Recently, I have had what could only be defined as a super frustrating set of events happen.
Traveling to a couple of events that I had long planned for with my three dogs,my the motorhome broke down, far from home, in a town where I knew no one.
Luckily I managed to coast the vehicle to a safe off-road place where the whizzing traffic of an adjacent highway blew by without harm and right in the town I had only meant to pass through.
Now, because I am a planner, I had roadside coverage that got me taken to a mechanics shop fairly quickly. But this is where the frustration truly began.
It wasn't an easy fix. In fact, it wasn't an easy diagnosis. The first shop thought it had it sorted, two parts and 36 hours later it still wasn't fixed.
The countdown timer to the start of my events was already underway and rapidly approaching. I felt that ticking like I felt my heart beating.
I started working all of my stress reducing skills – meditation, using my oils for calming and release, morning and evening gratitude sessions, sifting carefully through my thoughts and feelings looking for a vibration that could have called this frustrating abundance in to me.
I know my cortisol levels (our stress hormone) was likely WAY higher that was healthy and I was very conscious of what I ate, drank, and craved. I upped my supplements of Vitamin B and C to help with the impact of all this cortisol. I increased my NingXia Red intake to ensure the antioxidants were as high as the stress.
I knew this was a good test of my ability to manage when things quickly spiraled out of my personal control. The lesson of “heal thyself” was not lost on me. My response to this situation could make or break my health –and the choice is ENTIRELY mine.
The second tow truck driver, now towing me, the dogs and the motor home to a larger city, was very pleasant and we happily chatted for the 2 1/2 hour drive. I kept thinking to myself “I must have been meant to meet this man and have these fun conversations about Hawaii, all things pandemic, and some just general life chats.”
In the bigger centre, I was rescued by my lovely sister-in-law, who lives there. She happily took me and the dogs in even though she is not and has never been a “dog person”. She helped me keep focused and went walking with me when nothing else worked for the stress. The walks through the meadow with her and three dogs really physically worked our some of the residual stress that just lingered like a weight belt. It truly was soul-soothing.
During my time with her, we discovered many many similarities, A love of watching a movie with popcorn. A joy in walking in nature. Every book we had read that we loved we shared. We talked some about family but mostly we just reveled in being together.
If she was stressed about her house invaded by three big dogs and a one-night layover turned into seven, she never let on. I just kept thinking about guests and fish and when my three days were up, I was very self-conscious about smelling.
The final shop the motor home was towed to was full of good people. They truly felt sorry for me, now that my event was definitely scrubbed and I was effectively stranded 1000 km from home. They were short staffed because of summer vacations but they crammed my mystery issues in amongst their regulars and finally fixed it up enough for me to make my way home.
The whole way home I pondered the meaning of my frustration. And I came up with a couple of points.
First, I had to practice and practice all the stress reducing, sanity saving exercise that I teach to students every day. I gained a new sense of gratitude for their nearly immediate impact on my physical and mental well being. I realized that every plan can go sideways no matter how well designed it is and that you sometimes just have to give over your plan on the fly and be OK with the outcome.
But mostly I learned that human beings are not independent. We cannot function or survive independent of other human beings.
We are an inter-dependent species who have crafted a life so complicated and complex that we MUST find our way with the support of others. We cannot do it alone.
This time of our existence we are faced with the most frustrations I have ever seen. It doesn't matter what plans you have, we know there is a HUGE amount of uncertainly and issues outside of our control.
Some people respond by becoming hostile, by generating mass mistrust based on fear and frustration, and they are polluting the already stressed world with such a toxic response that the only response can be one of distancing from them.
Frustration is an emotion that signals to us that we have become disconnected from our natural state of interconnectedness. It is a signpost that we have taken a wrong turn and when that turn leads us to hostility it tells us we have run right off the road..
Maybe it is time to reflect on the message your frustration is bringing you. There are ways of using that energy to bring you to an new awareness of life and develop some stronger connections.
If you find yourself unable to shake the frustration feeling, it is time to talk to someone about it and root out the real reason you cannot shift.