"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."
I love that proverb. But I'm no good at it. I've got nests all over the place.
Pete told me that when he was twelve his Sunday school teacher did an object lesson using a toilet paper roll, some black cotton balls and some white cotton balls. He filled the roll with black cotton balls,
"These are bad thoughts in your brain." He dumped them all out, but pointed out that in the empty space they easily found their way back in. So gradually he started shoving white cotton balls into the toilet paper roll, and Lo! Behold! The black ones popped out, one by one.
I've been thinking about what to do with the negative thoughts that are floating in my head.
Jealousy, resentment, judgment. I don't want them there. They drag me down. The trouble is, in the moment that the birds of sorrow are gathering twigs, I don't have the energy to fight them. I make a few weak efforts to conjure up some positive images or find gratitude, but it's half-hearted.
For example: Today on Facebook (yes, I'm STILL on FB), one my friends posted a picture of Honey Boo Boo with her mother, and some other ridiculously dressed pageant obsessed women and their own
What?! I never thought R---- would be the type to be into that warped world of veneers and fake tans on toddlers? I mean seriously people! Honey Boo Boo represents everything that is wrong with our society. Worth based on beauty, sexualizing young girls, etc, etc. I need to comment, I need to point out the error of R---'s thinking. Where is my soapbox, I need it NOW.
Meanwhile conflict takes over my entire being, I get agitated and annoyed, I've lost all peace and kindness. The birds are laying eggs already.
Later today... I'm cooking dinner and Pete comes in and playfully sticks his hand between my legs.
What?! He is so horny. He is always so horny. Does he think I'm going to take my clothes off right here? I'm busy. His timing is terrible, I would rather he just cut that onion.
My body language is icy cold and he withdraws, hurt and rejected. A giant wall has instantly gone up between us.
I think what I need is some stand-by positive thoughts. Some easy to retrieve, "go-to" catch phrases to be the equivalent of my white cotton balls. That's going to be my project this week. A creed. Or more like, 5 Creeds.
#1- Positive thoughts to combat the birds of comparison. Thoughts on worth.
#2- Positive thoughts to overcome judgment. Charitable thoughts.
#3- Affectionate thoughts about Pete.
#4- Positive thoughts to ward off jealousy, thoughts of gratitude.
#5- Positive thoughts to squash pride. Thoughts on humility.