Deep in the night, from a sound sleep, I awoke to a warm bowel movement in my hand. My three year old and I slept in beds next to each other in our one room apartment in Playa del Rey at the time. Because the room was small, our beds were right next to each other. I was and am a single parent. This living arrangement was one of those surrender situations I knew was temporary – a means to an end.
My son was in the journey of being potty trained. In the middle of this particular night, I awoke to this “surprise” in my hand. Now I have no idea how the “stuff” made it from his night pants to my hand, nor how it was that I awoke in time to prevent it from traveling completely throughout our bedding. I just know I was, shall we say, amazed.
In complete honesty, the hindsight view (slight pun intended) is hilarious. In the moment I was less than pleased. Had I taken a different point of view and said “thank god this shit is not all over my sheets” I might have had a better reaction. As it was, I did have the grace not to get upset with my son. He did not do it on purpose. I was not a single parent on purpose either. The fact that we were in one room with beds next to each other was not anyone’s “fault.” The dropping from his night pants did not make their way into my right hand, on purpose. No one did any of this maliciously or to upset the other. But there was the stuff in my hand!
In the moment, the “stuff” is in your hand, what point of view or lens are you going to use to view it?
Are you going to blame yourself – after all your hand did not need to be in ‘the right place at the right time” to get “stuff” in it!
Are you going to blame the “bestower” of the stuff? They could have changed their activity. They could have decided to put it someplace else, or could they? Did they do it on purpose? Even if they did are you not still in control of your reaction?
What if you shift your view, re frame it, use a different lens to view it? If you have re framed the experience you might see the good your hand served in catching the stuff before it was all over the sheets, in your hair and on your face! Often life blesses us in ways we can see only if we take a broader view. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Sometimes those blessings include the stuff not in your hair, or on your face, or embedded in your duvet cover. It’s only in your hand. No harm no foul. It is the source of a good laugh and a great story to bring joy to others. How you experience the “stuff in your hand” is your experience, literally. How you perpetuate the point of view of the story recreates it over and over in your experience.
Thank you, Life, for the moments when the stuff is only in my hand and not in my hair. I give myself permission to acknowledge Grace and its magnificent daily presence in my life.