One day I realized how priceless the small mishaps of my life were. Curiously, the ones that had the most positive impact were the ones most people would have blown off.
I had gone to a local store to pick up a kitchen appliance and was immediately greeted by a sales girl. She was GOOD. Before I knew it I was in her trance and soaring off on the wings of this beautiful eagle into her reality, leaving mine and everything I knew about myself far far away… as I joined her in hers…
Banana Slicing Heaven
She extolled the magical virtues of the incredible banana slicer and all I could do with it. So much so, I had no idea how I had survived my whole life without one. Before I knew it I was standing at the cash register happily waiting to pay for mine and feeling quite lucky. I sailed out of the store and across the parking lot on cloud 9. The second I closed my car door, I instantly came back to myself. In other words, my REALITY set in.
“I just bought a banana slicer?! How did that happen?… I don’t even eat bananas.”
I was so embarrassed by what I had just done that I didn’t even have the courage to go back in and return it, even though I was unlikely to ever use it. I pulled it out and looked at it. At first I blew off my embarrassing experience as an insignificant $10 error. Then, as I sat there and stared at it, laughing at my ridiculous decision and seeing the gross humor in what I had just done, a landslide of questions started. How did that happen? Where and why did I lose sight of myself? And my truth? Who am I? Would I have made the same decision if I had been with a friend? Where are the other banana slicer type dynamics in my life?
Heck you are human. When was the last time someone enchanted and whisked you out of your reality so you would join them in theirs?
They say “Don’t make mountains out of Mole Hills”. I agree. I wasn’t making a mountain out of my new banana slicer, but I saw how this small mole hill, given a growth spurt, could become an unnecessary mountain in my life. If I didn’t figure out how it happened I could end up with a personally inappropriate car, home, investment, medical procedure or something else.
My banana slicer was actually revealing where my character qualities were too weak and where they were too strong, as well as showing me who I was and who I wasn’t. I couldn’t deny or ignore it because the proof was right in front me – a bright yellow plastic banana slicer. My new $10 banana slicer was turning out to be a sort of, inexpensive single payment insurance policy for better decision making… for the rest of my life.
I took a gander around my life and saw other mole hills. Lots. More than I wanted to admit. Why was I ignoring and stepping on or over the mole hills? They were small and would never land me therapy if I chose to make something of them. My banana slicer had me laughing AND what it taught me was now a part of who I was – I was a new and more informed version of myself. I could relocate my furry little burrowing moles to better pastures if I took a moment to listen to their message and while doing so I ensured they would not become tomorrow’s mountains.
About the same time I was asked out on a date by a bright, attractive and friendly man I had just met. I didn’t feel a dating type connection with him and politely declined. Each time we crossed paths he asked me out and my response was consistently a respectful straight “no thank you”. What I noticed was the more I said “no” the more determined he was to get to “yes”. If he had been paying attention to HIS mole hills he would have had to ask himself: “Why am I not accepting her “no”?” “Why do I keep asking her out?” My “no” was not a rejection of him as a person, it was a ”no” because I felt we were not a match and didn’t want to waste his time, money nor energy.
At the time, I looked at my options. I didn’t want to lie. I didn’t want to be mean or confrontive. I didn’t want to spend my time and energy calculating how to avoid running into him. None of my options were appealing to me and in my narrow vision those were the only choices I thought I had. So I just kept hoping he would meet his perfect girl or he would respect my “no thank you”. Later, in hindsight, after all was said and done, I realized that my unwillingness to change strategies was my mole hill.
One day he showed up, and we did our routine. He asked me out and I said “no thank you”. THEN suddenly he pitched a line I was completely unprepared for “Krista I am not THAT GUY”.
Instantly my thoughts were in full throttle because of his emotionally defeated delivery style. I felt guilty and responsible for his emotional bruise and called myself into question. Maybe I was wrong? Maybe I was judging him? Then suddenly without offering myself a time out and a couple days to sort myself out (another personal mole hill) I automatically replied as I always did when I felt pressured, guilty and self-doubting – I accepted his invitation even though I had never thought it was a good idea (many mole hills).
We went out. It didn’t take long for me to see that while he was not “THAT GUY”, he was like all the bad ones rolled into one.
You are human like me… When was the last time you agreed to something because someone made you feel guilty? Or because someone made you doubt your inner knowing? Or because the outside pressure pushed you beyond your upper threshold? Have you ever thought about it before?
