Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do."
― Byron Katie
My day began with a flat tire. I was just about to drive my daughter to school. Why this now, especially after a "sh***y" week, well, let's face it, a "sh***y" year. Or is it? Why do I so quickly label a flat tire as "sh***y"? It is just a flat tire.
What makes it "sh***y" is how I judge it, think about it, create a story around it.
My story today was poor me; why do bad things happen to me, especially after such a hard week, a hard month, a hard year and, if I am in a terrible mood, as I was, a hard life. "Am I not entitled to a break? Come on, am I not a good person? Why do bad things have to always happen to me?" I can go on and on I go - heck, I can go back to my childhood if I let myself!
Here is the reality, I woke up, I found a flat tire. It is just a flat tire. I called AMA, they arrived within 10 minutes, and 5 minutes later, the tire was changed. He told me what to do next and wished me a great day. What is so "bad" about this, nothing. What are my thoughts on this? "sh***y"
This month I lost a love connection with someone I adore and whom I thought might be my partner in crime for the last half of life. This week I lost a contract that I thought would be the answer to a new financial future. Today I woke up to a flat tire.
In the big scheme of things, my flat tire pales compared to the other two, especially lost love. But it's not about the flat tire; it is about my judgement of the flat tire, the fumbled contract, the lost love. Each of these experiences will have an array of emotions that go with it. And, if I am not careful, a bucket of judgements.
Some life changes invite deep grief, which I believe is an essential and necessary response. And, some events, like a flat tire, ask us just to let go. In either case, I mustn't spiral into a judging, victim mindset; this gets in the way of my transformation. If I get tangled in the negative judgements that creep in, I risk sabotaging and prolonging my suffering as well as my capacity to let go.
Yes, I am very sad. I lost a good person. Yes, I am frustrated. My contract changed. And, yes, I was annoyed. I had a flat tire. These emotions are signals to me on how to respond. I can spin in judgment or, intentionally become present, invite deep self-compassion, explore the greater meaning, and remind myself that sometimes it's just a flat tire.