I had one of those morning the other day.
A morning when things unfolded inconveniently meaning the late departure for my destination 90 minutes away.
Some of what unfolded sat squarely in my lap and some in the lap of others. I say that with knowledge blame rarely improves one’s mood.
However, the day started with a level of frustration that served little purpose other than increasing my heartrate.
What surprised me was how long the frustration sat with me as I proceeded on my journey. Even the music blaring out through the speaker failed to move my malaise. And that is unusual.
The feeling sat heavily in my chest directing all my thoughts onto its cause.
Then magic happened.
I came around a corner to see a stunning vista in front of me – awesome to view and free to all who care to notice.
I felt the frustration melt away and the music in my car became music to my ears.
Frustration is an emotion that rarely brings positive things and as I have got older, I have learned to be more discretionary about what I allow to frustrate me.
I am not so pious to state that I never allow its gnarled digits to dig into my soul. I can feel it coming on though and can act fast to prevent its spread.
I have learned a few things though.
I have learned that frustration often comes from our need to hold on to our view of the world not allowing for the idea that someone else sees, or more often, does things differently.
I have learned that frustration is about wanting control even when it is clear control does not sit in our hands.
I have learned that silent frustration is not silent. It is always very clear when someone is frustrated, even though their words are not stating it. Frustration oozes out of our pores and creeps its way into the space we hold between those we are frustrated with.
And I have learned, although I was without any of this wisdom that morning, the longer one sits in the space that is frustration the more it grows.
I was lucky as I was snapped out of my state because of a deep love of all things nature and she provided well for me on that morning.
What is one to do when one knows frustration has taken its hold and the story in our head grows with each circumnavigation of our mind.
- Stop the story. Stop circling it internally and sharing it externally. Each time we tell we tend to embellish it and place blame on all but ourselves. So just stop telling.
- Put some perspective into things. There are many times when my state has changed instantly because I have seen or heard something about people with real problems.
- Understand that everyone does their best at any given time. It does not feel like that however for some, not being bothered is their best for all sorts of reasons. None of which you may be privy to or need to know. It is accepting that everyone is more than what may stand in front of you.
- Laugh at yourself and your frustration. Because often it is amusing and I am sure if someone was watching from above, they would find the steam coming out of our ears, highly amusing. I have experienced so many situations where laughter has defused everything.
And most of all give up the need to control everything and everybody.
We are individuals, not clones and if there is one thing I want to cherish as I live a Middlicious midlife, it is my right to be an individual.
To be me and only me, no matter how much that may frustrate you.