I had an epiphany the other day. My friend is re-flooring the living room and hallway with some kind of panels or another. When it's finished it's pretty nice. The living room is done.
We were planning on working on the hallway over the weekend. So, when the weekend came, we laid out which one of the parents would watch the children, and which one would help me. We had plans on when we'd start.
When that time came and we got started, I came to the woeful realization that the children were going to be "watched" in the floored living room while we worked on flooring the adjacent hallway. Of course, in my mind I had envisioned the watching of the children taking place far away from where I would be working. I quickly became increasingly frustrated.
It was then I had the actual realization of the source of my frustration. I saw the experience as a wave form, running along the x axis. The x axis was my expectation, and reality was the wave. My frustration level directly correlated with the value y. The greater the amplitude of the wave, the further reality was from my expectation, the greater my level of frustration.
Our minds like to predict the future. When those predictions tend to be negative, we call it worry or fear. When those predictions tend toward positive: calmness, control, hope. Our minds go to great lengths to try to accurately predict the future to form our expectations. When reality varies from our expectations, our mind finds out it's wrong.
I think our minds have a natural tendency to hate being wrong. What chemicals spurt out when you know an answer to a question and the answer is confirmed? What chemicals spurt out when the answer we've provided turns out to be wrong? Frustration is just our brain punishing itself for being wrong.
The realization that frustration was born simply because my mind failed to prepare for the correct possibility for the future was forgiveness.