Investigate the dark side. Then head for the light.

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Monday, December 10

We’ve all had that experience of witnessing someone’s spectacularly poor handling of a situation. And we’ve all masterfully gone the wrong way ourselves.
 
For example, a few years ago I was on the elliptical in the exercise room of a motel in Bar Harbor next to a guy from Ohio who had come to the great state of Maine in the cold and rainy month of May for his summer vacation. Sure enough, it was cold and rainy that day, as it had been every day of his vacation. He was incensed, he let me know. I may have mentioned to him that no one around here thinks of May as summer and that, in fact, we occasionally get snow as late as June. I did ask him if there was a reason he’d come at this particular time to which he replied it was school break and he, therefore, had no choice in the matter. I may have mentioned Mainers often go to Florida on school breaks. I did encourage him to try again in late June, July or August. He said he would never come back to Maine again. I may have made a show of putting my headphones on.
 
I always feel so bad for our vacationers when they have to go out and buy the disposable yellow ponchos, and also quite apologetic on behalf of Maine as long as they are good sports. If they’re not, then I may join the downward slide into negativity and respond in the passive aggressive sort of way I did above. But if I were doing the Week #6 assignment, I would have played it more like this:
 
  • I would non-judgmentally observe this person’s hostile and non-award-winning response to his bad weather luck
  • I would put myself in his unfortunate shoes of surrendering the wonderful pictures he’d been painting in his head of a week of mountain climbing, paddle boarding, whale watching and lobster eating on a deck overlooking the water and then traveling back to Ohio to wait for the credit card statement to catch up
  • I would envision going down this very unhelpful path myself as a very real possibility
  • I would then figure out what I would do to help myself feel and respond better than he did without stuffing my hostility away where it would only go about eating me up
 
Your assignment this week…investigate the dark side. And then head for the light.
 
May you roll with the good this week,
 
E