How many times have we howled to the heavens, “why ME?” Something happens that we didn’t plan on, “life shocks” puts our personal world in a spin, and so on. We would love to have life flow smoothly for us like fish through a sparkling river. But things happen.
We wonder what the reason is for that flat tire on a busy day, a bill we didn’t expect, a leak in the roof, one of the kids needs braces, and on and on it goes. Sometimes it just seems like the tide is against us and we are fighting to get to shore.
I began to get tired of getting upset over things I knew I couldn’t control. Being angry or swearing couldn’t change the circumstance, so I decided to change me. I began to look at those unforeseen circumstances in a new light. If someone cut me off in traffic and scared me, I turned my knee-jerk angry reaction into thanks to whatever angels were watching out for me. I realized that most of my anger was seated in plain old fear.
Years ago one summer I was running late for an appointment, and although I didn’t have that far to travel, traffic moved like molasses in January. As I fretted and worried and swore about being late, I got to the actual traffic jam. Two guys were running madly after a large pig who must have gotten out of the back of their truck. A policeman was directing traffic, and the two guys were laughing their heads off as they ran. It even looked to me as if the pig was having a grand time.
Luckily, they were able to stop the pig and load him back into the truck. Looking around me, I saw smiles on everyone’s faces. The circumstance didn’t make me that late, plus it was too funny for words.
Just imagine the effects of not falling into the old “why me?” way of thinking. For me, it’s lower blood pressure, a healthier attitude on life in general, and a more effective way of dealing with stuff I can’t control.
But I’m not perfect. There have been plenty of times when I have surreptitiously flipped someone off (under the dashboard, though) or gotten angry with situations I can’t control. However, when I slip and go into rage mode I remember that pig.
And I laugh.