Your brain can be an asshole but you don’t have to Go along with it...
If you are like me, and human, you are likely to run into several moments throughout your day when you might think about reacting in a disempowering way; angry, frustrated, annoyed, impatient, fearful, lazy, etc.. fill in the less desirable outcome, et voilà.
What you do following that feeling or thought that rises up is what makes all the difference.
Here is an example of one of those simple moments:
Recently I popped into a grocery store because I needed to return something.
It was late, I was tired, I was actually rather hungry, bordering hangry, and still had a ways to drive to get home. I felt rushed.
A combination, in retrospect, that wasn’t optimal for me to have chosen to stop by and return something to the store.
And then, the cashier I went up to wasn’t aware of how to process the transaction I requested.
The extra painful part was that I could visually see this poor guy become frantic in search of how to help me in this request.
I saw it in the way he avoided my eye contact, swayed nervously looking in all directions for the answer while anxiously in desperate search shifted through the few documents available to him.
And then there was me...and the self-important part of my mind, that allowed my thoughts of being rushed, frustrated, and annoyed to come up.
I could have easily let the situation solidify my hurried and annoyed focus, making me feel my time was being wasted and further, falling victim to the circumstance I had found myself in.
YES, that option crossed my mind.
But that is not the option I decided to react upon.
I chose to just be in the situation, breathe into a new perspective for what it was, to be patient, to be kind, to be open-minded, and grateful for this person helping me.
I had THAT choice. And I took it.
An older version of LeeLee might have gotten frustrated or irritated.
However, growth-minded Lee Lee was grateful this kind sir didn't just shut me down and say, “sorry, I can’t help you". Instead he was looking for an answer. I couldn’t have been more thankful for his efforts, even after it ended with me needing to go back to the original store where I bought the item.
That news too is another possible realization that could irritate some further, but again choosing not to allow potential irritants or setbacks to affect our reactions.
Even when thoughts and feelings can surely build-up, we still hold the power to choose how we react in any given situation, no matter our emotions or thoughts.
That is always up to us…
This moment was such a tiny scene in my day, but it was a big opportunity to change the experience for me, the cashier, the people waiting in line, it was indeed a meaningful moment.
A good 20 minutes and the gentleman came back from finding the answers with a supervisor. Apologizing nervously and profusely, it seemed he felt awful for the time it took and the answer he had to relay.
I simply and happily said, “No worries, we both got to learn something new, how great is that!?”
The lady behind me in line chimed in with a comment about how great a growth mindset is and my eyes lit up like I just ran into an old friend.
It filled me with so much joy since I had also allowed thoughts of worry for the others in line that my inquiries were holding up.
I was thankful for how patient the lady behind me in line was… Knowing as I do that many people can get upset and frustrated behind you when something is holding up the line, I think we have probably all experienced that in some way, no?
Choosing the peaceful, patient route made tears of joy and pride come to my eyes…
It wasn't because I learned something I didn't know was available to me.
It was simply because I allowed myself to step into it and really feel the difference in the moment of the right choice.
I am not some erratic and emotional person in these types of situations, it is just that the busyness of life, the hold-ups, the road bumps, the annoyances, big and small can get to us all and even allow our uncomfortable or negative thoughts to create those same feelings even if we don’t end up reacting to them. Or they can feel bad enough to ruin the experience altogether.
And, golly what a feeling...
I think we can all learn a lot from remembering the power of that feeling from taking such action. The power of the choice we have in every transaction and interaction in life to choose to take the loving, patient, full of perspective and possibilities route.
The opportunity that each moment affords us to show up in a more empowering and positive way. Providing feelings that we could all remember when we come to the next moment of decision...moment of choice to get carried away ….or stay in the calm, compassionate and considerate.
To experience and further remember how darn good it feels to be patient and kind versus the icky, draining, pissed off aftermath of a conflict with others in the world, who are usually trying to do their best, but Only lacking the ability to do it to “our standards” in our eyes.
It could be so incredibly valuable when we can run into this type of experience so often.
We can learn or be reminded of much if we allow for it.
So often we “KNOW” what to do, we are not ignorant to what makes sense, what is the best way to socially deal.
What ways to show up and behave for our social contracts in life.
But we don’t always follow or respond in that ideal way.
And I get it. It can seem so easy to just get annoyed, upset, or frustrated…
Carrying on thinking…. I mean this person had a job and they didn’t know what to do.
BUT Wait..hold on… don’t you remember a time when you too were learning or you too came across something new and required a learning curve?
If you are being honest I would bet my life you have.. and often have been in a similar situation.
Just think if you can hold space and have compassion for those who come across a path in your life going through that too.
Be thankful that person doesn’t just shut you down but instead tries to look for the answer.
That my friend is a growth mindset IN PRACTICE not just theory and knowing…
That is another thing, too.
We know what to do, but we don’t do what we know. And is that really knowing?
I am sure there is a quote out there that says something like, until you have experienced it, lived it, you don’t really comprehend it fully.
Maybe it is a cliche…
But I say hey, come back to those all the time… Cliche’s are clichés because they are common knowledge, BUT NOT COMMON PRACTICE.
They remind us of a truth.
And imagine if we stepped into that truth just a little bit more.
We all too often dismiss an opportunity to learn to a greater depth when we dismiss a need to be present and practice what we say we know.
This example, this moment in time is a perfect situation of how the mind can really show up as an asshole.
But you get to choose how to respond to your brain and the world.
How will you respond?
What is a moment in your day that you handled well even when your brain was thinking differently?
When was a time that you wish you had reacted in a different way?
We all have room for improvement, let's remember we are capable of choosing that route.
Growth and goodness to you.
Share your experiences here or send me a message I would love to hear your own experiences.