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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

What is this trying to teach me?

I hardly know where to begin this post – maybe that’s because I am, admittedly, operating on very little sleep. My brain wouldn’t shut off. Monkey mind. Leaping from one real problem, to an imagined, potential problem borrowed from the future that none of us is guaranteed. Mindfulness. I find mindfulness, staying in the moment, so much easier when the goddamn moment is pleasant. When things are going my way. Mindfulness is a downright drag when things are tough – or when multiple things are not going your way and you’re being pulled in multiple directions. Mindfulness while drinking from the proverbial fire hose of life is damn near impossible for me. Mindfulness while lying on a beach? Much more attainable.


I recently read something that said, “Instead of asking, ‘Why is this happening to me?’, ask ‘What is this trying to teach me’?”


Sometimes, this little quote is followed up with the saying, “….when you do this, everything shifts.”


"What is this trying to teach me?! Fuck if I know." I mutter to myself.


This evening, I had a crying fit. I don’t cry often. When I do cry, I cannot stop. It’s as if a release valve has been loosened and whoosh! Can’t close it back up until all the pressure has been released. I felt overwhelmed and alone with Andrea back in Virginia, although we were both taking our turn drinking from the firehose to manage things.


I left my mom a voice mail that probably worried her as I unconvincingly wailed, “I’m fine!” at the end of it.


I’d already talked to Andrea, who was waiting in the lobby of a hotel in Virginia to hand off another check in the amount of $1,000 for earnest money to our realtor for offer number two that's underway.


Then I did something that I do less often than crying. I asked for helped. On Facebook. Which seems vague-booky and gross. Worse than sobbing to your mom when you’re 45 years old. I asked, on a post that I filtered some people off of so they wouldn’t worry.

I’m not sure what I expected. But what happened was that so many people reached out to me. They texted. They commented. They messaged me through Facebook. I felt like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life – when his brother Harry tells people, “Hey. George’s ass is on fire.” (this is not a direct quote, you should really watch the movie) and people scatter to help George out. And the best part is that it works. George gets the help he needs. Take that, Mr. Potter. You dick.

I don’t want anyone who has seen the movie to think I was on a bridge tonight. Or contemplating a bridge. But I, like George, had been given a wonderful gift. By putting myself out there and asking for help. I realized that I am truly blessed to have so many people care who are willing to help. I realized that what I've been dealing with is an inconvenience, not a problem.


What is this trying to teach me? I think I have a better idea after tonight and I'm grateful to all of you for helping me learn these lessons.



“One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient." - Robert Fulghum


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