Choosing Peace and Happiness Over Anger and Turmoil

September 9th, 2013 by Laura Longley

This morning at 4 AM I awoke to some noise in the street outside. I got up and looked out the window. Once I got over how foggy it was (totally unexpected!), I saw that they were delivering some heavy equipment to the new construction site across the street from my apartment. As I went back to bed, I started out feeling grumpy and angry. I just moved into this apartment about 6 weeks ago, and it has amazing views. Now they’re starting to build a building that will block a large part of that view. It’s not fair!

And the noise! There’s already a building going up next door, and major remodeling taking place inside my building. I work from home for the most part. How was this latest construction project going to affect me?

But then I reminded myself of a couple of things. First of all, when I moved in I had no idea of how expansive my view would be. I had never seen the actual unit I rented because it was occupied. I expected to have a sliver of a view of Lake Union from my living room, but that was about it. Instead I can see all of Lake Union from both my bedroom and my living room as well as a good chunk of Capitol Hill and the U District. Much more than I came into this expecting.

So I’ll have many months (before the new building gets tall enough to block my view) of a view I never even expected to begin with.

But the most important thing that I remembered, and reminded myself of, is that I have zero control over any of this. The fact is that the only thing we can control is our response to outside situations. Any illusion of controlling circumstances is just that – an illusion. The sooner I accept this and learn to love what is, as Byron Katie says, the better I will feel.

And borrowing from Abraham-Hicks, too, choosing the feeling that feels good. Feelings are created by our thoughts, and by changing what I think about the new construction I can change how I feel about it. Which is why I reminded myself that I have a better view than I had anticipated to begin with, and that any time at all with that view is a blessing.

And, who knows, the new building might be beautiful in its own right. It might house a shop or restaurant that I come to love. I can’t know. I can’t control.

So, I choose peace and happiness over anger and turmoil. What about you?

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