If you are allowing something to upset or anger you, try this: Before giving in to those negative emotions, try and think of one positive thing, one learning that you will gain, a single glimpse of something that you can use to build a positive future. Here’s a nudge to push you along: You own your mind. You choose to be either a victim or to take control.
As I wrote in my book, Dear You, Live! Love, Life, reframing a moment or a situation is a valuable tool. Reframing refers to changing how you view ideas and emotions. As example, instead of having a fear of the unknown, you might see it as a curiosity. You’re more likely to try something new if you’re curious about it rather than if you’re afraid of it. On the surface, this seems inherently simple. However, it requires a willingness to be open to diverse schools of thought and to tackle internal obstacles with creative thinking.
The same applies for living in any given moment. Changing how you feel about something can have considerable impact on how you experience it. Of course, it’s not easy to jump over an initial emotion of anger or fear or frustration and seek the learning or lesson or positive (albeit, future) message. But it is possible. This is not to say you should avoid feelings of hurt or sadness; after all, life happens for a reason. But recognizing the moment and the emotions you feel, places you in a better position to mentally accept and grow from that moment while preparing you to move on in time. Remember—while you might feel this is your worst day ever, for someone else, it’s their last.
UPDATE: As I was preparing this post, I headed from my office to the kitchen for water to make coffee. While there, I decided to clean the sink. I flipped the faucet from hot to cold. But … surprise … cold. I shut off the faucet and went to the garage to check the water heater. I found the garage in about an inch of water and the water heater streaming like a casino fountain.
I turned off the natural gas to the water heater and scampered to the curb to turn off water to the house. Oh great. That hadn’t been done in about 400 years (I told myself, as I couldn’t get the knob to twist, despite my Herculean condition …). So, a call to the city and emergency dispatch. Good times, good times. I squeegeed the water from the garage and then hit the phones like a telemarketer, frantically trying to locate someone who would respond right away (all the while pushing water from the garage and moving boxes off the floor). I used all the right key words: Emergency, Flooding, Garage Under-Water … everything my, “stop it, it’s going to cost you more if you sound desperate,” brain was telling me. I was pissed. Then, I thought about what I’d just written and realized I needed to take my own medicine. I took a breath and thought for a moment.
Life is good. I reminded myself …
- I was home when this occurred
- I was able to contact people who could help
- I was able to avoid severe flooding and water damage
- My garage floor is cleaner than it has been in years
- I (will) have a new water heater
- When my water flow stopped, I quickly learned to appreciate water that I once took for granted
- Water does not heat itself (something else I will no longer take for granted)
- I’m heading out of the country in a few weeks and this could have happened when I was away.
It’s all about the adventure,
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