My family was at a hotel earlier this year. My kids were excited because there was a pool. We get to our room and changed and headed to the pool. We get to the pool and my 8 year old son jumps right in. But my daughter, who was 5 at the time, sits down in a chair and says she is not going in. I ask why, and she says, “Because I am mad about walking down to the pool without sweatpants on.” Then she screamed, “I wanted to wear sweatpants and now I am mad!” She went on to tell me that because she was mad she was not going to swim. I told her that was her choice, but she needed to not be mean to, or talk back at, the rest of the family.
As I processed her behavior in that moment, something hit me. Here was the family hanging out. A beautiful indoor pool. Her brother and her parents were having fun. And yet her attitude was keeping her from the experience. She was letting something petty and something previous keep her from enjoying something she had previously wanted and would currently enjoy. She was doing a thing I have done many times. And I bet you have done it to. Too often the greatest obstacle to our enjoyment is our own personal attitudes and actions. We are all so quick to blame everyone else. They did not give me this. They did not create the conditions I wanted. You made me stay up. You made it too hard. He cheated. She is not listening.
We point the finger at everyone else. But we need to turn the finger around and point it at ourselves.
The pool is right in front of you and the main reason you may not be enjoying it is not he, she or they, but you.