One Successful Choice

A few days ago, I went shopping for vacuum cleaner bags. I went to the local big box hardware store, found what I thought to be the right aisle, but the bags weren’t there. I asked someone for help, he suggested a different set of aisles, with the caveat “If we have them”. Not there. I asked yet another person for help, who said to check the end caps on all those aisles. I didn’t see them. I started getting upset. Something was amiss, this store ought to have vacuum cleaner bags.

All of a sudden I saw that I was getting upset. I stopped and told myself: “You have a choice. You can get upset, or not.” At that moment, I made a conscious choice to not get upset. I kept looking, as I thought about where else I might buy the bags, and then saw the store’s meager collection of vacuum bags. No wonder I couldn’t find them. And they didn’t have the ones I needed.

No harm done, I didn’t get upset, I went to another store and found what I needed. And the day proceeded on normally. I was very happy with myself for changing the course that could have ruined my mood.

I learned the power of recognizing my emotions and being able to choose how I want to experience them. The first step is awareness of my own emotional state. The second step is to ask myself if that is, in fact, what I want, or is there another option.

I choose equanimity.