Earlier today, I was really fed up.
I had a few things take place at once:
- My mom’s health took a turn for the worse.
- A few business projects I’ve been super focused on seemed like they were falling apart.
- I felt conflicted about an upcoming opportunity and the birth of our new son… wishing the timing could be different.
- I came home and found the babysitter taking care of my son had let a contractor into our house (whom I trust, but still don’t like this on principle when I’m not home and don’t know about it).
- My wife and I had a communication breakdown.
And, this all happened within 30–45 minutes. It felt, for a moment (or more like an hour) crushing. I felt my temper flare, I lashed out — a tiny bit — and quickly apologized. Apologizing felt worse because I was still in a low place — and it made me feel like I made a mistake — and that only compounded the negative feelings I was experiencing.
All of this from a guy who defines himself as happy and fulfilled; there’s the rub: defining myself, as if I’m not subject to emotional fluctuations, feeling overwhelmed, and making mistakes.
Instead of trusting my path, honoring my journey, and embracing life’s challenges with a smile on my face, I gave in. I felt I was “off” because these things were happening, and I thought something was wrong with me.
I reached out to a trusted friend, Angie Johnsey, whom you’ve probably heard me talk about before. She said something super simple, and it really resonated with me: “I’ve learned to put anything that starts to matter too much right out of my head.”
This is a lesson I already knew, but today I needed the reminder. She’s a wise woman, a mentor, and a friend. So, thank you Angie.
Oh, so you might be wondering what happened since (in just a handful of hours since I turned around my attitude):
- My mom’s health seems to be improving, and the doctors seem to have found the source.
- I came up with creative solutions for business, and decided to pivot, instead of giving up.
- I put ‘faith’ into fate and let go of the opportunity, figuring it would solve itself. I’ll do the best I can, while prioritizing what matters most: my new son. Everything else is going to be just fine, because I’ll be taking care of the new love of my life, and my heart will be full.
- The contractor sensed it wasn’t the best time and decided he would come back when it was more convenient. He also happily agreed to call me anytime he’s coming from now on, and the babysitter was more than willing to let me know in the future, too. They just needed to know these are my wishes.
- My wife and I have found total peace; I needed to play with my son, and she needed to rest. It’s all good.
My lesson — and the lesson I wish to transmit for you today — is to take it easy. Relax. It’s all good.
When life hits you a mile a minute, go for the ride. Take a peek from another perspective, even if only for a moment; you may find there’s another way to see things, and as you do, things will change.
Your perspective dictates your reality. You are in charge, no matter how it might feel.
My solution: I followed love, and I went to play with my son. I bounced around like a kid in an indoor playground, looked at other kids playing, laughed with them, and chilled out for awhile.
I emerged anew. And so will you!
Here’s to chillin’ out, feeling your best, and switching your perspective when you don’t. As Angie said, put it out of your head when it matters too much. The highest version of you doesn’t care anyway, for that’s where trust, patience, love, and laughter exist. There isn’t much more, and it’s tough to ruffle your feathers when you’re on your ‘A’ game. If you’re feeling “ruffled”, acknowledge this is your ‘B’ game, and move on.
We all have those moments. It’s normal. The key is not to let them get to you, and to minimize the time we spend feeling less than awesome.
Today, I learned I need a bit more practice. An hour is way too long; 10 seconds, well, that’s cool. I would expect 10 seconds from time to time, and next time around, I plan to laugh at myself — silly me 🙂
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on January 27, 2017.