I was very fortunate to spend two weeks in Italy this April. Upfront I realized it was not going to be a normal vacation. My mother is still recovering from her December and subsequent surgeries so every morning my sister and I were to take turns changing her bandages. After that responsibility, I expected time and space to be able to recharge and replenish. This was the first vacation in the four years of my business in which I would not have email, phone, or computer access. It was to be a time to truly relax. But as all of my blogs seem to go, I was wrong.
You see there was another factor to this trip. We were taking it with my mother’s church group. The trip was created for “mature” travelers so the majority of our group was over sixty years old. What I quickly learned was how much assistance some of the members needed. We were walking up and down stairs, over uneven cobblestone, and just walking and walking and walking. At seventy, eighty, and even ninety years old, this amount of physical activity was quite challenging for many of our group. Immediately I began to help the other navigate the ancient streets of Rome.
Within the first two days it hit me, resentment. Here I was on a trip meant to recuperate me from the three years spent nursing my father and I was spending the majority of the time once again nursing others: taking care of my mother, helping people with stairs, lagging behind with those who couldn’t keep pace with the tour guide, and wrangling those who were getting lost. The more I thought about it the more the resentment, anger, self-pity, and sadness arose. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. All of my judgments about how things should be and what I deserved were more hurtful than the actual act of helping the others. So I flipped the switch.
In the same way I help so many people reframe their thoughts and experience through MasterHeart™, I chose a new more positive perspective. I Accepted the situation I was in. I could not change who was on the trip, I would not change my desire to help others, and I had no other place I could possibly be for the next ten days. This first step of seeing, accepting, and embracing the reality of my situation brought a wave of calm and a sigh of release. Second, I filled my heart with Compassion. None of these people purposefully set out to disrupt my trip. They were all wonderful people going through a difficult time and they were very grateful for my assistance. No one was forcing me to help; I was choosing to help. Embracing Acceptance and Compassion, a sense of peace washed over me. It was the replenishment I was seeking on this trip. The rest of the time I enjoyed the sites of Italy at a slow pace, relaxing and resting more frequently than I would have on my own, and enjoying the appreciation and gratitude received from the others on the trip.
What is happening in your life right now which is robbing your energy? Is it truly the situation or is it your judgment of the situation? How can you use Acceptance and Compassion to improve your experience?