A few days ago, I was reading Roald Dahl‘s second autobiography, Going Solo, about the most incredible (but apparently true) story of a woman being carried away by a lion. Somehow, the lion had gotten her into his mouth and was carrying her away toward the Tanzanian jungle. He had her by the waist, and her red and white polka-dot dress flapped up and down as the lion ran off with her. Dahl was visiting a friend when suddenly their cook started yelling in Swahili, “Lion! Lion! The lion is going to eat my wife!” Immediately, the cook chases after the lion, Dahl’s friend grabs his gun and starts chasing the cook, and Dahl runs after the lot of them because it seemed the thing to do in the moment, even though he couldn’t have done anything to thwart the lion’s efforts.
It was a crazy scene, these men chasing the lion with the polka-dot dress flapping in his mouth, but eventually, the friend with the gun shot the ground ahead of the lion. The lion stopped in his tracks, turned around and saw the three men chasing him, drops the woman onto the ground and takes off for the jungle. The cook runs up to his wife to see if she is okay, and to his great surprise, she picks herself up, brushes herself off, and except for being covered in lion slobber, she is totally unharmed; her polka-dot dress is as good as new, not even a little tear. Apparently, she relaxed every part of her body and played dead in the lion’s mouth. She said the lion was holding her more like a cub than his next meal.
Her amazing survival of this seemingly hopeless situation made me think of how we react during the various stressful situations in our lives. Maybe stressful is too light a word for some situations. Sometimes we might think there is no way out. Sometimes we may not be able to see how our situation can possibly end well. Sometimes maybe even the people around us may be totally freaking out, figuratively flailing their arms and screaming because they are afraid for our situation.
But here’s the thing. If we just RELAX, everything will work out fine.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and if we look for what we can learn in a situation, we will come out a better person in the end. I also believe that worrying about something never does the situation any good. We should still use our brains and try to think through the situation as wisely as we can, but worrying about it will only make us sick and ruin our day.
A few hours after I read this amazing story about the lion, I just happened upon this quote by former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, that completely applies here.
“In my ninety plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good woman face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out! Despite how difficult circumstances may look at the moment, those who have faith and move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.” – Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) Way to Be! p. 84
I especially love the advice to move forward optimistically. It is so empowering to think the best of people and situations rather than letting the poison of pessimism spoil our days.
Yes, we are still unemployed. But I choose to relax. I will work hard to make the best of my resources. It will all work out.
Here’s to a peaceful week.
— The Conscious Mom