Switching the Dial
My patience was sorely tested at lunch with dad the other day when the table behind us had 14 kids running around like they’d just been let out of the nuthouse.
(Yes, I can say “nuthouse” after that lunch. I earned it.)
Literally – they were running around!
From the restrooms to the fountain back to their table, then to the empty section (where they didn’t stay nearly long enough) before they burst through the doors to make the rounds again.
In moments like that, I totally get parents who beat their children.
And .. okay, it was probably more like four kids than 14, but still. It was nerve-wracking.
With their frazzled mom whisper-shouting their names every time they passed, and their dad retreated to the parking lot to spend his lunch hour in peace, no doubt. It wasn’t fun.
But my lunch date wasn’t phased. Dad just commented the kids must be full of energy and happy to be here. And that’s as negative as he got.
(Seriously, dad? Are you kidding? What kind of drugs are you on?)
His biggest challenge was sharing a meal with someone ranting about how they should have child-free restaurants, the same way the Disney Cruise has an “adults only” island, and how some movie theaters don’t let you bring in babies.
(Good ideas for those of us who haven’t developed immunity from screaming kids!)
I didn’t wonder too long how it was he and I could have such dramatically different experiences in the same place at the same time under the same circumstances – until my boyfriend broke up with me earlier this week.
(If you just gasped and said “what the …?!” – that’s what I said, too!)
But my beau of almost four years was fed up, tired of not getting what he wanted, done with compromise and through with the dissatisfaction he felt in this relationship.
Which was news to me, because I thought we had a pretty good thing going.
Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it mostly was.
The parts that weren’t perfect were just my chance – and my responsibility – to clean up my focus (i.e. change my dial). Not change my partner.
But that was just my version. Turns out he was telling a different story.
Where he saw indifference, I saw acceptance. When he felt isolated, I felt independent. What he thought was “wrong,” I thought was very, very right.
How could two smart and observant people be in the same relationship and yet experience it so dramatically differently?
I think Dani Webb helped reveal the answer on her facebook page the other day. She asked:
Why is the mindset of lack and/or “it won’t happen” sooooo much easier to be in than the place of abundance and possibility?
It’s a good question.
- Dana Boyle answered that, “We create what we believe, and we believe what we’ve previously created. Until we suspend belief in reality and envision something different we will continue to fall back on old habits and recreate the same over and over.”
- Laura Gevanter talked about how most of our thoughts are unconscious and habitual.
- Randy Shreve said, “Negativity, lack, and complaining have become the baseline of our society.”
- I particularly resonated with Karen Fagen’s comment that, “It’s not easier it’s just old and familiar.”
How dad can be in the same restaurant with the same screaming kids and still have a pleasant lunch while I thought the manager should blacklist the whole family, is the same reason Russ can be in a dismal relationship while I’m thinking we’re on our way to happily ever after.
The difference is our point of focus and how we choose to perceive things.
And that is a choice.
A choice I made again when the breakup was revealed to me.
I chose to enjoy the process (although it did take a minute to get there), to be glad for forward movement, and told members of Good Vibe U that I got to practice breaking up in the vortex.
That’s a separate post in itself, but things got so vortexy (with GVU members’ reminders that it’s a breakthrough, not breakup, and that these are sacred days to be embraced, not resisted) that Russ soon saw things how I’d been seeing them. As perfect. Not to be changed a bit. The sort of thing that makes you realize you’d been living a dream come true life.
Yeah, I know that – how could he not have seen it?
Well, the same way I didn’t see those kids as full of energy and happy to be here. I dialed in differently.
And thank goodness we each get to choose how we dial in!
Our point of focus is not dependent on our upbringing, our astrology, or our past experiences. Although those things can certainly affect us, they’re not more powerful than our ability to choose. We get the chance to pick a dream come true life or a “This sucks, you suck, I’m outta here” life.
Today, just like yesterday and the day before, I get to choose whether to dial in on “He’s an idiot and an ass” or … something else.
So, what are you dialed in on?
If it’s what you want, kudos to you! If it’s a conscious choice you’ve made every day until it became habit, you’re my hero!
And if it’s not, remember each and every day you have the choice to change your dial.
You choose what you want long enough, and pretty soon you’ll happily forget that other settings were even possible.