Someone Needs An Attitude Adjustment

I remembered something tonight that I haven’t thought of for a long time. It’s a concept that I have spoken of to my kids many times over the years. It was brought to my attention a little while ago because of another situation I am going through with another one of my kids. (It’s one of those special blessings of having multiple kids – someone is always going through something.)

The concept: Things may happen to me that are not my fault, but I can take responsibility for all of those things and by doing so, I recapture my power.

Another way to say it: don’t play the victim. Ever. Even when it is justified.

There are some things going on that are just not my fault, but that I am having to deal with anyway. My son’s accident was not my or my husband’s fault but we are living with the consequences. Another one of my adult children is doing things that very well may end up having a major effect on our life and I don’t really want that. I want to live my life the way I want to, the way I deserve to. But I can’t.

And that makes me upset and angry and frankly a bit whiny sometimes. Maybe more than a bit. When I step into the role of victim, however, I give someone else the power. Victims never have power. I may feel justified in pointing my proverbial finger. I may deserve a good cry and a wallow in my self-pity.

It isn’t fair.

But as I would tell my kids, we are not entitled to anything in life. We take what we get. I really don’t like that. I am ready for some freedom from the cares and woes of parenting. I am ready to run the roads with my husband and live life to the fullest without the constraints of dependents. It took me a long time to get to that place. I mourned the leaving of each one of my kids, I took it to heart, it hurt me deeply, but I did the emotional work of getting past it and redefining my role in life.

I got past it and it turned around and came back against my will. And the way I reacted to that was very selfish and in my mind, quite justified.

Until earlier this evening. I was directing my advice outward but as soon as I was done speaking I realized that I was the one who badly needed to heed those words. I realized my childish immaturity in wanting to have things my own way and feeling like I deserved it. I began to feel pressure from God: you need to change your attitude, Tina.

I’m tired tonight. I promise I will work on this in the morning.

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