A few months ago, I wrote about how I read to a boy who was sitting in the seat behind me on a plane as we waited for a dark storm to pass by as we waited on the tarmac.

This time I shall share a story of a more harrowing experience than sitting inside a stationary plane as a storm passed. It was quite a harrowing experience that I, along with 239 other passengers, had as the pilot attempted to land the plane amidst 40 MPH wind gusts in Las Vegas. The pilot tried to land two times but a third attempt wouldn’t happen…well at least not until the next day. The pilot decided to re-route us to Palm Springs, California.

Count your blessings

I only heard one person complain and she was quite certain her birthday celebration would most definitely be ruined. I thought to myself “Well, at least you will have a birthday to celebrate.” When we were all waiting for our luggage in Palm Springs, I happened to strike up a conversation with a retired flight attendant. I said, “Boy, I am glad there wasn’t a third attempt to land. I imagined the plane skidding on its belly.” She said, “Oh, we would have snapped in half! I’ve flown for 30 years and I know what could have happened.”

I was more than ok with being re-routed instead of landing with the potential of us crashing. I know that may sound dramatic but I later heard stories of people who were on planes that did land in those winds. It was said that passengers were screaming for their lives yelling, “We are all going to die!!”

There is always a positive side to every experience

In comparison, our flight was a breeze. What I’ve said as I have share my experience of that turbulent flight, “There is always a positive side to every experience. Like this…positive side…only two people vomited on the plane. Another positive: I wasn’t one of those people.”

I made friends, laughed with strangers, and made business connections. And, I happened to sit next to someone who lives in my home town. As it turns out, he and his family live right across the street from my high school. I got a comforting feeling of home for a brief moment. And, I was placed in a beautiful at a Hilton hotel with a king size bed and a view overlooking the pool and the California mountains.

Realising something about yourself

I realised something about myself after experience that harrowing ride. When I am in a situation where I know for absolute certainty that I have absolute zero control of the situation or its outcome, I am more at ease. I accept what is and what can be. I begin to accept my fate. I turn inward and find a bit of sanctuary in the space between…the space between my ears and the space between the aisle and window seats. I manage to find a little bit of solace in my few inches of space and I release control and ease into the outcome. I give up control of whatever will be. (Now I hear my mom singing Doris Day’s song, “Que Sera Sera/Whatever will be will be/The future’s not ours to see.” Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t feeling completing relaxed and joyful. I was feeling release of control. There is a big difference.

Handling a crisis

During and after a crisis or extremely stressful situation I am forced to think about how I am handling that situation. Shortly after that trip, I had a revelation about myself. I learned that when I have any bit of a chance of controlling a situation, challenge, or project, I take charge. I do this with full force especially in situations when other parties involved are not doing what they are supposed to do. I won’t go into the details of the experiences but they involve having to fire an accountant and battling an insurance claim.

No matter what I experience, I have the ability to see and feel the positive of a situation…even if at first glance it might not appear to be a positive situation.

A point to ponder: Where in your life are there situations, people, or outcomes that are indeed out of your control? Can you allow yourself to let go of that control and allow yourself accept the outcome?

It can be challenging but it is a pathway to personal peace.

About the author: To find out more about Julie Ostrow, please click here.


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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