That sounds a motivational speech, huh? More on why you should never say never in a minute.
Today 4 of the kids woke up not feeling great, so I was running back and forth getting them food, comforting, applying essential oils & compresses, cleaning up, and so on. I did get out and run before half of them woke up (and I decided to time myself and was impressed that I think I may actually run a mile in under 10 minutes now. Yeah, I know, not breaking any records, but that’s faster than the 12 min miles I was doing in the fall!)
After a full morning of all that, I went up to finally get a shower around 11am. I walked into the bathroom and discovered that my incredibly independent two year old apparently had messed in her underwear and she had tried to clean it up all by herself. It apparently never crossed her mind to come ask for help! When I saw the mess, I thought to myself, “I am NEVER going to get a shower!”
As soon as I thought that, my mind popped back to my post a few days ago – the one about the brain problems we have. I realized my brain was going into “Worst Case Scenario” mode. (See Brain Problem #3.) Really? I was NEVER going to get a shower? Hmmm… maybe a bit of an exaggeration. I realized that by going into my little worst case scenario I was just thinking about myself. It was an excuse to grumble about having to clean up. Usually worst case scenario thinking is motivated by selfishness or fear.
Once I realized I was in Worst Case Scenario, I was able to laugh at myself and change my grumbling thoughts. I chose to happily clean up the mess and be grateful I have such a self-reliant little sweetheart.
I did get a shower. And it was even before noon, ha! While in the shower I pondered how we do tend to go into worst case scenario – and we usually use very definite words like Never or Always. Why is it so bad to use those words? I think it’s because when we go into worst case scenario our brains look for evidence that it is true. When we are so clear by using never or always, our brains think it’s so much more likely to be true. Have you ever thought any of these:
The kids never clean up
He nevers pays attention to me
I always have to wash the dishes
Why do I always have to (fill in the blank)
She never (fill in the blank here)
I could never do that
When we think like this, our brains will look for the evidence that the kids really don’t ever clean up, but is that really true? Does he never pay any attention to you? Do you really always have to wash the dishes? And so on. And of course, our brains think they are always right.
Instead of thinking “I am NEVER going to get a shower” I changed it to “I am going to get a shower, just not as soon as I thought.”
Of course you can use Never and Always in a positive way — “I am never going to do drugs” or “He is always so nice to others.” So I’m really just kidding that you can never say never. BUT, you should be aware of HOW you are using it.
What Nevers are you thinking that are stopping you from being kind?
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