Accepting the Good, the Bad and the Impossible to Control
I like control. I'm in pretty sure I'm not at all unique in that feeling. I like knowing where my keys are, that my toothbrush will be where I left it, I love when google maps is honest with me and I get to my destination in the amount of time that it promised me. These are the small things that quiet my anxiety and make me feel like I'm not struggling to breathe. If I'm having an internal flip out, I can focus on the fact that my phone is in the correct pocket in my purse and then I'm back at center.
So I try really bonkerface hard to find that control anywhere I can! I mean ANY WHERE. If that means getting up at 4:45 to work out before a crazy day juuuust so I can cross that shit off my list - I'll do it. Or folding my underoos the way that The KoMari method told me to, thats how I'll spend a Friday night, or if it means getting to the airport 4 hours early because JFK is always crazy to get to, and I have to check a bag and who the fuck knows what might happen on the way there #zombieapocolypse - you bet your ass I'm in the airport at 4 pm for an 8 pm flight. Like a psycho.
That's what I did last Friday on my way to my dear friend Kim's wedding in Santa Fe. I sat in the airport waiting for my boyfriend to arrive at a reasonable time and felt excited about the trip, and super proud of how prepared I had been - I was in totally control.
Fast forward 5 hours, and the plane that we were on had to kick turn right over Ohio because there was a bad smell near the toilet. My first thought was, 'duh - of course there is! It's an airplane bathroom - that's kind of it's jam.' But, I luckily thought better of voicing my opinion.
I am very fortunate to date a super calm person. He didn't freak out, we just held hands and made a plan to beeline to the bar as soon as we deplaned.
Another hour or two goes by, and we are let back on the plane full of rose and ready to PTFO, we buckle up, get ready for take off, and then taxi and taxi and taxi until we come back to the gate. I went from ready to PTFO to ready to FTFO, but before I could get myself to that place the man sitting in front of me and the woman sitting to the right of me start SCREAMING at the flat attendants and at the airline on their cell phones at the same time. It was intense!
They were saying shit to these people that I couldn't have come up with if I had tried! I was confused. I was wondering if maybe they had a history with these people - like one of them had actually kicked their puppy when they were kids, and this was them unleashing all of those pent up feelings. It was that kind of hate.
In that moment, I thought about what I had learned about in my meditation that morning (that's right sweethearts, I meditate! On an app! Like a fancy ass human)
The mediation that morning was about acceptance, and Andy Puddicomb (my bestie) asked what was I resisting in my life. In that moment on the plane I was resisting losing control. I had done all of the right things, I had been on time, I had planned ahead, all of my liquids were under 3oz - I felt like I deserved control! But I didn't. I wasn't in control then, and fuck if I was in control now. Resistance wasn't going to help me, but acceptance was. I untensed my shoulder and neck muscles, I breathed deeply and I accepted the situation I was currently in.
Letting go of the neatly orchestrated plan i had for this trip in my head gave me so much relief. I didn't have to wish so hard with fingers and toes crossed that this situation was different. I needed to choose to be ok with the fact that I was freaked out and overwhelmed and I wanted a another drink and that they weren't letting me get up to pee. This was my reality, and that was ok.
Accepting that sometimes life is shitty, understanding that at some point it'll pass and that in the meantime there isn't a ton we we can do to control it, is the greatest gift I've ever given myself. On top of that little personal present, I also got triple snacks from the flight attendant because I didn't scream. Which felt like the universe telling me that accepting your situation can mean snacks in the long run - so I think this is something I could get really into.