I have spent a lot of time mediating in the last few weeks. That should come as no surprise. After all that is what I do for a living. I have had a few people ask me lately how I can deal with such emotional situations on a daily basis. It’s obvious, right? You seldom require a mediator when things are going well. Most of the people I deal with have experienced negative events in their lives. So talking to these people exposes me to a lot of negative energy. I have been very fortunate that I have been able to leave this negativity at the door when I get home. A few years ago a psychologist told me that whether I realized it or not I was ingesting a lot of the emotions I see in other people. He referred to it as toxic. He said it came with the job. I sometimes think of what effect my venting or unloading has on people. And yet talking “about it” helps.
Having said that, there are times when I feel frustrated. Many of the situations involve power struggles. Big corporations against individuals. I get frustrated when it appears that there is no consideration given to the human side of the story. But because my role is one of maintaining neutrality I have to try to achieve understanding. This can be difficult. So there are times I will get emails that do upset me. Trying to settle disputes via email is not conducive to achieving that understanding. I was traveling from Brandon to Winnipeg this week when I got one such email. I know. I was driving. I shouldn’t even have read it. But I did. And it got me thinking. It got me upset. I felt helpless. Unsure of myself. But I also knew that I was not going to solve the problem while I was driving down the highway. I finally switched on the radio to get my mind off the problem. Guess what song was playing? The old Beatles tune, Let It Be. What a timely message. Let it be.
I became curious as to the story behind the song. It is quite interesting to read about the inspiration Paul McCartney had when he wrote the lyrics. It seems that he was having some struggles in his personal life. A struggle with drugs and alcohol. It was prior to him meeting his first wife Linda. He was lonely. The story goes that he had a dream one night where his mother appeared and said to him “Let it be”. He took a lot of solace from that message. He found comfort. In those simple words he found the message; “be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow, and it will work out okay”.
It worked for me that day too. Without really knowing the lyrics. Without knowing the story behind the song. Those three words gave me comfort. They helped me come back to the present. Find the center. Breath. Take control of my thoughts. I still wonder about the irony. The timing. Switching on the radio and hearing that song at that time. If you really think about it, it happens often in life. We have moments where we get subtle messages. Messages that give us pause. Messages that give us clarity. It’s a matter of hearing those messages. And when life is getting to us. When we are caught up in “life”. We need to “let it be”. Make it a good one.