|The trip NOT taken|
I like to set my standards NICE and low (so impt as a mama) but there are times when I set myself up for something big. When those best-laid plans fall apart, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Case in point, I had a great trip planned to New York City. It’s rare I get to travel, and it’s so important to me. I made all kinds of plans, got excited for some time away, and the requisite break from the (oftentimes) grueling cycle of caring for a toddler. Then poof! The plans fell apart, no trip, no break, no long walks in Central Park. It’s SO easy to give in to discontentment and “woe is me” during these moments. This is how I cope.
1. Acknowledge the blessing
With the low, there is a high. Despite any disappointments in your life, know that God has future blessings in store. The trick is acknowledging His goodness, in spite of whatever you are dealing with. My canceled trip may be your application that got lost in the web or the school you didn’t get into. We are handed these events out daily, and our reaction to them is so key. Are you willing to trust that God has bigger and better things in store for you? If so, you can rest easy when things don’t go your way. In fact, it’s a sign that you’ve put someone else in control. What a nice thing, for a change.
2. Feel the emotion, then let it go
Jesus told us not to worry about life, but he still grieved, commiserated, and felt all the range of emotions that life brings us. To accept life’s lows doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to feel bad. We are, it’s a part of a range of emotions we’ve been blessed with. But we are responsible for not riding along in our emotions all day. Feel the emotion, and then release it. Don’t bottle it up, but certainly don’t wear it around like perfume. I like to imagine blowing on a dandelion, there go all those negative emotions, gone with the wind. Another good one is watching a duck shake water off it’s back–see ya negativity! Whatever exercise works for you, cultivate a way to orient yourself; whether it be meditation, prayer, or just taking 5 deep breaths.
3. Accept what’s in front of you
Knowing my trip was canceled, the next thing I did was look at the expanse of time I now had back. What SHOULD I do for the rest of this week? What people can I connect with? If God was keeping me here, it is with good reason. Looking for that reason is where the Spirit comes into play. I realized this time I’d been given back was its own gift. I could see my parents more, have more time with my family, etc. It’s always what’s right in front of you that we tend to take for granted. This proved a valuable lesson.
So there you have it, a few ways I make life’s lows turn into brilliant highs. Foolproof? Not at all, and I work on it every day. But I’m much happier as a result.