Missteps of a Traveller

Last week, while my mom and I were on the Parisian metro from the Opera to the 7th arrondisment, where I live, she was robbed.  It was the only time on the metro where she was not standing next to me.  These two twenty something women created a distraction and when my mom tried to walk towards me, they told her to stay there.  She listened. Within one stop they were on and off the metro, and when I was next to her again, things were different.  I noticed her wallet was out of her purse and in her shopping bag.  Gone was 100 euros in cash. The wallet was empty.  We were both in shock, as we only had five stops on this metro in total.  Immediately we both shared the positives in the situation: they didn’t take her passport, credit cards, ids, purse.  She wasn’t injured or threatened.  Simply the cash was taken.  

I repeated the scene over and over again, wishing my mom hadn’t brought so much or having had her pay instead of me treating that day.  In that case, at least we would have used more of her money.  I questioned why she didn’t stand next to me.  I didn’t want to blame the victim, and knew that this is what was occurring in me.  These girls were professional criminals, and we simply were the ones on the path that day.  

Hours later I said to my mother, “I can’t believe you are handling this so well.”  I was impressed. I would have been any one of the following emotions: furious, frustrated, sad, self-critical, or anxious of future crimes.  She said “I’m handling it well, you are the one who won’t let it go.”  She was the one who was robbed and I was the one stuck with the upset emotions.  It was true.  I couldn’t believe we were violated. I wanted to protect her, but this still happened.  

When she said this, I realized I had to check my own emotions.  Things had to change if we were enjoy the remainder of our trip.  And with that, I allowed myself to let it go.  

Sometimes when we travel, this stuff happens.  People take advantage of those that appear to be tourists, who are wide eyed or speak a different language.  There is a trust we have in the world and those that are in our environment, but we have to be more discerning and on guard.  But perhaps for me a greater lesson is that I need to learn to let go of events that have happened, particularly to others.  If it is not bothering or concerning them anymore, why should I be the one to carry the burden?  

Are you carrying unnecessary burdens in your life? 

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.
Herman Hesse

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