I am my attitude.
When I get judgmental or resentful or just plain pissy, I change into a fractured, ungrounded person. Or is it the other way around?
I’ve lived through this lots of times. So why does it take me so long to connect my flopping about with stinking thoughts? Or to get myself back?
I learned my first attitude lesson in my early thirties. My mother did me dirt. It’s a long boring story, but to me it was Big Time! I was so angry as I confronted her that I imagined knocking her down.
She looked at me in innocent wonderment, “Why are you treating me like this when I’ve come to town to visit you?”
I can still feel the waves of rage that quivered throughout my body and rushed in my ears as I left her. I went home and spent days rehashing; my body reverberating with echoes of our altercation. In those days, my first symptom was always a sore throat. And I had a doozey.
And then I got it. My anger and distress were not changing Mother’s life. My feelings were my own and they were making me sick.
And so I let it go.
Unfortunately, I have to re-learn this lesson periodically. I rise up in righteous indignation. Or I wallow in resentment, playing and replaying imaginary conversations and outcomes. Once in awhile I get a hate on and spout words of justification like Mt. Saint Helens spilling lava over everything and everyone in earshot.
And nothing changes until I change.
I can spend minutes in discomfort or I can waste weeks mired in the murkiness of unhappiness and inertia, immobilized by my own mind and heart. I can make myself sick.
Through the years I have learned to see the signs within myself. Sometimes I ignore those signs and fan my internal flames of contention.
When I am ready, the universe has healing words for me. It can be a friend with a gentle admonition or a questioning look. It can be one of my guru writers: Pema Chodron or Deepak Chopra. It might be lessons in living from Martha Beck. Last week it was an insightful hour with Maya Angelou.
I took a deep breath of relief. I changed my attitude. I’m myself again.
I love this post. It has touched me deeply. I too have seen that pattern in myself where I can wallow in rage or hurt for weeks, ultimately hurting only myself, or I can choose to snap myself out of it. Thank goodness for mindfulness which has taught me this and changed my life. Ruby
Yes, I appreciate it every time I am able to pull myself back. Thank you.