“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” Dennis Kimbro
We are not always in control of our lives circumstances. Most of the times things happen the way we don’t want them to happen and we don’t have any power over it. But the nugget of wisdom in this beautiful quote is telling us that it is not the circumstances themselves that affect our lives but it is the way we approach them and react to them that determines the fate of those circumstances in the overall play of our lives.
Sometimes we are trying hard to be in control of our lives and when things go out of hand, we get anxious and stressed or frustrated and overwhelmed. In these situations, usually we begin negative inner dialogues and blame ourselves or others, we point fingers and look for the responsible entity and may label them for our future references! Of course, this is not fun at all. The only outcome of this approach is negativity creation and peace killing.
To elaborate, I would like to share a personal incident that happened to me recently. Last Saturday, we decided to go to Hanmer Springs. It’s a lovely village nested in southern Alps, 150 km out of our city, and is famous for its thermal pools and Spa. Ryan (my husband), Sophie (our sweet dog) and I, left home in the morning, did all the fun activities on our list, ate dinner in our favorite restaurant and it was about 7pm that we decided to head back home. Our car was out of gas so we went to the gas station but it was closed! Its working hours was until 6 pm and it had no self-service option! Damn… The next gas station was 65 km down the road and we didn’t have enough gas to drive there. We called the road assistance but they responded: “Sorry, your membership has been expired and now you have to pay a fine in order to receive assistance on spot”. Bugger… I had Airbnb voucher we could use to stay there for the night but we had Sophie with us and no one was accepting us. It’s winter right now here and at night temperature drops to 0 and we couldn’t leave our sweet Sophie in the car. Finally, we found a chalet in a holiday park there who would accept Sophie. But we even didn’t have enough gas to drive there! They kindly helped us by picking us up and we got to our shelter for the night. We didn’t like the place that much. It was cold and the bed was not that comfy. We couldn’t sleep that night…
In the middle of this messy situation Ryan started to blame himself: “How did I made this stupid mistake? We passed couple of gas station in the morning. I caused all these mess and now we can’t carry on with our tomorrow’s plan and …”. I didn’t allow him to continue and told him: “honey, we are not aware of everything. What if we were not supposed to drive this road back at night?”. I reminded him of a documentary we saw couple of years ago about flight crash survivors. Those who survived because they missed their flight and they were pissed off about it. I told him: “Darling, it’s our choice to be pissed off and grumpy about this situation and be victimized by it or just let it be and use the chance to have a little more fun in this beautiful village. Don’t worry about our tomorrow’s schedule as well. We will fit it back in, with a little delay. No one is at risk if we postpone them!” My reaction to this unpleasant circumstance, lifted the attitude in the room and we started to laugh. We turned on the TV and coincidentally it was showing our favorite program! We had a lot of fun and got warm and cozy around fire with hot tea and laughter. Of course, we would never ever forget to renew our road assistance membership and keep our car’s tank full of fuel.
With a different reaction though, this very same scenario could turn to a verbal fight between Ryan and I. We could label each other inattentive and irresponsible and turn our relaxing day trip to a dark and bitter memory.
Remember: Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.
Loads of Love