I was walking through Costco yesterday on my maiden voyage as a new member. Side note – I couldn’t stop giggling at the size of the cart…and every other item in the store! I must say, though, their ginger lemon Kombucha tea in the refrigerated section is the BEST!
Ok, so as I am walking by the Himalayan Salt Krinkle Potato Chips (you have to try those as well… seriously!) I saw a mom and young boy around the age of six walking towards me. She looked exhausted as he shouted at her in a whiny yet forceful voice “but I want the ice cream… NOW!” The look on his face actually kind of scared me 🙂
I probably did the wide-eyed “oh boy” look on my face and then stopped to realize… ”hey, aren’t we ALL adult versions of that kid sometimes?”
Think about it for a second…
Do you get frustrated, whiny, and angry:
When you have to wait in line.
When your waitress forgets to add on the side of Ranch.
When your family members leave the kitchen a mess.
When the guy in the sports car cuts you off in traffic.
When your dog wants to go out at 5 am (this one is from personal experience 1 hour ago:)
Hmmm. So maybe we have more in common with the “spoiled” little Costco munchkin than we realize?
What’s the remedy? Well, what would you tell the little guy? Probably something like “you should be grateful that I just bought you those gummy bears!”
Bingo. The solution to any kind of “suffering” is to step into a big “THANK YOU.”
Let’s go back to the above list and flip them into gratitude:
SPOILED: “I am SO annoyed. They really should open more check out lanes. My gosh..it’s 5 pm… didn’t they anticipate people coming from work to get groceries? OMG, that checkout woman is SO slow.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you. I finally have a moment to breathe after a hectic day. I have a good five minutes here in line to either meditate/people watch/leaf through People Magazine/ answer a few emails on my phone/go through ten things I am grateful for today.”
SPOILED: “I can’t believe she forgot my side of ranch. I asked her, like, THREE times! Now I am going to have to wait and my food is going to get cold… we are never coming back here. The service sucks.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you, God. I am able to afford going out for dinner and they actually have ranch! Thank you that I am sitting here while someone else cooks my food and serves my food. Thank you that I am given this opportunity to cut another human being a break…someone who may be having a rough day and has been serving other people for years. Thank you for the delicious food on my plate. Oh! And thank you if she doesn’t bring the ranch because that will be 100 calories I won’t have to feel guilty about later 🙂 “
SPOILED: “These kids are so spoiled. Look at this kitchen. I have to do EVERYTHING! They don’t appreciate me.”
GRATEFUL: “Well, it’s a mess that is for sure. But they are graduating next month and off to college in August. Once Falls arrives, my kitchen will be shiny clean 24/7 … but they won’t be here. I guess the breadcrumbs on the floor, the eggshells in the sink, and the dirty dishes on the counter are little reminders of those I love. AND I am grateful to use this messy kitchen as an opportunity for a family meeting to remind them of how GOOD it makes me feel to have things tidied up a bit.”
SPOILED: “What a JERK! Who does he think he is. He totally cut me off. I am going to speed up and tailgate him to give him a taste of his own medicine. Even better, I’ll pass him and then cut HIM off! I’ll show HIM!”
GRATEFUL: “Well, clearly that guy is having a bad day. Maybe he got let go at work? Maybe someone treated him poorly today? I wonder if he is racing off to the hospital because he just found out a loved one is ill or dying? Thank you, God, that I have a car, that I am able to drive, that there is a gas in it, that I am able to afford the insurance and that I am in a space that allows me to drive safely and in a way that is kind to my fellow human beings.”
SPOILED: “Jesus Mary Joseph. I can sense someone looking at me, panting, and whining a bit. She needs to go outside AGAIN? I just took her out 2 hours ago. Seriously??? Why can’t she just hold it? Oh, it’s probably the garbage she got into last night. Why didn’t I adopt a cat instead??? I am so exhausted.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you for allowing me the gift of caring for an animal this sweet. I get to be her “dog mommy.” Look at her sweet eyes. She unconditionally loves me. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to reciprocate her love by tending to her. What a privilege.”
Practicing the art of “THANK YOU” in the not so fun moments of your day has the power to change your life. When I am able to catch myself and practice gratitude when I am on the fence between “spoiled” and “grateful” I can tell you wholeheartedly that hopping to the side of gratitude is incredibly moving. Writing those examples actually brought tears to my eyes. Trust me, I don’t always hop to the right side of the fence, but when I do, it just feels GOOD! Isn’t that what we all want? To FEEL the way we want to feel?
Remember, your experiences each day are determined as “good” or “bad” simply by the filter you view it through. The silver lining is always available to you if you have the desire to look.
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