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I don't usually write about an experience right as it is happening. I like to go through it fully, reflect, and if it seems of value, to share the learnings with others. But today, is different, and the message feels so potent, I feel like sharing it en vivo is part of its power.
My husband and I are about to leave for a weekend trip to meet up with another couple and attend a concert (Coldplay!). Typically, when we are planning a trip, vacation (or really anything that involves a "plan"), I take charge, and my husband lets me, for a couple of reasons:
1. I previously worked in a position that required a great deal of travel, of which I planned all of the details, so I've learned the skill of booking flights, tips that can help make it through the airport smoothly, and the logistics of travel and lodging for the trip in general.
2. I've developed a pretty strong need for control over the course of my life, and personally planning a trip from start to finish with all of the details gives me a (FALSE) sense of security that all will go according to (MY!) plan.
This time, he took the reins. The trip and concert were his idea, and he took charge of purchasing the concert tickets, hotel, and logistics of travel. The desire to control (to double check to ask to help to ask to SEE the details of the trip) was there, but I breathed through it... until Tuesday night.
I asked if I could see the plane tickets so I knew what time to get up and be ready to go. He said sure and began to look through his email for the confirmation. He looked...and looked... and looked.. and we realized while he had been keeping an eye on flights, he hadn't actually booked one! I felt the fear/uncertainty/anger swell up, took a deep breath, and said, "how can we move forward best right now". We looked at flights, found one going out the morning before the concert at a fairly decent price, took a deep breath together, and moved on. It felt VERY different not to react emotionally or verbally, and to just let it BE, and I sat with that.
The day before the trip, I began to pack and organize things at home to leave. We took our dogs to their daycare, closed everything out. Today we experienced a great Uber ride to the airport, and a very friendly ticketing agent when we were unable to check our bags using the kiosk. She said it was "weird" that we weren't able to, but that it was all taken care of and that we were very early so we could go through security and hang out. We had arrived about 2.5 hours early (to our knowledge) and so we went up, found a spot, and hung out. As the time drew nearer to boarding time, we decided to see if we could find an open spot to sit and to check at the counter if our gate had changed (since our flight was not showing up on the departures screen, for some reason- the Universe is CLEVER!). The woman said, "Your flight isn't for about 12 hours". "What!?", we said. We then realized that we had booked flights for 10 PM not AM... that mini control/fear/anger swell rose up again within. My husband looked at me defeatedly and said, "I'm so sorry". We went to Customer Service to see what our options were.
We were greeted with (yet another) extremely friendly desk agent who was able to book us on a noon flight and said "it's ok, this actually happens all the time, I'm just sorry I have to charge you [for a same day change]". As we were waiting for our tickets, I thought aloud, "I'm just wondering why this is happening" and the ticketing agent said, "Well you'll have to make it all back [the concert is in Vegas]... or maybe something AMAZING will happen!". Tears swelled up in my eyes and I said "thank you". Thank you for the reminder of the OTHER side of possibility when a plan doesn't go my way: THAT SOMETHING BETTER IS GOING TO HAPPEN. How often do we cling to our own idea of a plan, and stress/feel angry/feel anxious/feel sad when it doesn't go the way we thought it should? How often do we surrender our plan to another with the trust that something better is working itself out?
As we sit here at our gate (with the gift of a couple of hours to work) I am feeling SO BLESSED for this shift in perception. I was going into this weekend trip feeling 'meh' about it, and anxious/nervous about not holding the reins. I learned that even when a 'plan' doesn't go how I thought it should, doesn't mean it isn't just as valid of a path or EVEN better! I learned that everyone is doing their best, and being harsh toward them only poisons you and draws you AND them further from love and understanding. I learned that when you are willing to see it, the lessons toward greater growth, awareness, and joy are EVERYWHERE. And I remembered that we (I) are always supported.
I hope you feel that support, too, and if you can draw parallel situations from your own life, and shift relationships and self understanding as a result, then BEAUTIFUL.
Light and Love to you all,