Eviction Notice: Effective Immediately

by Ashley on August 22, 2012

A quote I heard recently on a silly TV show struck me as profound, and I’ve taken it to heart. (I already know you’re embarrassed for me to be admitting this in public. Duly noted. Regardless, I’ll continue.)

Let me set the stage for you. One of the main characters on The Big Bang Theory (don’t judge) really hates one of the minor characters who pops up from time to time. I mean, he hates this other guy.

The other guy knows it. And relishes that knowledge.

The main character keeps plotting ways to outsmart his arch enemy (and of course is constantly sabotaged). During one of their face-offs, the enemy gloats about his ability to upset his adversary and says off-handedly: “I’m living, rent-free, right there” – in the main character’s head.

Ah-Ha Moment

What’s profound about this is that I realized I, too, allow people and situations to take up valuable brain-space in my waking hours. In essence, these situations have an enormous power over me. And it’s my fault because I allow it.

I’ve struggled for a long time with my tendency to dwell on negative things. I’ve tried venting, but that doesn’t work for me. It just keeps the negative thoughts fresh in my mind. Distraction works, but only for so long. Eventually those negative thoughts creep back in, with no softer impact.

So I have a new plan. I’m going to evict that freeloading tenant who’s trashing everything and allow a new occupant to move in, one that will take good care of the place.

How, you ask? I’m going to start replacing negative thoughts with something positive. Something uplifting. Something that makes me feel content, productive, and (best of all) separate from the negative thing.

Positive Solutions

There’s more in my life that’s good than there is that’s bad. So why focus on the fewer bad things rather than the many good things? That’s hugely insulting to God who gave me all the good things, as if they are less important than my struggles. Instead, I can free myself of other people’s bad attitudes and bad manners. That’s not my problem. Unless, of course, I allow it to be.

Already I have started a list of things I can do to focus on the good, the happy, the positive:

  • When someone replies with a snotty comment, a prayer of thanks that I have wonderful friends and a loving husband and family is a great quick-fix.
  • Frustrating traffic time can be spent thinking about exciting things coming up – what to pack for my vacation, for example. Along with a prayer of thanks that I have the means to take a vacation.
  • A prayer of thanks is also good for larger things that persist in my mind, and I’ve started counteracting my tendency to dwell by focusing my thoughts on developing more positive situations in my life. Instead of lamenting and rehashing things I can’t change, I’ve started brainstorming ways to create more opportunities for situations I can change. Rather than resigning myself to being miserable, I’m going to create more ways to be happy.

Those are my ideas so far. Got any more for me?


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