With my coffee in hand, I sat down at my desk, powered up my laptop, and clicked on Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I noticed that one of my posts from Takeoff and Landings was shared on a PW’s page; I couldn’t help but get a little giddy.
Wow! Someone must have liked what I’d written.
However, within seconds of viewing their post, there were some negative comments that a few people felt compelled to share. To me, it felt like a dozen people were stating their opinion, but in reality, there were only one or two. Unfortunately, for them, they didn’t agree with my Christian viewpoints as it was related to being a Pilot’s wife.
Needless to say, my day had vastly taken a nose dive and landed hard with tears of negativity and doubt.
Have you ever encountered those types of passengers showing up and choosing to sit right next to you?
Those two “wonderful passengers” (sarcastic tone) grabbed a seat and within minutes became a thorn in my side. They stole my armrest, talked non-stop in my ears and wouldn’t let me have a moments peace. Sadly, it was a long, long, flight for me. That lasted a week!
I flew head-on into a self-pity mode. This wasn’t the first time I’ve boarded a plane only to sit next to those travelers who have caused me to run into the lavatory and cry.
I’m sure we’ve all been there.
When we find ourselves wandering with those passages in our lives, that’s when we should look for the Manual of Emotions and process the situation.
Here are a few examples of rowdy passengers you might want to look for:
Negativity Nancy. She can arrive at a moments notice, reaching for the call button and telling you that you’re not experienced enough or questioning your position to say things.
Those critical and negative comments hurt. Ultimately I found myself crying in my closet, feeling like I had a failed landing.
Doubter Debbie. She will plague you with questions of why? how? and are you sure? She’ll take the controls and leave you doubting your actions.
Debbie had me in full-speed confusion about sharing my story. She was spewing excuses into my headset about why I shouldn’t be doing what I love to do.
When seated next to these types of passengers, what’s a girl supposed to do?
My Manual of thoughts
When I come across these type of tourists, ones who like to play with my thoughts and emotions, it’s then I have to pull out my Life Operation Manual and figure out the best way to navigate the situation. Here’s what I’ve read and learned:
- Maintain Control of the feelings that arrive in our thoughts.
I recall reading — “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business …, You believe in your creations… they deserve to be out in the world. You create because you have a God-given ability to do so.” (Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are) Armed with that encouragement, I decided to have a better perspective and outlook!
- Analyze the problem: what is really causing the problem? It is the cynical passengers’ or something else?
- Take appropriate Action: by looking for someone to talk to or ask for a hug.
- Maintain Awareness of our surroundings. Stand firm to your goals and trust God to help you what He has called you accomplish.
This life is not easy peasy. It takes prayer and lots of grace and mercy. I have a story to share, and maybe, just maybe, one PW or two PW’s might be able to relate and say,”That’s where I am! I really needed to hear that!”
One of my favorite authors said, “Negative thoughts lead to a crisis response-activating us physically but hindering our thinking. Positive thoughts allow us to process a situation accurately and respond in a healthy way”.
Are we going to let those contradictory passengers take over our flight? Or are we going to seek out those that bring us the courage and strength to get back on course?
Who I want to travel with
When I find myself squished tightly between Negativity Nancy and Doubting Debbie, it’s then that I can choose to leave my current seat and search for those passengers who can lift me up instead of tearing me down.
Here are the types of seat-mates I would much rather fly with:
Focus Frances. She can help us get back on track by reminding us that we have value and importance to those around us. “Frances” can focus our vision and help us live our best PW life. Thankfully, I didn’t have to search too hard for my “ Frances.” I reached for the intercom and called out to my wedge of friends to vent while sipping a glass of wine. By doing so, I was able to look out the window and see the blue sky of encouragement.
Goal setting Ginger. Not only is she there to pull me out of the depths of self-pity, but “Ginger” reminds me of my final destination and helps me re-evaluate what I’m doing. When I was shot down by someone or something that caused me to reroute my thinking, I had to find the ticket that had my goals written on them, showing me a first-class seat in life.
In those days of flying around in my self-pity cloud of discouragement, I recall a scripture that I highlighted in my bible, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “What we put into our minds determines what comes out in words and actions.” I was allowing those negatives comments to shut down my engine (mind) and stay that way. I had to ask God to help me find my focus ( the keys) to start back up and fly into what I’m called to do.
I won’t lie to you and say I immediately go to God and ask for help. It takes practice, and I have to practice every day.
As I make my descent and final landing, I’m learning I don’t need the approval of many or even one. I write, look at the flight plan God has put in front of me and fly with that. When I do that, it’s a much smoother journey.
What about you, what sort of passengers in your life have you come in contact with?
Love to hear from you and maybe we can help each other as we carve this PW life. Just leave a comment below.
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Whether you’re seated next to your pilot in the right or left seat of life, we are flying and taking off and landing together. Flying alongside my pilot for over 25 years I have found a sense of courage, discovered independence that I thought I did not have and developed a better understanding that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Maybe you want those things too. You have come to the right place.
Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany