Updated: Sep 21, 2019
"The problem is not the PROBLEM; the problem is your attitude about the problem."
-Cpt. Jack Sparrow
Oh good golly molly!! I can't think of an area in my life that this statement wouldn't apply to. So many times, I get upset with myself and with my children, my dogs, my job, my stupid hormones and breakfast. Unfortunately, my kids have been experiencing this phenomenon of reality a lot lately. The Reality is there are only certain things in life that we are truly in control of.
My daughter Charlie experienced a reality check just yesterday morning. She had planned to have her favorite breakfast food when she got up.... HASHBROWNS. Unfortunately and unbeknownst to her, her oldest brother had beat her to the stash the evening before.... que the stony face pout. We have all been there though, we wanted something, someone else got it before us and all we can think about is what we can't have. The reality of this is that we all usually let it ruin our day. Our children are not exception to this, and they are so inexperienced with life that the slightest thing derails them emotionally. My daughter got sucked down into the vortex of "my day is ruined, it didn't go how is had planned it."
Ok, so life in general doesn't often go how we PLANNED it to, but that doesn't mean we should allow ourselves to walk around like some one spit in our cheerios. Do disappointing things happen, oh yes.. do hurtful things happen... yes, yes, yes!!
The story of Joseph is found in the book of Genesis. He was thrown into a well by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of making sexual advances on his master's wife, thrown into jail... I mean really!?!?! I am sure his life wasn't going the way he thought it would. It all ends well to God's glory and Joseph's triumph and he even ended up saving the lives of his brothers. "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus, he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21) The practical take away of all of this is... If Joseph only focused on the horrendous circumstances he found himself in, if he folded in on himself with pity. He would have been a miserable person blaming everyone and everything else. We cannot control how other's actions, words or feelings will enter our life, but we can control our own actions, words and feelings. We have our own integrity to work on. Joseph retained his integrity DESPITE the circumstances.
My daughter was so focused on what she didn't have, that she wouldn't even consider what she could have. I know it's a HUGE leap to go from not getting hasbrowns to being sold into slavery, but what the common thread is, teaching ourselves and our children about remaining in control of focus and attitudes.
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words becomes your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. -Mahatma Gandhi
We are responsible for our words, thoughts and actions. I have no control on what you take away from reading this, but I have control over whether I will keep myself in check. I want to be what I ask my children to be. Kind, generous and thoughtful. As a parent, we can set the example in our homes, we will mess up but it's how we recover with grace that impacts our children.
BTW, Charlie didn't get her hasbrowns, but she realized cereal could also be a good breakfast. :)