Perspective Smack Scenario 1: Yesterday as I was walking to my wellness coaching session with T I began to run down the list of topics I wanted to discuss with her. It's about a 20 minute walk from my office to hers, so I usually take this time to get my head prepped to dig deep into whatever is on my mind that week. This preparation sometimes leads down a silly and whiny internal road. Ugh, just WAIT til T hears what so-and-so said to me...or...I still can't believe I'm dealing with this right now, I can't wait to fill her in. After a few blocks I glanced up mid-mental complaint to see a young man, maybe early 20's, walking with a friend towards me. They were laughing and smiling. Now, I use the following description as merely that--a description to paint a mental picture. In no way am I trying to judge or express pity; I see no value in either. It was visibly apparent that this young man had either been born with an extreme facial deformity or had something quite terrible happen to him (e.g. car crash, animal attack, etc) that had required intense reconstructive surgery. To be frank, he looked a bit cartoonish and it was a startling site at first glance.
Talk about a perspective smack. Immediately my heart leapt out to him (not that it needed to, he clearly was enjoying his friends company as they strolled down the street and I know nothing about his life to make any assumptions). But as my heart leapt out to him my head instantly scolded me for letting myself drive down that silly, whiny road. There are times when I feel it's difficult to face the day--times when you just don't feel like dealing with anyone. I feel confident in saying we have all been there at some point. But all of my (for lack of a better word) "issues" are very much internal. That is to say, it's not impossible for me slap on a smile and carry on with my life, leaving all outsiders oblivious to what I may be mulling over inside. Can you imagine dealing with every day stresses combined with a physical deformity or ailment ? One that is so clearly...well...out there, for all to see? How brave one must be to face the day, every day. To move forward regardless of quite obviously not fitting into a social norm (freaking social norms--who sets these, anyways?!).
Pardon my language, but holy shit I'm a fortunate son of a bitch to have my health. I may not look like a magazine beauty, but I'm also fortunate to not have to make peace with any true deformities or injuries or superficial ailments.
Perspective smack received, Universe.
Perspective Smack Scenario 2: There are no washers or dryers in my apartment building, which means whenever it's time to do laundry I either have to trek to the laundro-mat down the street (called The Missing Sock, so cute, right?) or beg one of my friends to let me hang out on their couch while I bogart their buildings machines (you're cool with back to back episodes of Golden Girls while I eat your cereal, right?). About a month ago I was doing laundry at a gal pals building only to discover the next day that several articles of clothing had gone missing. My favorite pair of lululemon pants...noooo! A shirt that completes one of my Jennifer-Aniston-would-so-wear-this outfits....say it isn't so! The best tank tops to layer with...waaa, I want them back! Someone had made a fashion killing off my loads. Total bummer.
My first reaction was to look at my friend and say "what the f*ck!". Then, miraculously, I was able to let it go. My friend felt terrible--she began offering to replace all of the missing pieces, apologizing left, right and upside down. Girl, I said, this isn't your fault! And besides...they are just *things*. They have no real value in my life. I'll think of it as clearing out the old to make room for the new. I'm lucky to have a closet full of other things to wear!
I have so many articles of clothing that weeks later I'm still *just* realizing certain pieces are missing. Today, for example, I went to reach for a cool dress I like to match with my cowgirl boots and brown wrap belt only to see that it had been one of the laundry caper victims. A month later and I'm really just realizing this? Sheesh. Is it annoying and a bit disappointing? Yes, of course. Is it frustrating to know someone rifled through my stuff and snagged things that belonged to me? Yep, not so fun. But is it the end of the world or grounds for major depression? Absolutely not. Reality check: there are people in this world struggling to keep a single shirt on their backs. I can more than survive minus a few pairs of pants.
I have to admit--choosing to take a deep breath and let it go was an amazing feeling. What else was there to do? I couldn't get the clothing back. Wallowing in anger or sadness would only serve to rot my insides. Letting it go freed me of negativity and set the vibes for forgiveness and acceptance...two of the most powerful forces out there.
What perspective smacks have you received lately?