One thing people tend to forget in life is that not everything is about them, in fact nothing is, it’s only the way you feel about it which makes you take it personally. Even the way someone is acting towards you or a current circumstance really has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with that persons own experiences and interpretations and your feelings towards the situation. Most of society has not learned the skill of controlling their emotions and are therefore are in fact controlled BY their emotions. The way that you “feel” really has very little to do with the person or situation you believe is causing you to feel that way. It’s your choice to make a situation whatever it is and you have the power to change it.
I was recently traveling in Hawaii and feeling a bit down because my Fiance had been on a business trip there that I had tagged along on. Granted, I should have been prepared to spend a significant amount of time alone due to his work responsibilities, but alas I still whined “there is nothing to do by the time you get off, we haven’t done anything!” It hit me then, that yes WE had not been able to do anything that was worthy in my opinion of a vacation adventure, but that was not his fault. I still had myself to blame for letting time pass idle. Even though truth be told most people would have been perfectly content lounging about the beautiful beach of Waikiki and here I was complaining about being lonely. By the second day, I realized how silly I had been allowing these feelings of fear and self pity overwhelm my time in this beautiful place, even alone! I decided to take matters into my own hands and ventured off by myself. I found a sailing trip for only $20 by chance and hopped on board with a boat full of strangers! A wonderful couple from Vancouver shared their beer with me and I learned so much about their lives. What an amazing thing they had done, moving all the way from Korea to Vancouver learning the language and cultural differences along the way! Had I decided to let my emotions get the better of me I never would have had such a wonderful encounter.
I ventured off to the zoo next and was in awe of the difference in the experience of being with the animals solo. It was a week day so there were few people walking around and I had the opportunity to sit individually at each exhibit, quiet and study the animals. With no pressure to rush and no other obligations, I took advantage of my time to sit and spend significant time at each station. I saw couples and families walk by, hastily peering into the exhibit for a few minutes, shrugging at the lack of animal presence and walking away. I’d smile and chuckle to myself as the leopard would poke his head above the rock once all motion ceased on the outside. I wonder if he felt relief to be seemly alone again and had to laugh at my own resistance to that very same gift.
I watched him for quite some time, having off and on staring contest as if trying to read the others thoughts. At one point a rather loud and rambunctious crowd drew with children and their yelling parents. The children would whistle and make loud roaring sounds towards the leopard. Slowly and reluctantly he pulled himself two by two to all four feet. He yawned and climbed onto the rock closest to the bench I perched on, now surrounded by yelling children. His face turned serious as he squatted then peered down at the children, all anxiously awaiting some remarkable act. The leopard had a bowel movement yawned and retreated back behind the rock. Wide eyed and shocked the children let out an enormous ripple of laughter as if this was some kind of deliberate comedy routine for their amusement. They trotted off happily exchanging gasp and laughter at one another. “If a message was being sent at all”, I thought, “the joke was on them!” To me it seemed like a big “screw you for messing with my nap, take this human brats!” I let him sleep after that and moved onto the elephants.
The one afternoon that my fiance did have totally free we planned to go hiking. Based on the tip of another amazing person I met on my trip. She was a local coming home from LA and we struck up a conversation on the airplane, I was so inspired by her passions and plans for the future. She and her friend had been planning to open their own boutique in Hawaii. People that truly know their paths always fascinate me and I love learning about them. Upon walking to breakfast on this beautiful morning a sudden down pour hit and we knew hiking was too dangerous and out of the question. We talked over breakfast about all of the what if’s that could occur and decided it was too risky, but just as quickly dismissed all of those thoughts and figured even worst case wasn’t so bad. Since we were on a positive and somewhat dangerous train of thought, we decided to rent moped’s and cruise up to the hike in the rain.
Along the way, the down pour became so intense that our clothes were soaked through and we could barley see in front of us. We pulled over to the side of the road, but instead of discussing the obvious dangers and misfortunes of the weather we laughed so hard we cried. We climbed back onto the soaked leather seats and continued our trek. As it turns out, reading directions while driving a moped is not a very realistic feat. So, instead of heading to the hike suggested by my new local friend we found ourselves randomly at diamond head. Just as we made it to the top of the look out view, the rain ceased and the beautiful skies shown through. Most people would have chosen to let the rain get the better of them, they would have run back to their hotel news paper over their heads and waited it out. The fact is, a bad situation is only a bad situation if you decide that it is and allow it to be. Every moment in life, even death can be joyous and free. We all have a limited amount of time on this amazing earth in our current physical forms. It’s up to you to feel the best you can in all of those moments in your life, even the “bad” ones. Choose to enjoy, choose to release situations that cause you grief and are out of your control, choose to be happy, choose to change, choose.
If you don’t add sugar to lemonade, it’s going to be sour.