Sometimes the mirror shows us parts of ourselves that we are unwilling to accept. Ron tells about his realization to self awareness when he saw the person behind the face staring back at him.
I slammed my fist on the front desk to get the receptionist’s attention, “this is the second night my girlfriend and I do not get any sleep! This situation is totally unacceptable! They stay up all night, screaming, and making noise. Will you do something about it?”
“Sir, you have the choice to go to another hostel, you can leave whenever you like.”
His eyes were bloodshot red from lack of sleep as he told me about the conditions he and his girlfriend endured the night before. It was Ron’s second day in Buenos Aires, staying in a hostel where 90% of the people were a group of friends traveling together.
“I am not pleased with the receptionist’s response,” Ron continued telling me, “Asking me to leave is not the way to solve the situation. I hope he will do the right thing and ask them to stop making noise.”
The next morning, I noticed he had peacefulness about him and was more relaxed than the day before. I thought maybe the receptionist took care of the situation and the noise stopped.
“Ron, how did it go last night, you look a lot more rested.”
“It was completely out of control. Not only did the noise continue, it got worse! They had a party and blasted the music.”
He noticed the puzzled look on my face, gave out a sigh as he explained further.
The first thing that came to my mind is that they were purposely doing it to aggravate me. I jumped out of bed, got dressed and was about to go out there. I became so furious and raged that I wanted to just punch one of them. I went to the bathroom, punched the door open and as I looked up, I saw myself in the mirror. I have never seen myself in that state, NEVER! I couldn’t stand looking at myself, seeing the person I had just become. I realized that I had done this to myself and asked myself, “What the hell am I doing?”
I am accustomed to the way situations like this are resolved in my country. From the first night, I expected that the receptionist would take control of the situation and get it resolved. I insisted on staying at the Hostel and tried to impose the way I wanted him to handle it. It was not so. I knew this from day one. By staying, I brought myself to become someone I was not proud of. An ugliness came over me that made me realize it was not worth it.
Sometimes we need to realize what we can change and what we cannot change.
I was not going to change the fact that this behavior was accepted because these people occupied 90% of the beds. Going out there and punching someone would have made matters worse. There was only one thing for me to do, which I should have done from day one.
I went back to my girlfriend and told her, “Maybe it would be best if we leave.” She agreed. So, we packed our things and walked over two blocks to a nearby hotel.
This morning I went back to the hostel, advised the receptionist that we were checking out and that we should not be charged for the night since we left. I was surprised over his attitude. He was very understanding of the situation, apologized for our inconvenience and only charged us for one night.
This situation has taught me that in life I will continue to have adversity. The way I choose to adapt and my attitude will determine my happiness. If things always go my way, I will remain stagnant and spoiled. I want to keep growing, so, the more I am faced with situations unfamiliar to me, the more I am given an experience that will allow me to change for the better.
The choice is mine, I can either control my attitude and grow or it will control me and make me a miserable person.
“Don’t allow your wounds transform you into something you’re not” – Paulo Coelho
When you look in the mirror, what do you see reflected back at you? How do you control your attitude in the face of adversity?