I always try to pick my battles. Actually I try not to battle, but on this journey of life we have to learn to say when and to stand up for us. That’s standing out doesn’t have to be aggressive all confrontational; it could simply be learning to say no to task or situation that may seem helpful to others but it’s not where you want to be. The tricky part with this is that your blessings come when you are blessing to others. So I don’t have a formula or a checklist to help you decide went to say yes or when to say no. Sometimes I wish I had a formula for myself. The best I can suggest is being tuned into your higher power and being open to life’s experiences both at the same time.
So for me to share this story, I have to share a truth with you. The school year is over (I was substitute teaching), and while there are some things materializing in the background, I’m pinching my pennies until then. Please note there are not many pennies to pinch. In the meantime, there is a company area event happening in North Carolina and I have planned travel to Virginia this week – two separate trips. Now for the story.
Our regular church had no service this particular weekend and I was ‘open’ with no set place or time on my schedule. So when a friend suggested we visit a church in a different city I was game. So Sabbath morning, we headed out and drove the hour to the church. Service was very good, topped off with a fellowship dinner and great conversation. Toward the end of dinner, my friend asked if we could go visit a friend of theirs that was the hospital and could die at any time. This hospital was an hour and 45 minutes away from where we were and it would take us an hour and half to get back home. I believe in helping those who help us and this friend has done a lot for me so my response was, “Sure! We could do that.”
I did have a brief moment considering whether I really wanted to do this or not, and realized that I didn’t have much of an opinion either way. My only concern was the cost to me. However that concern didn’t linger very long because if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it wholeheartedly. Plus, I was grateful to be a blessing to this friend.
On our trip home, I did need to stop for gas. My friend volunteered to fill my tank as a thank you. It was unexpected and I didn’t realize the extent of the blessing until I got home. I had a full tank of gas. I have enough gas to get to my event in North Carolina and back home. I am aware that gas is no where near four dollars a gallon but this saves me about $25; which is not much, unless you’re pinching pennies.
That by itself would be enough evidence for keeping a positive mindset, but wait ’till you hear what happened on Sunday.
About 2:30pm, my friend asked if I would go with her to the flea market. It’s a pretty cool flea market in the town where we live, with fresh vegetable stands and other great vendors. My first thought was that a trip to the flea market won’t take too much time out of my day so I agree to go. I won’t go into the details but somewhere around 4:30PM I realized that I was not getting back home anytime soon. By this time we were also no longer at the flea market. Remember, we do always have a choice; I chose to just roll with it, that way I can keep my positive energy up. In that moment, there was really no point in me being upset; it wouldn’t get me home any faster, anyway.
About 6:45 PM we pulled into the driveway. All I could focus on was getting something to eat so I could get back to my online Leader Launch and the other tasks that remained untouched. I said to myself, “Lesson learned. And remember you learned the lesson.” This was not the first time a trip like this took place, but this had been the longest. If I was going to be unhappy about this I would have to be unhappy with myself. I chose to go; I could have chosen not to. But I didn’t get upset. Didn’t even feel any mal feelings creeping in. I made a promise to myself to live like I learned the lesson and I went about preparing dinner and getting back to my event.
Emotions can be like muscles. Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about “being an observer of your feelings.” You may be like me and grew up believing that your feelings control you, when, if you’re aware, it can be the exact opposite. And from this weekends’ escapades, I see evidence that my joy muscle is getting stronger.
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