I need a new stove, I said to myself as I scrubbed the surface after doing the dishes. It felt easier to just buy a new one than try to get off the stains that seem to accumulate on it so easily these days.
But as soon as that thought occurred to me, another more positive one popped into my mind: the stains show what an amazing job this stove has done over the years. It has helped to provide delicious (and not so delicious) meals for me and so many people who have visited and with whom I’ve shared a meal.
I seemed to slip into a meditative state as I cleaned the stove, noticing that as I scrubbed, more grease came off and easier, too. Hmm, this isn’t so bad. What’s different? Well, I’ve changed the scouring pad. It’s not as soft as the one I used last time.
By the time I was done, the stove looked much better than when I started; and the sink shone brighter as well. Funny, I mused, what difference a cleaning pad makes to my kitchen duties.
I’m sure you realize that my intention is not to tell you that I cleaned my dirty stove. I want to share with you how different our lives can be when we change our perspective and any outdated system of living that no longer gives us the great result we’re expecting.
So often we look at ourselves and feel dissatisfied at the person who looks back at us. It may be because our weight is not what we’d like it to be; grey hairs may be shining brighter than their original color; our living situation may be so different than what we were expecting at this time in our life; or any other number of issues may be causing us discouragement. We may feel like living elsewhere, finding a new husband or none at all; or taking a break from the struggles of life for a while.
However, many of the situations we face aren’t as easily fixed as buying a new stove. We find that we have to do some hard work to get to a more comfortable place in life; but the work takes a toll on us.
What if we changed our perspective about what’s going on in our life? Instead of seeing the areas that are not how we’d like them to be, how about seeing what is going right for us? If a relationship works well some times, can you be grateful for those occasions when it does? If your child isn’t as responsive as you’d like him/her to be, can you appreciate more things about that child instead of focusing on what isn’t right?
What have you been doing at work to get a situation to change only to find that it’s not improving? How have you been treating yourself over the years? Are you being all things to all people, hoping that your life will get better? That’s not really working, is it? There is still a deep sense of unfulfillment and angst when you are alone, right?
The good news is that things do not have to remain that way. You can choose at any moment to change your situation by changing your “scouring pad,” as it were.
Take some time to consider what methods you’ve been using to get to the life you’re seeking. What needs to change for you to be successful? Write the first step you believe you need to take and begin there. And if you’re having challenges knowing where to begin, perhaps you could benefit from some support.
Feel free to reach out to me or contact someone else who you believe would be able to help you. What’s important is that you get support, ok?