We hear often to look for the good when things go wrong. Depending on the situation this can be very difficult. So, why wait for a hard situation? Start looking for proof in the little day to day irritants. You know, getting stuck in traffic on a day you have a presentation to give. The stove breaking the day before your entire family will be in town. Sure, you could say, “well, maybe I avoided a car accident if I had gone a different way” or “well, maybe I would have made something that was bad and made eveyone sick”. But, thinking about these type of scenarios as the good in a bad situation doesn’t always resonate because we have no proof. Have you tried looking for the proven good? It might not come in the form you were expecting. Especially if you are too busy fighting the fact that things didn’t go the way you wanted/needed them to.
Here are a few examples of “bad” moments that had good outcomes from my own experience the past week:
On Sunday our power went out overnight. Still not sure why, but come 6:45am I learned that it wasn’t expected back on until 8:15am. I needed to be at work by 8:30 for 9am Sunday service. Yeah. It was pitch dark out and I wondered how I would be able to pull off getting ready. Not to mention have my coffee and breakfast! (yes, coffee before breakfast in order of importance) I pulled out a dress that I knew would work without much adjustment and could put on in the dark, prayed that my makeup didn’t smear overnight (no, I don’t always – fine never – wash my face at night) and quickly made my way downstairs so I could stop somewhere for coffee on my way in to work. When I got downstairs the sun was just coming up and I could tell it was going to be a special sunrise. Although I knew I might run late I made my way outside to see it. What I saw took my breath away.
It was almost ethereal. Friday was my last day at my full time job and all I could think was that this was my gift, a sign of a new beginning. Instead of hurrying along to where I was supposed to be, I appreciated the good in this bad situation. I might be late, but I wouldn’t miss this. After snapping the picture I heard a hawk extremely close by. I decided to investigate. It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy to break away from what we should be doing to enjoy what is happening. Once again, I was rewarded immensely. Stepping around the side of my back porch the hawk swooped down from the roof of my house, flew right over head and off in to distance. Tears of joy began to roll down my face in gratitude of a bad morning filled with gifts. (And, I was still to church with 1 minute to spare before service.)
The next moment was just this morning. I had to bring my kids to school by 8:25am then had 90 minutes to spare before my oil change appointment at 10am. After dropping them off I decided to head to Whole Foods as I had a few things to pick up anyway. I took my time knowing it was only going to take me 30 minutes to get to the car shop. I spent time basically window shopping seeing if there were new things that might intrigue me. At 8:58am I got back in my car. So much for taking my time. Great. Now I was going to be 30 minutes early for my appointment. Not a bad situation, just annoying. At least they have free WiFi. On my way, I got a call from a new friend. We had been playing phone tag for a few days. Next thing I knew, most of that extra time was spent learning more about each other and making plans to go for a walk together tomorrow. Perfect way to spend that extra 30 minutes. As I walked in to the car shop, it was even remarked how happy I seemed and I must be having a great morning. Why yes, yes I am.
Now, these may not seem like much. But, it’s these small moments of appreciating and being aware of the joy in all moments that are a great way to practice being able to see the good in the bigger, more difficult moments. It’s a great way to practice moving from being annoyed to being grateful, even joyful through life’s minor annoyances. It’s the epitomy of living in the moment. Before you know it you will move through your days mindfully and joyfully regardless of your external circumstances. Yes, please.