I got angry! I was so mad that people couldn’t just mind their own business and only respond if they wanted to go. I ended up muting comments and then deleting the post once Sunday came around and no one had shown interest. I totally allowed the frustration follow me into my “plans” yesterday. I decided I was bound and determined to get a good distance away from town with my now working vehicle and hike somewhere awesome with my pup. It sounds like a great strategy right? Farther away than most people want to go, and soak in that freedom of a properly working vehicle again. And it would have been if I didn’t bring my frustration and anger with me. But, I did so I didn’t plan well and kept running into hiccups to my plans creating more frustration. By the time I was almost 2 hours away from home walking a forest road because it was still closed and I couldn’t get to any of the trailheads, I was FUMING!! I had to keep stopping myself, taking deep breaths and feeding my dog treats to calm myself. I should note that it was close to 50 degrees out and completely sunny, it was a magnificent day out. I should have been ecstatic. I wasn’t. I made sure to enjoy the scenery, and take it all in but I could not, for the life of me, get my shoulders to relax. I was totally amped up, not the normal zen I feel as soon as I hit the wood line. It wasn’t until I almost flipped out on my dog (whom I love more than life itself), after he found the only awake skunk in the woods, that I finally hit my breaking point and had to get those shoulders to drop. It was the point when I accepted that none of this had anything to do with closed trailheads, or none of the strangers on the group page wanting to join me. It wasn’t even lack of company. I was losing my head because I was running away from dealing.
See, the serenity prayer is called that for a reason. When you are able to live that way, you create the least resistance in your life. I wasn’t. I was resisting change. I wasn’t accepting it and it was affecting everything in my life. I wasn’t accepting that the quarantine was causing me frustration. I wasn’t accepting why it was causing me discomfort. And as a result, I wasn’t giving myself the chance to process through any of it and let go what I could to make space. In times like this, it is very easy to have this happen, because some of the things that are changing, we are extremely resistant to. My underlying problem is that I felt overly distanced from someone long before the quarantine started. The quarantine andthose peoples comments on my post just made it feel more poignant. As a result, I created all these unnecessary stresses in my life I allowed one frustration to turn into many. And that is where the Options come into play. There are many aspects of life that we can not directly affect. But, in life there are always an infinite number of choices. WE have the option to choice what we focus on. ALWAYS. The most important one we have is choosing if we will focus on what we can do nothing about or choosing what we can do something about.
So this week I ask you, choose to focus on what you can do. This is an incredible time to develop yourself. If you are feeling stressed and frustrated by all this, take time to find the root cause, and accept it. Then, look for the opportunities. What can you do, what part of you can you develop that will aid you in this time of turmoil? We always have more choices and actions that we can take than we actually have time for in any given day. Now is the time to take a look, maybe there are things that can now take a greater priority in your life as a result of fewer options. You still have infinite potential and more choices than you have time for. You are not as limited as you may think. Find the ways to create a better and more joyous you.