This morning, five minutes after putting Tiger Balm on my 10 year-old’s frozen shoulder, I rubbed my eyes. Yes, I had thoroughly washed my hands, but I just wasn’t thinking. My 5 year-old was adorable in offering me her sympathies.
Then, as I sat at breakfast, a little older and wiser, I rubbed my eyes again - but, this time, using my pyjama top as a shield. Yay me.
My 5 year-old looked at me, puzzled, so I explained my ways.
“Of course you would do that!”, she exclaimed.
And I said “Not, “of course”. Sometimes we do stupid things over and over again, before we learn the lesson.” Sometimes things just have to get super painful first.
Why is it easier with the Tiger Balm/eyes example? Because the causality is obvious. I'm not thinking that maybe the soap that I washed my hands with, somehow didn't like me, or that it was my baa-baa-black-sheep attire that caused the issue.
The situation is simple and has nothing to do with outside factors.
ALL situations are like this - but we don’t see it. Repeatedly.
Nothing that happens has anything to do with us. It just happens, much like the weather.
The sooner we accept this fact, the sooner we can start fixing whatever heart-wrenching problem we face that day, whether it’s a broken hairband, monkeys stealing your lunch, or an irate spouse.
What is required is that stillness of mind that lets you do what is necessary in the moment, without taking it personally.
Sh*t happens. Now let’s move on.