There’s nothing like negative energy to put a dampener, even a darkness, over a holiday. It moves fast. Once it takes hold of you, you change, go up in arms and see the world through cloudy eyes. And the cloud can hang around for days and make a good time bad, certainly if you are not intentional about lifting it.
There goes my holiday, I thought, watching everyone around me being served, including my husband on a business-class flight, where this kind of thing is not supposed to take place, right? Wrong, as it happens.
All I could think as we neared the male-dominated culture where I was hoping to broaden my horizons, while relaxing a bit as well, was: it is going to be a long two weeks. Never mind that that it had been a smooth ride so far, turbulence had hijacked my heart, as well as my mind.
Thankfully, however, I had just read an InStyle piece by writer–filmmaker Ava Duvernay, about the concept that darkness moves faster than light in her new film, A Wrinkle in Time. Though she believes the idea is true, she still maintains that light is stronger than darkness.
Ah ha! Here was a chance for me to see the light. So as the words ‘sexism’, ‘racism’ or both, or plain ole ‘trifling-ism’, floated around in my head like several overactive helium balloons, I remembered the article, reached for it and reread it and, in my negativity, begrudgingly agreed with Duvernay.
Still, no matter how I spun my situation, I had been overlooked, which consequently led to a feeling of marginalization. I could feel the negative energy rushing through my head. Then oddly, I remembered two descriptions of mismanagement of anger from The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee: the hedgehog and the rhino concepts. Yep, these concepts are exactly like the animals they are named for.
Momentarily, I became a hedgehog, most uncharacteristic of me, and curled up into a prickly ball and threatened to stick anyone who came near me, and in the next moment, my rhino tendencies took over. And just as I was about to charge, an air steward rushed over with a tablecloth bearing an apology, which actually seemed sincere.
Only then did I call upon my positive strength to ward off the negative energy that was ruining the holiday that hadn’t even begun. Attentively, I listened.
There had been a mix-up. As I was in a middle seat and there was no one to the left of me, each steward had thought the other was taking care of me. It happens, right? Never mind the iPad(s) they walked around with listing all passengers and where they were seated.
So there I was with two paths before me: I could let the darkness hang over the situation, exacerbated by the inflated balloon of thoughts; or I could let light push through.
In a flash, I took a middle ground. Through gritted teeth I accepted the apology, but only after I mentioned how terribly upset and disappointed I had been, and that I hoped it wouldn’t happen again … to anyone. Full stop!
There, I could get back to looking forward to my holiday were it not for the balloons of negative thought. Though somewhat deflated, they were still bobbing in the background. Even after the cabin manager had rendered an apology and came bearing an expensive bottle of wine, followed by yet another apology from another big wig, I couldn’t quash the negative thoughts.
They had to go to make way for the light. But how? Then I had a lightbulb moment: I had to be intentional. End of story. They were my thoughts, mine only, and only I could get rid of them.
So, after some serious reasoning with my subconscious mind, it happened – it was addressed, there was no need to harp on all the –isms because, after all, doing so was going to ruin our holiday, no one else’s, so I had to let it go. The message got through.
That’s when I heard the voices of many happy Minions – you know, the ones that cheer when you win a video game. And then I saw fireworks exploding with beautiful light. So glad I caught it … the light, that is. A happy holiday was ahead.
 InStyle, March 2018, Let There Be Light by Ava Duvernay.
 The Marriage Book: How To Build A Lasting Relationship by Nicky & Sila Lee (Alpha Resources, 2000).