Looking through my kitchen window is different every moment. Sometimes the sight delights me, and sometimes the sight discourages me. It’s the same window and the same yard so what changes my emotional response? Indeed, what makes such a significant difference in my feelings toward what I see? The question challenges me and encourages a journey into my own heart and mind. Aha! the insight is blinding as I realize I am the critical trigger; I am choosing to focus on the positive or the negative…and that makes all the difference. When I choose the positive, I see wondrous beauty that includes giant oaks and crepe myrtles, cardinals, hummingbirds, butterflies, and countless other fascinating creatures. When I choose the negative, I see all the branches that the wind has blown unto the yard, the grass that needs mowing, the flowers and plants that need watering and weeding. Positive=OH BOY! Negative=OH DRAT!
What made the prospect of doing some lawn maintenance immediately jump to the OH DRAT! column? After all, there really weren’t that many sticks, and I have a riding lawn mower. A moment of thought provided another blinding insight — I was already busy and didn’t like the reminder of more work needing my attention. More calm, focused thought provided even more positive options because I had the time to do the tasks and really enjoy my riding lawn mower. Hmmmm…so what really happened to change my prospective from positive to negative? The simple truth is I had a temper tantrum! I spent more time processing that than I did accomplishing the yard work.
How many times do you miss the beauty and joy right in front of your face because you chose not to see it…your anger erased the gift and left only the bitter taste of emotional upheaval?