Making Yourself a Miserable Sandwich?

by Leslie Sann

JOY: the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.
David Steindl-Rast

First a Story:
Two men sat down to lunch. The first man opened his lunch box, took out his sandwich and said, “I can’t believe it! Baloney again. I hate baloney sandwiches. This is the fourth time this week I’ve had baloney. I can’t stand baloney.”

The second man replied, “Well, why don’t you say something to your wife?”

The first man responded,  “What good will that do? I make my own lunch.”


Okay, all kidding aside, what kind of baloney are you putting in your lunchbox to eat?

We do that. We contribute to our complaint and then pretend life is doing it to us.

Let me give you an example. I am having a problem with my phone. For some reason I can hear the caller but sometimes they cannot hear me. As it is intermittent, from my experience, it is harder to troubleshoot, thus I’d delayed calling for support.

Delaying asking for help was exacerbating the problem. So I figured out when I had the time to sit on the phone for who knows how long to give the support person the best chance at helping me.

On the way to making that call, my mind moved into a habitual point of view. I heard the familiar complaint that this was going to be a waste of my time — that I’m going to be on hold listening to dreadful music for longer than I want — that I’m going to get a entry-level person — that I will choose to ask for a senior advisor as I know that in the past that strategy will expedite the process — yet waiting for that advisor to show up will be another delay — and then — they probably won’t solve the problem as it is intermittent and — well — blah blah blah.

I’m already in the grumps! I’ve made myself a miserable sandwich and I haven’t even dialed the number.

I realized that I was the one putting baloney on the bread. Therefore I could choose to feed myself something else. If I am the problem therefore I am also the solution.

I decided to shift my point of view. I wondered what would it take for me to experience ease and joy instead of angst and upset. Hmmm … I ask the question and leave it alone, not looking for an answer. I shifted up into Wonder Brain or WOW (Chapter 33 in Calm Down Lift Up Into Joy, Peace and Creativity).

Zach is my senior advisor. I related to him my problem and I heard him smile. I realized he loves his job and figuring out tech things is fun for him.

He asked me to wait while he does some research. While I am waiting, I heard him humming. I find myself smiling with the thought that this is a happy man. I asked him if he often hums while he works. He told me he loves to sing while he is working.

I am now attuned to his heart — which I realized is sweet and kind. We talked back and forth a bit about nothing while he is reaching the conclusion that there was nothing for him to do. He gave me guidance so that next time I can bring info that will be helpful to the advisor.

I got off the call.

Even though my mind was ‘right’ that it was a ‘waste of my time’, I realized that thought is only a point of view. I wasn’t having any of that baloney. Instead I was eating a joy sandwich having connected in kindness with another human being and spending a few moments with a happy person. I felt lifted by the call (even though my phone is still not behaving the way I prefer).

The fact was I spent 30 minutes on a call at the end of which I still had the same issue I had before I got on the phone. One point of view says: Yet again, I wasted my time. How much of my life do I spend on the phone getting not-support and ending up nowhere?

Another point of view says: It is a joy to be amongst the joyous — how blessed am I to have been led to a few minutes of shared happiness!

Same outer reality — different life experience.

It’s time for lunch. What will I make myself to eat? Baloney or _______ ?

We are the ones feeding ourselves life by how we choose to interpret, filter, give meaning to what is going on. If I want a different experience of my life, I can shift my point of view. I don’t have to keep eating baloney because that is my habit. I can choose something else, something that nourishes, lifts and brings me joy.

Wonder question: What if it could be easy to live in joy?

Learn to do so amongst a community of support. Consider joining me the first week in January 2021 for the next 5-week program Calm Down Lift Up Together.

Blessings and Peace,