No, YOU change!

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.
~ Jacob M. Braude

It was 11:15am, and we were sitting in our car in a much-longer-than-anticipated line at the border. My train was at 12:05pm. We hadn't factored border traffic into our travel time.

It was tense.

I was anxious, but silent. I tried to label my emotion and let it be and eventually move through me, but the longer we waited in that line, the more my stomach churned.

The two people in the car with me were also worried I would miss my train, and kept making comments about the whole affair. I was getting frustrated that they wouldn't stop talking about it, when my inner voice was complaining just as much as them. This was making my brain and mouth tell them things like, "It's ok. Whatever was meant to be will be. There's no point worrying about something we can't change." and all those logical and enlightening comments that were only adding to the noise (even though they were true!).

And though I was saying these things to them, I think I was also trying to say them to myself.

That's when I realized I was trying to change their reaction.

I was feeling just as nervous as everyone else in the car, but I was silent about it and trying to deal with it all internally. They were expressing their emotions and trying to deal with them externally.

There was no right or wrong way of handling the situation. But I became so focussed on their complaints, consumed by their comments, caught up in their moment, and trying to change them that I wasn't even paying a nudge of attention to me.

I think that happens to a lot of us in a lot of situations.  We try to change someone else's thoughts or actions instead of taking a good, hard look at our own. We look to others to adjust their ways, without even thinking to look at ourselves.

So I finally decided to let them deal with the event in their own way, and focus on contemplating my own feelings about it, instead.

And I had a nice long train ride to do just that.

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