Many of us are searching for answers which will bring about the change or piece of mind we long for in our lives. Most of the time, the very same daily situations and interactions we are struggling with, can reveal the answers that for so long, seemed completely out of sight.
I asked Carole Kapelanski, a woman I met at my conference series in Montreal and continued to have personal discussions with, to share her hilarious, yet inspiring discovery on the secret to happiness as an example.
Here’s the email I received from Carole a few weeks ago.
Hope you’re enjoying Colombia, please send us some warm weather in Montreal.
During our chats, you’ve always pointed me towards discovering my own answers. Because of this, I have learned and grown so much.
I want to tell you about one of my most recent discoveries, the secret to happiness!
You know how much I’ve struggled with people’s attitude towards me – what they say and do when it doesn’t meet my expectations.
One morning, I grabbed my pair of shoes from my closet and put them inside my shoe bag and ran off to work. It was still pretty dark outside when I left. Anyway, I get to work, removed my big heavy winter boots and take out my shoes. Well, I had grabbed a left and right shoe from completely different pairs of shoes!!!
It was too hot to stay in my boots, so I wore my pair of mismatched shoes. I figured I’d stay at my desk and no one would notice. At some point, I tiptoed and sneaked my way to the coffee machine to get a cup of coffee. One of my colleagues, whose attitude I struggle with, came in behind me (My Luck!). He noticed my shoes and of course used this opportunity to ridicule me to others, “Hahahah, everyone, look at Carole’s shoes…”
Funny thing happened; I did not feel my blood boiling inside. I poured some milk and added sugar in my coffee and as I was about to walk away, he asked, “Why are you wearing two different shoes?” I looked down at my shoes and started laughing. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “You know, I have another pair exactly like these at home.”
The whole thing was funny. Thanks to him, I was able to laugh at myself.
I went back to my desk with a spur of energy. Everyone around me, all of a sudden, seemed pleasant to be around.
All this to say that the secret to happiness is allowing people to be as they are. Not take offense when someone does not do or say what you think they should. It frees you to enjoy the person and not have the baggage of hurt feelings for something they did which was not aimed at you.
I get it!!! I get it now!!
He was just looking for attention. He used this opportunity to get it. It had nothing to do with me.
Looking forward to our next chat.
It’s not to say that we stay put and allow others to step all over us, absolutely not! Sometimes, we need to respond or take an action. And, sometimes the best thing is to say or do nothing.
It’s in knowing the right response that will make us walk away without carrying a hurt, pain and suffering and transform our life.
Yes, I hear you, IT’S NOT EASY!
I know, it’s so much easier to have someone tell us what to do or how to be that will make it all go away. But, more often than not, it may give us a temporary relief, but it does not let us face the root cause of our pain and suffering and before we know it, we’re back where we started. We undergo all sorts of travails and tribulations that bring nothing but disappointments and our search for the answer begins all over again and again.
As human beings, we ALL have incredible abilities to achieve great things. ALL of us. You do too!
There is no secret book to life that has been given to just a few ‘elite’ beings.
We have all been given our very own personal book. Instead of trying to read and repeat someone else’s story, why don’t we read our personal story? It’s all right there in front of us.
Open the book to your own life story and READ.
Look at the past as information. Don’t live in the past by carrying the emotions in the present and repeating the same habits, attitudes and actions. But use it to learn the truth or falseness from every adversity which will strengthen your capacity to getting your own answers.
The thing is that sometimes when the answer is revealed to us, it is not necessarily what we wanted to hear. We chose to ignore it because we imagined an entirely different decorated, fanciful answer. So, we try to control our situations and interactions to meet our expectations. This only continues to keep us further from the truth and reliving the same disappointments. The truth may be hard to accept and face, but it’s the only way to our true freedom and wisdom.
Our daily interactions are the most important thing in life, teaching us the truth about who we are.
In every one, try watching the story that plays in your mind. Pay attention to the judgments, criticism, blaming, opinions and conclusions. They are misleading and distorting the truth. Take a deep breath and exhale them all out. That attention will bring about a silence. If you listen, your life story will unfold. NOT the one you created in your mind, but in silence, the truth will reveal itself. A truth that comes from dissolving the limitations of fears and false beliefs and bring true freedom.
Of course this doesn’t mean that you’ll go on living a life with no adversities. Life has no fixed end destination; it is a living movement with continuous change happening every moment. But, the way you receive and respond to each one will come from a place of peace. Each one will serve to discover and learn more about yourself and the world around you.
You have a tremendous power to use your pain to transform your life.
Are you struggling with a certain situation or interactions with others? What pain are you feeling? Know it, accept it, ask it to reveal itself and listen. Get out of the way, listen and find out.
And, if you’ve had an epiphany that changed your life, I would love to hear about it.