When You Know Better

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Maya Angelou

How often have you stayed feeling miserable for a long period even though you knew better? Yesterday, I felt miserable when something negative happened at work.   Frustrated, I told myself, “Stop it!”  Knowing the law of attraction, I knew my misery would attract more misery but I still couldn’t shake my bad mood.

On the way home, I carried my misery with me on the train.  Standing squished between other passengers that could barely fit into the rail car, I felt more miserable.  Looking at the autumn colours outside the window, I started to dread the snow, ice and cold of the coming winter and recalled when I’d slipped on the ice and broken my shoulder.  One negative thought after another popped into my head.

At the next stop, a woman in purple stepped onto the train and pushed her way through the crowd calling out, ‘I need a seat!  Who will give me a seat!  I need to sit down!’  A young man sitting in a seat right in front of me had carefully balanced his briefcase, his laptop and some papers on his lap.  When the woman pushed her way toward him, brandishing her forearm in his face to display a plaster cast, the startled man jumped up rapidly spilling papers, laptop, and briefcase, to give the woman his seat.  Other than the small cast from her wrist to her elbow, she didn’t appear to have anything else wrong with her.  I reflected on how I’d never thought of asking for a seat when I broke my shoulder and silently applauded her determination and sense of entitlement.

Since she was right in front of me, I asked, “Did you break it recently?”  The woman answered, “I broke it a week and a half ago.”  She continued adamantly,”This is nothing!  Two months ago, I was run over by a truck!   I thought I’d be killed, but I survived!  I think the reason I broke my wrist is because I tried to ride my bike too soon after recuperating from the accident.”  I commended the woman on her survival skills and she said, “I love adversity!  I love a challenge.  All week, I’ve been looking for things to do with one arm, so I’m having great fun!”

Immediately, I shifted from being miserable, to being amazed and amused.

At the next stop, I stepped off the train wearing a big smile on my face.  As I walked along the street, a shower of yellow autumn leaves floated down around me.  Instead of falling to the ground, one bright yellow leaf floated off to my right and kept going.  Curious, I turned to watch it and realized it was a beautiful yellow butterfly.  The yellow leaves had been the perfect camouflage.  It was a magic moment I might have missed if I’d stayed in my bad mood.  Thank you lady in purple for shifting me to the positive!