When you build up something in your head, but it doesn’t turn out as you’d expected…. When people don’t respond as you’d hoped….when you feel disappointed with a situation…what’s your reaction?
Better yet, are you able to respond instead of react?
Today I thought I was a rock-star.
My daughter told me she wanted a ‘strawberry cake with chocolate filling, vanilla frosting, and a cherry on top.”
When I’d finished this cake I thought I was going to be the super-cool mom that impressed all the kids….
Until I found out (most) Australians don’t like maraschino cherries. Say what?
Great. So instead of being the uber-cool mom, now I’m the weird foreign mom.
This after my 6yo told me kindly earlier that morning: “Sorry mom, I don’t mean to be mean, but I don’t want to wear the dress you got me for my birthday.” Ouch.
You moms know what I’m talking about. Those moments that gut you. Those easily offended, highly emotional moments of rejection from our own flesh and blood.
Ohhhh those moments cut to the bone!!
But this stuff happens all the time in all sorts of situations with all sorts of people. We build up something in our mind that doesn’t weigh up. So…what do you do?
Whether it’s work, kids, friends–it doesn’t matter. It’s not WHAT happens but how you RESPOND that people remember.
I bet you have lots of situations where you don’t remember exactly what was said or the details, but you know exactly how you felt, right?
So when my daughter told me she didn’t want to wear the dress? My heart sank, but I gathered up all my strength, put on my big girl pants and said…”That’s okay” as I kept making the cake that all the kids would later pick the cherries off.
I don’t want her to remember the time I got upset that she wouldn’t wear the dress I bought her for her birthday. I want her to remember what a great 6th birthday she had and how beautiful she felt in the outfit she chose.
I don’t want to remember the time I was crushed my cake was a reject. I’d rather remember the laugh I got from yet another cultural snafu….and the time I got to eat as many maraschino cherries as I wanted!
She doesn’t have to like the dress. They don’t have to like the cherries. I don’t have to understand the lot of them!
But I CAN let go of my expectations and accept what IS. Otherwise I’m just creating my own suffering not to mention contributing to the suffering of others.
Yup, my kid has her own sense of fashion. I live in a different country and the people have different taste (weirdos!…..KIDDING!!).
Repeat after me: “I let go of expectations and accept what is” any time you find yourself getting caught up. You’ll create a whole lot better memories, I promise.
Much love, xo Shawna