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Weighty problems

How much weight you give to your problems determines just how heavy they will be.
~Doe Zantamata

How much weight you give to your problems determines just how heavy they will be.
By Doe Zantamata

Imagine a lady goes to the grocery store. As she’s about to get in line, a man cuts in front of her. She says, “Excuse me!” and he replies, “What? Not my fault you’re too slow!”

Shocked and insulted, offended and in disbelief, she goes to another line.

As she’s unloading her groceries on the belt, she keeps thinking about the man and how rude he was. How dare he be so awful when he was the one doing wrong?

The cashier says hello and smiles, but she doesn’t even notice. The cashier’s smile fades as she begins to scan the items.

The woman is still replays the incident over and over. Now she starts thinking about some witty comebacks she should have said, or maybe she should have said something mean back to him…

She hands the cashier her money without so much as looking up. The cashier thanks her and tries to give her another smile, but it quickly fades, unnoticed.

The woman goes to her car and loads her groceries, then calls a friend and tells her about this awful man at the grocery store. Her friend listens and then tells her about a rude woman she encountered just an hour before. Both agree that people just don’t have any manners these days.

She drives home, and in a bad mood, begins to notice just how selfish some of the other drivers are. Speeding, going to slow, rushing through a yellow light right as it turns red.

She gets home and as she’s unpacking her groceries, her husband doesn’t help, but just sits reading his book. “You could help me with these you know! You’re going to eat more than half of all this anyway!”

Startled, he looks up and says, “Is that any way to ask for help?”

She fumes and leaves the room. Again! Another person who’s the one doing something wrong and she’s the one who gets talked to rudely!

At the end of the day, she’s convinced that the rude man at the grocery store ruined her whole day.

Truth is, he only ruined a minute. She did all the rest by herself.

When little annoying things happen throughout the course of the day, don’t let them carry more weight than they actually do. The only thing that dissolves anger is compassion. Compassion can exist even if it’s not certain that it’s the truth. Think of the “what ifs?” with a thought to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe that guy at the grocery store was having a miserable day himself and just didn’t know how to shake it off. Maybe where he works he gets bossed around all the time so he exercises futile little acts of power over others whenever he can. Maybe he didn’t have the best of parents and just wasn’t raised right and doesn’t know any better. Maybe he creates conflict daily in his life and it all comes back to him but he just can’t see it. Maybe who cares what the reason, maybe he’s just an unhappy person who she’d never likely see again anyway.

By dissolving the anger, it doesn’t spill over into the rest of the day.

By talking about it or venting, you may inadvertently be giving more weight to it, and inviting others to add more, too…pretty soon, a couple of negative incidents becomes a negative theory.

Once you’ve got a negative theory, it starts to become a belief.

Once you’ve got a negative belief, you’ll start to notice more and more proof of this belief everywhere you go.

This just cannot lead to happiness.

Keep your beliefs positive. If they’re challenged, dissolve those incidents with compassion (even if it’s made up), and move on.

By doing this, you’ll be much more open and receptive to the proof that your positive belief exists. That lady was quite rude to the cashier without even realizing it. Had she maintained a positive belief that people are polite and kind, she would have let go of the man’s behavior and been assured she was correct in her positive belief by the smiling cashier.

You are responsible only for your energy, which goes out to the world in your thoughts, actions, glances, words, and body language. If you take on negative energy, that is what’s going to come from you, too. Deflect instead of absorbing it as much as possible.

This can surely allow happiness.

Now that's fine for little problems....but what about BIG problems? Financial crises, divorce, the passing of a loved one? These things have a lot, a LOT, of pain associated with them, but they also have beauty. You find out who your real friends are, and can experience love and caring from them that you never would have expected. Embrace the gratitude for those friends at that time. Pain takes a lot of time to process, and it takes a great deal more effort to consciously look for and focus on things to appreciate when you're in the midst of pain. But try anyway. As time passes, some pain will never fully quite go away, but it will lessen. Keep focused on every good moment in every day, and the world will look brighter than if you hadn't. Not perfect, but brighter...and that's worth a lot.

By Doe Zantamata

Author of "Happiness in Your Life, Book One: Karma"


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