Shell over at Things I Can’t Say has penned Wednesdays as pour your heart out Wednesdays. Click the link above to learn more and read other posts! Today what I have to say has also been sparked by Shell! For Monday’s post, on her blog, she shared a journal entry from when she graduated from college in 1999. It was entitled, “If I had college to do all over again”. At the end of the journal entry where these words: “…Instead of the events shaping my attitude, I wish that my attitude could have shaped the events”. Wow!!!
I can sit back and name a zillion times where my attitude went completely south for the winter and I lost it over something! I tend to oscillate between: completely Tasmanian devil (angry/frustrated/yelling), Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs (mind racing/ jumping to illogical conclusions/panicked) and Eeyore (despondent/hopeless/gloomy/totally depressed). Lucky for my family, I am not like this all the time, but just like Shell, I so wish my attitude could shape events instead of the other way around.
Monday afternoon, my daughter handed me a letter from school that explained that she is finishing the year out below grade level in math despite our many efforts. Including but not limited to: conferences with her teacher, taking her to tutoring twice a week, and working with her at home. After reading the letter, I felt like a piece of ice under a heat lamp. I melted. My whole demeanor changed. I was irritable and angry: snapping and everybody and everything. I took the letter personally! My behavior shamed my daughter and she ended up in tears and feeling like a failure. Then I felt like a failure too. It was a very vicious cycle
In researching different ways to change my attitude, I found a not so new concept called PAY ATTENTION! I know, total rocket science. But seriously, it is my responsibility to pay attention to how I am feeling BEFORE I react!!! I can’t expect things not to happen—well I can but that is NOT realistic. I can however, get myself together before I go postal! My attitude has consequences for me AND those around me, especially my children.
Many people in 12 step programs use the Serenity Prayer and I have decided that it definitely works for checking my attitude before I react to things:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.