Looking back I am glad I went out with him. I needed the situation to go full circle for me to see where I fall short AND where I fall too strong. Most people blow off bad situations with a “it’s over – let it go”, “better luck next time”. Non sense. If it was happening, if I was in it, then invariably I was half the problem. If I didn’t figure out what insight the situation was offering then I knew the same dynamic would show up in my future wearing a different disguise.
It was comical, in that sort of ludicrous way. If I had tackled the first mole hill (his refusal to accept my “no thank you”) by changing strategies and doing something that made me uncomfortable, the situation would have been forced to split, end or change directions. I didn’t want to change (my mole hill) and expected him to change (another of my mole hills). Because I wasn’t willing to change and he didn’t change, the situation escalated to a new level. Our once small co-created mole hill experienced an enormous growth spurt when he pitched the line “I am not that guy”.
My response to his simple 5 word sentence instantly forced my landscape to explode with personal mole hills with important messages to deliver in all directions, as far as my eye could see – and probably farther. Moles hills that ranged from emotional manipulation, control tactics, misdirected compliance, socially learned behaviors and more. After we went out I sat in my pasture of mole hills for a long time. It wasn’t catastrophic in any way, it was just a big sticky mess, which made it easy to laugh about. I went about rescuing each distraught and screaming mole who was begging to be heard. Each furry little animal had a pure gem to offer me.
The more I took notice of my mole hills and got to know the underground moles that were making them, the faster my life began to take off in the directions I wanted it to. How could it not? I began to get a really good idea of who I was, wasn’t, where I needed improvements, renovations and what tools I was lacking. My personal compass was getting extremely powerful, and was light. My mishaps were NOT my enemies, they were in fact my allies. I was growing more peaceful with each new discovery and furry friend embraced.
One day someone asked “Has looking at your mole hills made a difference in your life?”
I am fairly certain the mole hills taught me things that eventually saved my life. I still have my banana slicer. It still makes laugh when I look at it. One day I used it and laughed even harder afterwards because I instantly realized it would have been easier to clean one knife blade to cut one banana, than it was to clean one blade for each banana slice!
I know how to look at the small mishaps of my life, but had to figure it out on my own. What I realized may benefit you so I will share what I have learned.
First, you need to understand what your coping strategies are for remaining blind to landscape of mole hills beneath the ground you walk on. My coping strategies were keeping busy. I kept busy. If I was busy then I didn’t see them. Another strategy was subscribing to the belief that the small stuff had no meaning. What a mistake!
What are your strategies for blowing off the small mishaps of your life? TV, a movie, book, music, social media, therapy, rant & rave, food, cocktails, hobbies, sports, exercise, retail therapy, going out, gaming… Or maybe you tell yourself a “poor me” “I am a victim” story… and blame your mole hills on someone else?
The second thing I needed to understand was I have an uneasy unsettled feeling in my tummy, a heavy heart, become emotionally over responsive and short circuit when a mole hill is so close it could bite me. My body, emotions and behaviors tell me when I am choosing to be oblivious to the presence of a mole hill. What body sensations, emotions and behaviors are serving as your signs to an imbalance wanting to be recognized?
And lastly, you won’t get insight if you slam the door on it. Or aren’t asking questions. Ask questions. Ask the same question in many ways. Be patient – answers WILL show up when you keep an open door policy and are willing to hear it. Some people’s insight drops in when they are walking, outside in nature, knitting, fishing, gardening, doing hobbies, paying attention to life’s signs and metaphors or working creatively with art or food. I have a lot of ways to allow insight in, and one is through my dreams where the dreams bring me insight that hooks and encourages me to reach farther to grab it.
Even after you get insight, leave the door open to receiving more because there is ALWAYS more. Insight is never “don’t ever do that again”. Insight will leave you quiet, peaceful and humbled in an entirely new way. It will leave you stronger, NOT weaker. Insight shows up for me in the most unexpected, unpredictable and unusually captivating ways and that magic is probably why I am addicted and love working with my mole hills.
I recently finished a few books of people’s personal stories about that one single event that structured their whole life. As I was reading, I wondered “What is mine?”. I was trying to find the ONE. I saw so many. Each was different, but just as important and most of my epiphanies were disguised as mole hills. Then I recognized today’s epiphany relied on my grasping yesterday’s. Each was building on the one before it.
Life’s greatest lessons are destined to make me whole and will come back until I grab that piece of my puzzle. My mole hills matter, are super affordable and my return on investment is exponential. Yours are too. My mountains are not always the result of an overlooked mole hill, and when my path is suddenly climbing a mountain the size of Everest it is the mole hills that help me navigate my way through it.
Wishing you fun with your mole hills, and no sprained ankles.