Before going to church today I was all set to do another angry post. I was ready to complain about how I am just sick and tired of the whole J (my husband), K (his son) and Y (his ex-wife) saga. It’s been nearly 8 years, but things have only changed for the worse. She’s still bitter, which in turn, causes me to be bitter. It’s amazing how one person can cause so much stress for an entire family. I’m just tired…tired of her, tired of allowing her actions to control our family’s happiness, tired of the world always seeming to revolve around 3 people (my husband, his son and his ex-wife)…just tired. This is what I was going to tell you before going to church. After church I have a different perspective on things, and I felt compelled to share it with all of you.
The Pastor focused on three words today – YES WE CAN! The basic idea of the sermon was positive thinking. We can choose to dwell on that glass being half empty or we can focus on it being half full. We can choose to be excited about what we can do or we can dwell on what we can’t do. We can choose to dwell on what we can’t control (someone else’s actions) or we can focus on what we can control (our own actions).
Personally, I have struggled with this notion, but ONLY when it comes to my husband’s ex-wife. For too many reasons to name, she just seemingly brings out the “evil” in me. All understanding, compassion, reasoning and sometimes rationale seems to fly out of the window when it comes to her and ONLY her. I realize it’s because she has caused so much pain in our lives. In our eyes, she has the power to make us miserable (when she’s throwing one of her tantrums) or happy (when she’s leaving us alone). Simply because she has the power to dictate whether or not we see K and for how long. She even has the power to dictate our finances because we have to pay money (and lots of it) every time she drags us to court for frivilous reasons. But that was then. I know and have always known that a person only posseses as much power as you allow her to have over you. It’s just so hard to remember that when you’re in the midst of your struggle. As hard as it may be, however, it is necessary in order to create and maintain our own happiness, even in the midst of our respective struggles. I can choose to dwell on how much time we don’t have with K; or I can focus on how strong our family is despite Y’s continued effort to bring us down. I can choose to dwell on the fact that I can’t control her negative actions; or I can focus on the fact that I can remain positive despite the negativity. I can choose to be excited about the fact that I have a wonderful husband that loves me and my son to death; or I can dwell on the fact that Y keeps trying to tear down what we have built together. I can choose to dwell on the negative or focus on the positive. Nobody has the power to take away my positive thinking. And who knows, maybe my positive reaction will eventually evoke positive actions from her. Yes I can choose to think positively and yes you can, too!
All of our feelings and beliefs are truly based on our internal thoughts and conversations with ourselves. WE ARE IN CONTROL, whether we know it or not. We do not have to allow our negative circumstances to dictate how happy we choose to be. If you are feeling overwhelmed, bitter, angry, resentful, or just plain negative about your situation with your ex-spouse, his new wife, your stepchildren, your blended family as a whole or any negative situation, the first step to changing your attitude is changing that inner conversation. Instead of saying that “it’s been almost 8 years, but things have only gotten worse.” I need to tell myself that if I remain positive I know a change will come. It may not be when I want it to, but eventually it will. Keep your mind focused on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. This positive attitude and outlook on life will allow you to feel like a winner when things are good and a survivor when things are tough. It will allow you to say, “yes I can” even when people are telling you that you can’t. So say it with me…”yes I can.”
I will leave you with the illustrious and powerful words of Sam Cooke:
There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come