We can learn so much from children. They remind us how to be playful and be in the moment. I lost track of time laughing and playing on the inflatable slides and bounce houses at the water park in Cozumel last week with my friends’ six-year-old daughter. It was one of the highlights of my trip. The next day was not quite as fun when that same little girl had a meltdown. Things had not gone her way that morning and by lunchtime she had gotten herself so worked up that she crawled under the table at the restaurant. When she finally emerged she continued crying for quite a while.
Granted, that sort of thing is to be expected once in a while from a six-year-old. To the six adults at the table, it was very clear that it was just her thoughts that were making her so miserable. Nothing was really wrong. We were still in a gorgeous location having lunch with loved ones by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea with plenty of options for fun later that day. Despite our efforts to shift her focus to happier thoughts, she was locked on the unfairness of life.
According to A Course in Miracles, that is one of the things the ego does best. It looks past any loving thoughts and only looks for evidence of wrongdoing. Haven’t we all done that? Even though I know better there are still times when I allow my negative thoughts to get on a runaway train speeding away from peace and joy. As a matter of fact, I jumped on that train later that day. After learning some unexpected news, I found myself very upset and unable to return to peace. There I was sitting on a balcony in Cozumel with a beautiful view of the ocean feeling unhappy! It seems preposterous, yet a testament to the fact that happiness truly is an inside job.
Here was my opportunity to learn the lesson from the six-year-old. Just like her upset, I knew it was my thoughts about the situation that were making me unhappy. I didn’t try to bypass them. I simply allowed myself to be upset for a while knowing that I had to feel my feelings first. Then, I did my best to not think about the situation and focus instead on all the blessings around me. I won’t say that those thoughts didn’t try to creep back in, but taking a step back to be the observer kept me from crawling under the table and crying at dinner. I’m happy to say it turned out to be a wonderful meal with lots of laughter and chocolate lava cake. Who could be upset with that? By the next day, the news that caused my upset had a happy resolution. That made me even more grateful that I did not dwell on it because I would have missed out on a beautiful evening.
Is there a situation in your life that is trying to take away your peace or convince you of the unfairness of life? I would be happy to help you step off that train and start feeling peace and joy again with a Life Coaching or Family Constellations session. Both will give you tools and a new perspective so you won’t have to crawl under a table. Look around my website or send me an email for more information or to book a session.
And the next time you find yourself on that speeding train, I invite you to feel your feelings, take a few deep breaths, and when you’re ready, jump off that train into a happier thought.
“Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find. The ego finds what it seeks, and only that. It does not find love, for that is not what it is seeking.”
A Course in Miracles – T-12.VII.6