You have a big but
I would like to but… Along time ago I heard a pastor explain the excuses several members of his congregation would use for not changing their lives. He said they always started with, “Yeah but.” Finally, after hearing this one-too-many times he informed the person, “It is your BUT, that is getting in the way.”
It is your BUT that is keeping you from changing your life. There has always been not enough time, financial issues, a difficult non-supportive spouse, errant children, mean people, horrible stress filled jobs, alcohol, drugs, and attractive members of the opposite or same-sex. If I haven’t hit your particular BUT please insert it here _______.
Gee Steve it isn’t that simple. Is it? Afterall, there are many different pulls on my time and you don’t really understand what I’m going through. You are absolutely correct. I’m sure there are huge influences on your time and I don’t know exactly what your individual situation is. Perhaps you are a single mother who works a 8 -10 hour job. Yet you still have to feed, bathe, and love on one (or maybe two or three) little ones. All of whom are still trying to master the whole potty concept. You could be a father with assorted demands on your time (not to mention finances) from your four teenage, sports loving and participating children. Not to mention, your wife who would like some well deserved snuggle time. You could be a single person with a full social schedule and classes taught by demented professors whose only enjoyment in life is to require their students to learn mountains of arcane facts which you will promptly forget.
You could also be a person struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Or an individual pinned down in an abusive relationship. You might be asking, “Why was I ever born?” or “Why can’t I just fit in?” or Will my true love ever show up?” or “Why do I have endure all this pain in my heart?” or “Why do I have cancer?”
Those are all really big BUTS.
And yet it is your BUT that is getting in the way of you changing your life. In each one of those life situations I mentioned above the only one controlling your mind is you. Now I’m not trying to be flippant. If you ever get the chance to meet me you will know I’m not the type to make light of another person’s burdens and pains. What I’m trying to do is get you to see that YOU control your mind. YOU make the final decision on what you think. Let me tell you a story:
Several years ago I was married to another woman and she had a son by her first husband. He was only five years old and it was our first Christmas together as a married family. We wanted to make it special. So there we were, working feverishly to get all the toys assembled. Finally shortly before dawn we were finished and exhausted. We stumbled to bed to grab a few hours of sleep before the greatly anticipated morning when he would open all of his really cool presents. We fell into one those mind numbing, deep sleeps. The type that wouldn’t be interrupted even if a Boeing 787 crashed in the front lawn. After a few way short hours we awoke, grabbed the video camera, and tiptoed downstairs to capture the morning excitement. Except there was a problem. A very severe problem. There sat her son on the living room floor surrounded by all his unwrapped gifts. The cat was out of the bag, so to speak, and there was nothing we could do to get kitty back in the bag. We couldn’t rewrap all of the gifts and have him reopen them. He was only five years old and we didn’t want his first Christmas with his new family to be a weird one. In a nanosecond I realized our next step was going to set the tone for the rest of the day. We had a choice. We could do what came natural, which was to strongly display our disappointment. Or we could act as if nothing was out of the ordinary, put the camera away, and begin to play with him and his new toys. We chose the latter. We decided what the outcome was going to be. Did it hurt? Well yeah. Was it easy? Not by a long shot. Was it the best thing to do? Absolutely!
Now hear me out on this. I’m not suggesting for one moment that a five-year old child prematurely unwrapping his Christmas gifts is in any way on par with someone battling cancer, or one who is trying to survive an abusive marriage, or trying to forgive an adulterous spouse. What I am trying to show is that we make choices. We are the ones who can decide how something is going to affect us. Take control. We control what we think.
I want to thank you for reading this post in its entirety. I realize it is long and I do value your time. If you have any comments please don’t hesitate to write. I am not trying to be a one size fits all, back slapping, it’s all going to be all right kind of motivational guru. What I am trying to do is help people to look at how they look at life. I firmly believe all of life is a revelation. I certainly don’t know it all, nor do I think I ever will.