Staring Down a Squirrel

"Squirrel, move! Move, Squirrel!"

I was out for a walk in the neighborhood. I have a gym membership, but sometimes I just like to walk outdoors and look at the trees, people, and dogs. As I walked down my block at a brisk pace, I happened upon a woman staring down a squirrel. The woman carried a drink cup from a fast food restaurant and was intent on going through a metal gate to enter a building complex. The problem was that there was a squirrel already perched on top of the metal gate, minding its own business, and enjoying a meal. The woman stared him down in frustration and kept repeating, "Move, squirrel." She could not continue on with her day, with her plans, until this squirrel got out of her way. She was stuck there, immobile, until the situation changed and she had no control over when or if that would happen.

I was reminded of how often I face situations and demand that they change before I can proceed. How many times have I "stared down a squirrel" in my life? How often have I insisted that a situation change, rather than looking at how I can change and accept what is? I know that acceptance does not mean that we agree with what is or even like it. Acceptance means that we do not resist the circumstance, thereby giving it more energy to expand. We simply take note of it and decide who we want to be in the face of the situation.

From now on when I am "staring down a squirrel", I will think of that woman and her stubbornness. I will laugh at myself for taking life so seriously. I will look at who I want to be in the situation and I will exert control over the only thing I can---my attitude.


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