I have been struggling with my attitude lately and I am pretty sure no one else knows. Yet, even as I write the second half of that sentence, I am second-guessing myself. Is it possible that no one else knows? Probably not. I have an internal relationship with my self which must show up in my relationship with others and my everyday world, right?!
What pops into my head is something that happened about a week ago. I had two sleepless nights in a row and I was CRABBY! That particular morning, my body decided 3:45AM was a great rising time and by the time 7am rolled around for the boys to get up, I was walking a thin line. I was so exhausted and frustrated by my lack of sleep that I became a raging maniac with two little boys looking at me wondering who this lunatic was. I yelled about breakfast. I yelled about how they brushed their teeth. I yelled about extra noise they were making, which makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to ADD NOISE to the problem! (wink, wink!)
When we were standing at the bus stop, the 7-year-old gave me a hug and said, "Jill, when we get home, I want you to have found a new attitude." The 9-year-old echoed his brother's sentiments by adding, "Yeah, Jill, I know some mornings are hard, but today was just not good."
Can you say, "HUMBLING?!" I pulled the boys to me and said, "You are right, dudes. I do need to find a new attitude and I need a nap. I will take care of myself today so when you come home, I can take care of you."
Most of us are familiar with the quote from Charles Swindoll, "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." You know what? He is right. And, attitude begins in a solid relationship with one's self. It is my responsibility to check my thoughts, know my emotions, and choose my actions. No one else can do that for me.
For the past two weeks, I have been actively adjusting
my attitude. I love how the universe responds to such endeavors! I pulled out my acknowledgment and gratitude journal and began recording 5 each most days. I was listening to a podcast about self-talk where the presenter said she named the negative voice in her head "VOJ" and now says, "Oh, hello VOJ!" every time she notices negative thoughts. (VOJ=Voice of Judgement) Another technique I am trying out is spreading gratitude and acknowledgment around through writing notes to others to celebrate an accomplishment with them or thank them for their words or actions that blessed me. I even have been placing notes on the boys' beds for them to find at bedtime because Dr. Phil's voice is ringing in my head, "It takes a thousand 'Atta boys' for every judgement." He is so right! We need to encourage more than we judge and criticize and when we do, it is amazing how much of what we thought we needed to criticize simply seems to vanish.
The universe has responded with affirmation as I find more joy each day. I have also found motivation, encouragement from others, and a deeper sense of gratitude for what I do have rather than dwelling on what I don't have.
It is a practice and sometimes attitude is tougher to move towards the positive, but every step is worth it. It is worth it for me and it is definitely worth it for every person I meet each day.