Think back on the last time you were frustrated. Revisit the experience as a non-judgmental observer and don’t dwell on why you were frustrated. Keep your emotions out of it, as if you were impassively watching a commercial. What you will realize is that every time you get annoyed you are doing so because you are in a situation where your expectations are not being met. The emotional investment comes from your judgments. If the desired outcome happens for us, we are happy. When things go against our wishes, we become irritated, even angry. These reactions have been learned by you. You were taught to become frustrated by things that are beyond your control by observing the frustrations of others. If only you had been taught the truth growing up! There is only ONE thing you can control.
That one thing is YOU. You are the only one, in fact, that can control your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. So the work starts with you, not someone else. No one else needs to change a thing for you to feel peace. YOU need to change your inner landscape and make it peaceful so that you can begin to see peace outside yourself. The next time you come upon anything that frustrates you, allow it to become the perfect opportunity to take a step into awareness. Allow the feelings to pass through you and become an observer of your thoughts. By shifting your perspective in this way you can begin to manage your thoughts. It always comes back to the mental chatter. If you allow your mind to take the reins, your energy will be discharged by unnecessary attention to nonsense. If you can take a moment, breathe, observe without judgment, and remember that you are fundamentally non-physical and that this is a temporary incarnation designed for you to learn, then you will have transformed yourself. Inner transformation will positively affect how you experience outer reality. How can we expect the world to change when we aren’t working on changing ourselves? Start with the small stuff and work up to the big issues that trigger strong, emotional reactions from you.
As I’ve been working with my own frustrations, I find that it not only gets easier but it also feels so much better when you let go of expectations. The more expectations I release, the less frustration I feel. There is a direct correlation. Learn to manage yourself and you will begin to see the reflection of your work in the circumstances of your life. It makes so much more sense to control the things you can like your mind and your emotions than trying to manage everything outside yourself according to what you think should be happening. This is not an egocentric world. It’s a collaborative experience meant to challenge us to become our highest version of ourselves.
Here’s a recent story from one of my transformations. I was in my car two blocks from my house pulling up to a stop light and glanced to my right. I saw a youngish, unkempt guy with a backpack next to him sitting on the grass between the sidewalk and the road just twenty feet away. I had to do a double take. What did I just see? I looked again and saw this guy with his legs splayed, pants unzipped, and urinating. Yes, urinating right there on 31st Street right in front of the main post office and across from a gas station in the middle of the day. I was shocked and appalled at first, then I looked away, took some deep breaths, and immediately shifted into compassion. I began to wonder how many fear-based decisions he had made to get to that point. Why not send him vibes of kindness instead of repulsion? Wouldn’t that help him more energetically? I realized that there are so many moments throughout the day where I judge others unconsciously and then get frustrated when they don’t live up to my judgments. Judgments and expectations work hand in hand. You expect things to happen according to your judgments. When you let go of expectations, your judgments will also disappear allowing you to begin your transformation through awareness.
It’s powerfully simple: Shift your perspective next time you become frustrated and let that sh*t go.