Last year, I went on a cruise to the Mediterranean with my dear friend Edie from Las Vegas. We get on extraordinarily well and we were looking forward to spending 10 days sharing a cabin together and a meeting a bunch of our friends, and I especially was looking forward to resting and relaxing too. The moment we entered our cabin, I jumped on my bed and just knew I was going to have the best sleep ever! Isn’t it strange how much we look forward to something we’re not even conscious of?!

Well, things took a turn for the worse when nightfall came and we got into our beds. Edie fell asleep immediately because I like to potter around doing things before I turn the lights out, and when I eventually did, I found myself awake for hours because just a few meters away was sweet Edie sounding like a not-so-sweet sleeping hippo!

Night after night Edie snored, and I tossed and turned trying to figure out how to ignore this hard-to-ignore sound. The more I tried to ignore it, the louder it got. Eventually I found myself resenting the fact that I couldn’t get a proper night’s sleep. Edie and I talked about it, and she apologised a lot and explained that she didn’t mean it, she just have any control over it. Just talking about it helped me a lot and I actually felt sympathy for her, because even she would wake herself up during the night, so she too wasn’t getting the best sleep either!

So what did I do? Other than using some earplugs, which partially helped, I made a decision that I would accept the fact that Edie snores and it would be okay. Now I know that sounds really simple, but in practice I found it very difficult to do! Accepting what-is can be really tough when it’s clearly something we don’t want that’s in our face. Try it for yourself! Observe something you can’t stand and try being okay with it and notice how much you resist that!! Maybe it’s hard because it makes us feel weak and powerless, as though we are resigning to that fate.  We think we’ll be stuck with it forever.

But that night, I discovered something very powerful about making peace with what-is. I found that the moment I relaxed and just allowed Edie to be, snoring or not, her snoring began to fade. Or maybe it didn’t and I just noticed it less. Either way, I found myself getting the result I wanted – a good night’s sleep!

But even better than that, it didn’t negatively affect my relationship with Edie, which I value so much. Just by openly communicating with her, having some understanding and being willing to stop judging what was happening, I found my peace.

Hmmm, in which other situations could I apply this?