Thursday, January 22, 2015

Natural Reaction

The first thing I shall say is,

Happy New Year, World!!!!

I know that I'm about 22 days late on that one, but this is my first post of the new year, and as such, shall be treated as if it were written on an earlier date. I really hope that you have had a wonderful new year so far, and that you, as I, have come to realize that 2015 is a year to teach us. This year is going to be such a great teacher to us all. It holds an incredible amount of lessons, and I firmly believe, if we can pursue them all, surviving with a smile, the rewards will be mind-blowing. 

God has already showed me that the theme of this year for me is patience, loving in the now, seeing and Being the positive in the now, and mostly, staying put -- overcoming all in the present through positivity. There have been so many opportunities to practice and apply these habits already, and I do not anticipate them stopping anytime soon! Which, while it will be fairly trying, as it will test my mental strength and habitual tendencies, is going to be such a long-term aid in my life. 

For example, I spent the past weekend in the Netherlands, and got back to Sevilla at 23:35 on Monday night. There was no bus or blablacar to get me back to Ecija, so I arranged for one at 7:00 the next morning. I was meant to start work at 8:15, and would have had ample time to drop my pack at home and get to class. I woke at 6:00, got my things together, and headed out to catch a bus to where I was supposed to meet my ride. I got to the stop, and after waiting a few moments, decided to download the bus app so I could see how long till the bus would arrive. (Time was imperative in this situation if I wanted to get to work on time.) It said the next one wasn't going to come for another 39 minutes, too long. So I started looking into other buses I could take, and after waiting another 5 minutes or so, started to walk to a different place where more buses stop. But as I was walking away, I decided to look once more at the app, and saw my bus was going to be there in 12 minutes. That I could allow. And as I was turning around to walk back to the stop, I saw two buses approaching it. The first one, Bus 1, the bus I'd been waiting for.

I started running as fast as I could towards the stop, partially in the road, waving my arms frantically so they would see me and stop, which they normally do. Well, this mister was having none of that, and drove on, eyes straight ahead on the road. I couldn't believe it! I let out a cry and shout, and felt a mixture of defeated and falseness in my reaction, which surprised me. While I was having a typical kind of reaction to the situation, inside I could tell it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing. It was almost like I was trying to force myself to cry, because it seemed like what I should have been doing, but the usual slew of frustrated and self-degrading thoughts and words were absent. Instead, I felt a stronger urge to say, "I trust you, God," "Oh well," and, "Ok then, next step." It was quite an interesting thing to observe and feel within myself, but one that made me incredibly content. 

Then I decided to walk to the place I'd headed off for initially, and catch a different bus. There was sure to be one soon, and I'd make it to the meeting point on time, and more importantly, to work. But just after I'd figured out which bus I needed to take, I checked my phone, and saw I had messages from my blablacar driver. Twenty minutes before we were supposed to leave, she writes me to tell me that she came down with a terrible fever during the night, and wouldn't be able to go to work, or take me to mine. ......w t f. So while it quickly became clear as to why I'd missed the bus I needed to take me to where we were meant to meet, it also became clear that getting to my first class wasn't going to happen. 

In the end, I caught a bus at 7:45, which I was told would take an hour and a half to get to my town, and ended up taking nearly two hours. I was over an hour and a half late to work, but because I was trusting in God the whole time, I wasn't as stressed out about it as I would have expected to be. And that was awesome!

The whole situation really made me realize that, while the habitual/natural reactions I've witnessed and often exhibited in my life have been of the extreme and aggressive nature, it's not really what my natural instinct is in most situations. It showed me that all the time I've been spending repeating mantras of trust and "oh well", are paying off, and now overcoming the genetic tendency to freak out about things that a) shouldn't be freaked out about, b) don't mean anything, and c) can't be changed, and therefore should just be accepted. So what started out as a, "Are you effing kidding me," kind of thing, turned into a, "Hey, thanks for this, because it's shown me the positive progress I've made, which makes me feel really good and want to continue these good habits I'm working on." 

In life, we're going to face endless opportunities to grow, change, and namely, react. And yes, sometimes things will draw out of us an extreme reaction that we later think back on with a sense of "could have done without that," but in the end, acceptance is key. It's a great way for us to find inner peace about almost anything, and ensure that whatever comes after will be received as a blessing, more than a slam. One of the key principles to life is to bring acceptance to any situation, and the whole universe would benefit from a bit more of it. Resistance just creates more of what we don't want, acceptance transfers a sort of love, which then results in loveliness. Today's message in Jesus Calling said it perfectly,

"Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment -- accepting things exactly as they are."

I hope that we all practice this this new year, and that when we enter 2016, we can see how far we've come! It's going to be a good one, guys, I just know it is! So many opportunities to grow and flourish are upon us, I hope you take advantage of yours!

Sending out so much love to everyone, as we enter this year of wisdom gained and lessons learned. Huge blessings, love & light, brothers & sisters!

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