I’m thirsty. Like really, really thirsty. And all I am dreaming of is a Coke. I know exactly what I want, and I can’t wait to get it.
So here I go. I put my 2-dollar coin in the vending machine, and wait for my oh-so-fabulous Coke to get out. But instead of a can, I get my money back. The coin doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe this one is wrong? So I try another one, just in case. Crossing my fingers, I slip it in the machine. Nothing. The machine doesn’t move an inch.
What is wrong with that damn distributor? I try again, just in case, carefully putting my coin in the right place, double-checking just to make sure. After a few seconds where my hopes were getting high, I hear the unwelcome sound of the coin falling back at the bottom of the machine, and I’m starting to get mad. Like really, really mad.
I’m thirsty, can’t the machine get that? I had a rough day, I’ve been worked for a long time, and I deserve a break. I want, I need that Coke, right here, right now. The machine has no choice but to give it to me.
If the soft way isn’t going anywhere, than I’ll have to get my point understood some other way. If the machine doesn’t want the coin I gently put into its slot, than maybe it’ll get it if I punch it hard into the stomach? Hence, without any second thought, I start shaking the machine, kicking it. Now the machine has no other choice but to acknowledge that I am here, that I want my Coke, that it has to give it to me, now.
I keep hitting the machine as hard as I can, to the point where I get hurt, and have no choice but to stop. No Coke out.
Injured, and still thirsty, I have to let go: the machine is broken, and it won’t give me what I want.
Defeated and exhausted, I sit down, grab a bottle of water, and take a sip. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the bottle of water has there all along, sitting next to the vending machine, but who cares? It’s not what I wanted.
I have to admit though, the water does taste good after all that work, and after a while, I realize that I’m not anymore as thirsty as I was.
How many of us are hitting a vending machine over and over again? How much energy are we wasting fighting to change something that is not changeable, to fix something that is not fixable? How much more time are you going to keep on expecting that job you hate to become fabulous, that broken relationship to be fixed miraculously, that old friend to come back to us.
We often confuse our desires with our true needs. If we could only open our eyes, change our perspective, maybe we would realize that life might already be offering us all we need, simply not in the form we expect it to be.