Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Attitude Adjustment for Mom

I hadn't been a very nice mommy lately. I'd been moody, stressed out, you name it, and I'd been taking it out on my family.

Then I had an experience that changed my perspective and made me really reflect on how I'd been acting. I had a day full of unexpected, unpleasant events. First I discovered mice in the house and had to completely clean out my food storage room because of it. Then I had, not one, but two grease fires in my kitchen. I felt like I spent the whole day reacting to everything around me. Nothing went as I hoped or planned. It was one of the hardest days I'd had in a while, and I was left physically sore and exhausted.

By the end of the day I was able to visit with my cousin and her kids and relax a bit, and later I chatted with one of my best friends on the phone and was able to talk and vent about my day. My friend shared some of her own experiences with me, and it helped me put things back into a healthier perspective.

When I looked back on my bad day I realized something. Even though I had a unexpected hard things happen I was able to respond calmly, deal with it, and move on. I kept my cool and never lost my temper. I didn't yell or scream at anyone. It was simply a happenstance of bad luck, if you will, and I handled it well.

As I thought about this I realized I could take the same approach to how I treated my family on a regular basis. It made no sense for me to take my frustrations out on those whom I love more than anything else in my life.

At some point during the day I came across this quote:

"Tell everyone you know: 'My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook.' Then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel - and then you'll love them all. Because the only reason you don't love them is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good." - Abe Hicks

It fit so well what I was going through. I realized that I'd been letting the circumstances and people around me affect my happiness, and then I'd been reflecting my frustrations back at everyone and everything around me. It was a vicious cycle of bad energy, and it needed to stop.

When I talked with my friend she shared a story about how she used to get frustrated and upset with herself for not being able to control her two year-old, until she realized that two year-olds can't be controlled, and that her child was just acting his age. She was then able to see the attitudes and behavior as a normal part of life and respond in more positive ways rather than turn them into judgment and resentment. As I talked with her I expressed my love and gratitude for my husband and my children, of how they are more important to me than anything else in my life.

So this is my resolution: to be responsible for my own happiness. To love everyone around me and treat them with the love and respect they deserve, especially those closest to me. I won't hold anyone or anything else responsible for my own happiness, and I'll let that good energy reflect back on those I love.

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