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The “It Could Be Worse” Game March 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.

Many times, finding greater happiness in your present situation is as easy as playing the “It Could Be Worse” game.

Once, I got caught in a blizzard and had to spend the night in an airport.  I’d been babysitting my nieces for several days, causing me to be both over-tired and sick.

What I desired was to be home, in my nice warm bed, not stuck in Dulles Airport sleeping on a hard bench.

If I had continued to focus on that desire, it would have led to suffering of my own creation, because it was an unattainable desire at that moment in time.  Nothing that I could do at that moment would have caused the snow to stop falling, or melt more quickly.

Sometimes, you just have to accept the “what is.”

So, I shifted my focus and began to play the “It Could Be Worse” game.

I was not stuck in a blizzard in a tent without adequate warmth.  I had food, shelter, and clothing in this nice warm airport.  Thanks!

I was not alone and scared in the dark, hoping that someone would rescue me.  I was surrounded by airport personnel (who brought blankets and pillows around to me and the other over-tired travelors).  Thanks!

As I looked around at my fellow travelors, I noted that many had small children to oversee.  Focusing on the children really helped.

What if I had four young children with me?  What if three were sound asleep and the fourth needed to go to the bathroom?

What if that child was not old enough to go alone?

Would I wake the sleeping children and drag them to the bathroom too ~ in order to keep all my little ducklings together?

Or would I ask a neighboring stranger to watch my sleeping children?  Would I trust my precious offspring to a perfect stranger’s care?

These thoughts made me happy that my nieces were safely at home, snug in their beds.  Thanks!

As I continued to envision other, much more desperate  situations, my own situation began to look pretty good.

I saw all that I still had to be grateful for ~ even if I was stuck in an airport for the night.

No rules.  Just write! 

Related post:  How To Turn A Bad Day Around (Think Simple Now)


1. RichardWScott - March 4, 2010

I think for many of us, being bothered by, even taking some form of responsibility for, things we cannot change, is a horrible trap.

Years ago, in my vanity, I thought of myself as knowledgable about computers, and would constantly correct people’s mistakes in understanding, pronunciation and the like. One day it came to me what a waste of time it was trying to police another person’s understanding, or beliefs. I gave it up, and, pardon this, but it felt like a cool breeze blowing through me. The freedom!

2. nrhatch - March 4, 2010

Exactly ~ a cool breeze. : )

Freedom is the key word . . . we are more powerful and in control than we often realize.

We are so busy banging our heads against the proverbial brick wall, that we waste energy that could be used more creatively to find ways over or around the wall.

We are so busy trying to control and change others, that we are too exhausted to change ourselves.

By relinquishing control, we reclaim our power.

3. scouser7 - March 4, 2010

Blimey Nancy do you read minds? Your little pm pointing me here couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel a lot better already after only reading the last two posts.

Thank you 🙂

nrhatch - March 4, 2010

I don’t read minds . . . but the Universe is usually eavesdropping on our thoughts.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out The Universal Internet article I posted yesterday.

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