The Everyday Choices We Do Have
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.