"Thank you for passing through this trouble." That's what he said to me. English was definitely not his first language. I was having trouble using the keypad on the credit card swiper and, after several attempts, the cashier at Target had to process my transaction by hand, typing each number into the register, one by one. It took at least 90 seconds longer than if I had been able to do it myself and I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who'd get ticked off about losing that precious minute & a half. Honestly, on the wrong day, I could be one of them. But, on my good days, I try not to sweat the small stuff and I was having a good day. That's probably the only reason his statement resonated with me. "Thank you for passing through this trouble." It was his way of apologizing for the inconvenience and I really liked the way it came out, "passing trough this trouble."
Isn't that a great way to think about, and deal with, trouble? It reminds me of that bumper sticker, "If you're going through hell, keep going!" If you run into trouble, pass through! Acknowledge it and keep on going! Don't let it stick to you!
It could be as simple as a faulty piece of machinery (a card swiper or your car) or as big as a thoughtless act by someone who's supposed to have your back. It might be a minor drag or it might be a big deal. It might be really painful. It just doesn't have to ruin you day. Or your life, for that matter. You don't have to get stuck in it! So often, we let the little troubles stick to us and drag us down. We forget that we actually have a choice! We forget that we actually get to choose what we think and how we feel!
Can you sit with that for a minute and feel how powerful that is! How powerful YOU are?! Do you really want to feel victimized by an inanimate object? Do you really want to choose to be a victim, period? I don't (not most of the time, anyway....)
As human beings we are blessed with the ability to perceive; to create a story around any given situation. In that situation I could have decided that that stupid machine was trying to intentionally put me behind schedule and ruin my day, but I didn't. That day, the story was simple; technological snafu, no biggie, here's my card, thanks for your help.
It's been over a year since I had that simple interaction with that sweet human being. That simple apology turned out to be a great gift to my life.
Sure, some days are easier than others. Some days aren't easy at all and some days I actually choose to be a victim and wallow in self pity! But I almost never forget that I have a choice.
When faced with trouble, I get to choose. I can choose to get stuck or I can choose to "pass through".