I was talking with someone yesterday who was regaling me with a story of how he had a really bad day. He went on to tell me what transpired that day, a story that is too long to tell here. I listened for a little while and then asked “was your bad day totally contingent on that one moment?” He thought for a moment and answered yes. “So, you had a bad moment and held on to it all day?”
It happens to me all the time. A phone call, interruption, something with my dogs, traffic on the way to work; all of these moments can lead to me chewing on a big bite of resentment all day long. Sometimes I transit through the day wondering what happened because nothing stands out as having enough juice to “ruin” my day. Unconscious resentment can be very subtle. It can sneak up even while we sleep and wake you up “on the wrong side of the bed.” At times it can be very hard to recognize when it has gotten to you and is infecting you whole day with one moment of rot.
For me, I have a rule, the rule of 3’s. If I am faced with 3 people or situations, circumstances or places that really cause my lip to curl. I stop, breathe, and reflect “perhaps it is me that needs to change.” It used to take me all day to turn a ship like this around like some big sluggish barge but with practice I find my day can turn on a dime. What benefit do I bring to each person or situation? How am I making this situation better by my presence? Would a smile help right now? What would it cost me to smile and be pleasant? Perhaps the only cost to this is the loss of my “bad day.”
Today, I recognize that life is a string of moments each one individual and perfect. I realize that living in a past moment that doesn’t bring me joy can affect my present moment. I am grateful that I have tools to let go of past moments and live in the NOW moment with my breath and smile. I AM a benefit to my life. I AM a Loving presence.