I have a bruise on my thigh that’s about two inches long and one inch wide. It’s purple and blue and green and yellow all over. Quite impressive, actually.
I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it anymore because it’s been present on my thigh almost constantly for six years.
That bruise is from running into the foot board of our bed. I drive my leg into the corner of the bed at least once a week. Sometimes more frequently – my current bruise is worse than usual because I hit the bed twice in one day, two days in a row – but often enough that a sore spot on my thigh is my normal.
I have run into that bed countless times – it has little to do with the room, as we’ve had the bed in three different homes since we bought it. I just keep hitting it, getting mad, and finally deciding to just live with the bruising and accept that I’ll have a black and blue circle for as long as we have the bed.
This is really dumb when you think about it. Why accept the wound from an inanimate object? I don’t know. But it seems easier.
The more I think about it, the more ridiculous that bruise gets. It doesn’t make sense to keep doing the same thing over and over and not learn something about how to change it for the better!
And think about this from a larger perspective. Are there things in your own life that are really dumb, hurt you, and could be circumvented but you’ve decided to just live with it? I bet there are!
I keep uncovering this lazy, “no change” thinking in my life. A perfect example involves church. We’re involved in a church plant that’s meeting in a high school each week. My husband goes early on Sundays to help set up and stays late to break everything down. The first year we attended I didn’t help with the set up or break down. The second year I haven’t helped because I’m holding a baby and chasing kids.
The way my kids run wild before and after church has been driving me crazy for two years. It’s not that they (or any of the kids) are being particularly bad… it’s just highly UN-structured time in a building with lots of crooks and crannies that I’d prefer them to stay out of.
Over time this has become a problem that has made me not even want to go to church. I hate that I feel like I’m always yelling at them, that trying to keep all four kids in check is a Herculean task that I can’t complete.
Then, about three weeks ago, it hit me – why are we doing this at all? Why not flip the switch and do something else completely?
I talked with Lizard and we decided to drive to church separately Instead of waiting before and after for him to complete his work I gather the kids and we go grocery shopping. They enjoy the outing and I enjoy not having to yell at them for running amuck. It’s flawless!
And it took me two years to figure out.
I’m on a kick not of looking at the things that are frustrations… but not really deal breakers, and trying to see if I can “flip the switch.” Sometimes a simple change can do an awful lot in the way of improving your mental attitude and increasing your ability to meet adversity with grace.
I’d love to hear your stories of little changes that make a huge difference!