"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it"
~ Charles Swindoll
We all have our dramas. You know those moments, when your mind strays into your bad neighborhood. It doesn’t just happen at four in the morning. Even in the daytime, we invent useless stories about the past or future, stories that undermine our well-being. The better you can distinguish between your made-up dramas and the more useful interpretations, the more clear cut and smooth your caregiving path will be.
It all starts with paying attention to your language. Begin to notice the words you choose in conversation, in your emails, in your head. Notice the power of your thoughts. “I look like hell today!” “That guy is such a jerk.” “This is never going to work.” Each time you tell yourself even the most casual negative phrase, you are depleting your energy and knocking down your ability to cope, notch by notch. Some say you actually are creating your reality.
Society trains us to be assessment machines, firing off judgments about the world around. Just look at the headlines and you’ll see what I mean. And we do the same to ourselves. We forecast bad news for our lives so fast we're not even aware of doing it. “THIS EXPERIENCE IS GOING TO BE HARD.” “THAT FAMILY MEMBER IS GOING TO BE A PAIN IN THE NECK.”
As surely as the negative messages in caregiving undermine you, constructive messages make you stronger. Ask yourself each step of the way, What caregiving experience am I choosing? What caregiving reality am I committed to creating? What are the words and statements that will support me in reaching my goals? Practice the skill of editing your inner caregiving editorials. Ultimately, you will be able to reinvent the story of the rest of your life.