Last week, my husband and I left our house and walked over to where our car is parked. As we turned the corner, we both became increasingly distraught as we realized that the parking space was empty and that our car was in fact not there.
Immediately, a cocktail of emotions flooded us: disbelief, shock, upset, anger, and also disappointment as we knew that there was no way we could make it to the restaurant on time, where we had booked his special birthday lunch.
There was nothing to do other than to return home, calm down and think about the order in which to tackle the inevitable admin: cancel the restaurant and other errands we had planned, report the car as stolen, contact the insurance company, etc…
As we walked back with heavy hearts and despair at what the world had become, I looked at the cars parked on the roads near us, willing one of them to be ours but knowing it wouldn’t be. Then we turned into our road, and a bit further along, on the single yellow line (indicating a parking restriction during working hours but open to parking in evenings and on Sundays) was a lone little red car. The same make as ours. The same number plate as ours. It WAS ours!
It had two parking tickets for the two days it had been left there, but otherwise it was intact. The absolute relief and joy!
As it turns out, my husband had briefly parked it there to unload it and because we had a few things happening that required our attention, he had simply forgotten all about it and left it there instead of parking it in its space where it belongs.
We suddenly went from anger and disbelief to great happiness and gratitude. Never had I been so incredibly joyful to have two parking tickets!!
When we put things into perspective and de-clutter the lens through which we see the world, we can quickly shift how we feel about things. When we look at a situation that at first appears bad and are able to see how much worse it could have been, we are able to regulate our emotions and choose a much more effective, intentional and positive response.
This experience was a very powerful illustration for me of how our mind clutter and our perspective can change everything. I captured the image of the parking tickets as a reminder of the day and it fills me with joy again every time I look at it. Not something I ever thought I’d say!
What do you have going on where a shift of perspective could create space for a different view?