Between the wish and the thing life lies waiting.
-- Unknown

When you're stuck in a situation you can't control, how do you handle it?

Really think about that.

When you have to sit in traffic on the highway for two hours because a truck overturned up ahead and there's no way around it, what do you do?

When you're stuck at an airport because weather conditions make it impossible for the planes to fly, how do you react?

When a vendor can't deliver as promised, or you get more advertisements or catalogs or email messages then you should have, what's your first inclination?

Do you curse the gods, vow to seek damages from the people who caused your inconvenience, scream and rage about it?

Or do you realize that stuff happens, and relax into it?

Just this past weekend, I experienced the various reactions people have to these situations. My husband and I were returning, by train, from Boston to our home in Baltimore. A neighbor was supposed to pick us up, but at the last minute, had to cancel. So our plan was to take a taxi home. When we arrived, however, there were no taxis to be found outside the train station. There had been some sleet and freezing rain, and the roads didn't look good at all.

A call to the taxi companies produced this statement: "We're pulling the cars off the roads for the night -- it's too dangerous for them to be out there."

When I received the news, I immediately prepared myself for staying overnight at the station. Certainly not my preference, but, I thought to myself as I walked back outside, it might actually be an interesting adventure!!

But when I delivered this news to the people outside the station, no one else seemed to share my thoughts. The rage was tremendous.

Raging against what?? Against the ice on the roads? Against the cab companies for wanting to keep their drivers safe? Against the idea that their plans might have to be altered for several hours?

I see so many people raging against things that no one has control over. It makes me think that for all our technology to get things done more efficiently, we've created in ourselves a sort of monster. A monster who can't slow down enough to realize that going at the speed of light isn't always necessary. A monster who can't step back and see a situation and the other people involved through compassionate eyes. A monster who is completely self-absorbed, and imagines that all the bad things are being done, specifically to him.

And you know, most often, it's not personal. It's not just happening to you. It's not a nasty plot to ruin your day.

It's just life happening.

One of the best lessons I ever learned was to take a step back, look at a situation, recognize that there's really nothing going on that anyone could have done anything about, and say to myself, "It is what it is."

Those five words have saved me so very much angst.

So the next time it seems the world is working against you, consider surrendering to the moment, rather than raging against it. Consider what the people who are trying to fix the situation are going through -- I guarantee it's at least as troublesome as what you're going through. Consider what you can do to help -- even if the best way to help is to not be a hindrance. And consider that the situation, really, may be a blessing in disguise.

Instead of fuming, look for the lesson in the problem, and grow from it. Stuck in traffic? Maybe it's time to learn to slow down and be ok with not being able to do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. Get mailbombed accidentally by one of the many internet lists you subscribe to? Maybe it's time to learn how to filter mail, or delete large amounts of mail easily. Stuck at an airport during a weather delay? Maybe it's an opportunity for you to finally read that book you've been carrying with you for the past three months. Unable to get a cab home? Maybe there's an adventure about to begin!

Things are rarely as bad as they seem --- by looking for the positive, rather than immediately trying to blame someone or something, you'll find them far easier to deal with, and may even find some delightful surprises by being able to be more present in the moment!

Author's Bio: 

a. Anastacia Brice is here for the love. Everything she is and all that she does is wrapped in love--which is her purpose and passion and her undying privilege.

She is a professional business coach, the formalizer of the Virtual Assistance profession, and founder of AssistU -- for more than 15 years, the premier organization committed to training, supporting, certifying and coaching Virtual Assistants, and providing referrals to those business owners who want to work with them. An exceptionally talented partner to VAs, professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners, Anastacia is passionate about supporting women in the building of self-honoring successful businesses and the creation of high-quality lives, helping them do that through creating rock-solid business foundations, wonderfully high standards, and vibrant virtual relationships.

Currently, in addition to the other biz-related yumminess she does, Anastacia is immersed in love--writing a book about conscious, open-hearted marriage designed to be a book of hope for all women who face the "Should I stay or should I go," threshhold moment in their marriages.

She's wise, she'll make you laugh, and she marches to her own drum while letting all people know it's a-ok for them to march to theirs. Some things that matter to Anastacia are: maitri and tonglen as spiritual practices, connecting deeply, cities, romance languages, fonts, living at choice (and always choosing the happy path!), and cheese. Anastacia loves cheese.