There is a Buddhist tale where a man wakes to find 5 wild horses in his yard. The neighbors proclaim, "You are so lucky!" The man replies, "Maybe." The man's son takes a wild horse out to ride the next day, gets thrown and breaks his leg. The neighbors proclaim, "You are so unlucky!" The man replies, "Maybe." The next day soldiers come to town to recruit all the able-bodied young men for war, the son with the broken leg is not recruited. The neighbors proclaim, "You are so lucky!" The man replies, "Maybe."
Last fall our son tried out for the soccer team, he didn't make it. We were sad, he was so unlucky. His friends banded together and talked to the coach suggesting the coach might have overlooked our son. The coach agreed to a second look and he made the team. We were happy, he was so lucky. Four weeks into the season he was escorted up our front walk by a friend, his knee covered in ice. He had torn his SECOND ACL and needed surgery. We were sad, he was so unlucky.
Aha! MAYBE. We just don't know the unfolding, we don't know the end of the story. As a chronic reactor this is a hard lesson. My feelings and thoughts are determined by the previous few minutes of life events. EdLine tells me my children handed in their homework - so happy! A teacher sends an e-mail to tell me that things are being overlooked and forgotten, my day is RUINED. Where does this happen to you. They get a good grade on the test, we are so lucky - or maybe the child is in too easy a class and isn't grappling and practicing study skills. They have a playdate that ends badly, we are so un-lucky - or maybe they learned something valuable about socializing? They made the team, we are so lucky - or maybe they are going to miss out in being in the school play?
Next time we can feel ourselves reacting, replace the knowing with a maybe and see what happens. Maybe can get us out of reactivity and into reality. In reality we have a fighting chance to course correct, make creative change, or learn something new!