This just happened– I’m driving home from Tulsa (a 30 minute drive) and my car dies 4 times. Why did I decide to keep driving after the first time? I think it was some combination of not wanting to call AAA and somewhat believing I could will my car to keep going (like if you believe it you can achieve it, kind of thing). For whatever reason, I kept driving and got my car to my family’s mechanic, just so he could tell me my car needed a new fuel pump and THAT would be $600.00.
“Seriously? You’re kidding?”, I asked him half expecting him to jab my shoulder and inform me he was just joking. I had recently paid another large chunk of money to fix my car and now this!?
I needed that $600.00– I have big plans this summer– a trip to LA, a move to a new apartment and at least a little bit of shopping. All of these activities depend on the little nest egg I have built for myself over the past few months and here this guy is threatening to take it all away. Sadly, he was not kidding.
Since my car was staying put I had no other choice but to start walking home and feel completely sorry for myself. I cried, I cursed, I text everyone in my phone book and told them how rough life was and then, after a good hour of mild insanity, I decided to look at this slightly different.
While it’s true, I most likely won’t be able to move into a new apartment next month or go to LA this summer. There is still so much to be grateful for in this situation– I was safe on the car ride home, it’s $600.00 not $6,000.00 and I have a lovely place to live right now with no REAL need to move. Initially, I was annoyed that I had to walk home, but with the change in perspective I was able to see that at least the weather is beautiful, I’m getting my exercise and it’s really not all that far.
I know this whole incident may seem a bit trivial, but I’m writing about it to explain that even in inconvenient, less than desirable situations we have a CHOICE to look at the surface or to look at the silver lining. Although things may not play out the way we want them to, if we look hard enough we always have something to be grateful for.
The cool thing about gratitude is that when we are grateful for what we have, we attract more of what we want to us. On the other hand, if we focus on how rotten life is and how nothing seems to work out, we invite the universe to give us more of what we don’t want.
At times it is easy to see the silver lining, and other times we have to look a bit closer, but in everything there is a lesson, an opportunity to grow and a blessing in disguise. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not easy. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sulked and felt sorry for myself because that certain someone didn’t call, that job didn’t come through or that event didn’t go as planned. That’s ok too, feeling our true emotions is just part of the healing process, but once we’ve gone through the feeling process, it’s time to look for the lesson and find gratitude for the silver linings.
I’m writing this post from the little coffee shop in my hometown, I came across it as I was walking home. I’m so glad I decided to stop by, have my favorite drink and write. My day may not have gone exactly how I thought it would but I’m grateful that in the big scheme of things, all my needs are met and even in this, there are plenty of silver linings.