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September 24, 2015

TBT: You Have Power in Every Moment

Hal photo outside Feb2012If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment” (Marcus Aurelius Antonius )

Often it’s the meanings that we attach to events or conversations that cause us the most pain. Think about this: Someone else’s child, visiting your house for dinner, gets engrossed in conversation and forgets to pick up their plate. You playfully remind them to do so. What happens when your children do the same thing? Suddenly it MEANS something. They don’t respect you. They are lazy. You haven’t done a proper job in getting them to take responsibility around the house.

If you can extract yourself from this kind of thinking, you can free yourself up to look for the good in your child rather than squint for the bad. You actually give yourself the choice as to whether or not to take something personally. Taking just a moment – in the heat of the moment – to breathe deeply and decide just how much you’re going to allow something to affect you gives you tremendous power over it.

One thought on “TBT: You Have Power in Every Moment

  1. I think this is true sometimes. At other times I think the situation is cased by familiarity breeds contempt syndrome. I remember speaking in an irritated impatient voice to my daughter as she came out to the car in the morning. We were in a hurry; I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember the horrified embarrassment I felt when I realized that the girl I had spoken to was not my daughter but a friend who had been staying with us for a few days. It was made worse by the fact that that I almost said, “I’m sorry. I thought you were Kathryn.” That experience was such a wake up call. Why did I some how feel it was OK to talk to my daughter in a way that made me feel ashamed when I did it to someone else. The comfort and safety we feel with those we are closest to can become licence for rudeness and disrespect.

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