Do you ever find yourself battling with yourself? Please tell me that I’m not psychotic. I mean when it comes to self-improvement? Like there are two people inside of you, not politely exchanging verbal jousting….no,no…. these two side of you are down in the mud, punching, wrestling, and each trying their very best to become part of your being.
This is a daily thing for me. I don’t know that anyone has ever heard me utter a “cuss word”, but in my head I’ve screamed them. I have never eaten a whole chocolate cake, but I’ve imagined it. I’ve never purposely hurt anyone, but I’ve thought about it. I’ve never smacked anyone upside the head when they’re being rude, but I’ve had visions of it.
My latest battle I’ve been working on is on the subject of optimism. I wouldn’t consider myself a pessimist, but I know that sometimes I’m just not fun to be around; especially when I’m stressed. However, I also know that on the days when I just “let it go” and try to stay positive, I end up not only feeling better but changing the circumstances a lot more than I would have other-wise.
There is a fine line though. I can’t fake it until I make it. I’ve tried. I don’t like being fake. I don’t like fake people. I feel like I’m just putting whip cream on a mud pie. I don’t like it. I feel like if I’m going to change this aspect of my mind I need to be genuine.
So I’ve been trying the “It could be worse….” scenario. This is where I take the situation that I’m in and try to think of something that COULD happen that would be a lot worse BUT it DIDN’T HAPPEN, so I can be grateful that at least it’s not worse. This works better for me….the thing is sometimes I really have to think! And sometimes, I just don’t have the brain power. But I’m getting better I think.
Today my 2yr old daughter decided that instead of putting on her underwear after she went to the bathroom she would go “unencumbered” and went out in the back yard to play. Awhile later she came in and confessed that she had poo-ed in the back yard. She showed me where it was and I cleaned it up. On my way into the house I noticed that the garbage can lid had blown off and while bending down to pick it up I also realized it had a puddle in it. Well….it’s dry season…..we had not watered the garden yet….oh dear…..Upon questioning the same 2yr old I come to find that she had also peed in the garbage can lid. Uncharacteristically I thought to myself. Well, at least she told me the truth! Then I thought, at least she told me about the poo before we stepped in it. (Yes, this is worse. I know because it’s happened with a different child) At least she peed in the garbage can lid instead of on the patio mat or in one of the plants.(Yes, we’ve been there done that too.) At least her underwear was still clean….well, she wasn’t wearing any…so yeah.
So sometimes thinking of something that could be worse is not my reaction, or my first thought anyway. Sometimes the battle in my head has to battle it out for a while before I can react. Unfortunately, sometimes I just react. This rarely is best because very little thought accompanies a reaction. But with a lot of prayer, and reminders to myself that very few things in my life are life and death situations, I am beginning to have more instances where, even if I still have the battle in my head, at least I can calm the antagonist down to the point that it yells , “Fine! You do it your way then!” And then the protagonist can move forward with a more proper handling of the situation. So….. I’ll celebrate the small victories.