This morning after everyone got out the door and I went to get ready for the day, I walked into my bedroom and saw my bed unmade (just how I left it). I don’t like to admit this, but the first thought that came to me was “argh… Mark didn’t make the bed. He had time to read his book, but not make the bed.” Almost just as quickly, I had this next thought: “he used to never make the bed before leaving to work, and you were fine with that; why are you feeling disappointed about this? It’s not that unusual.”
I became really curious about my thoughts. Had I created an expectation as a result of Mark’s thoughtful gestures of making the bed lately? Yikes. I don’t want to feel that way. So, should I lower my expectations to avoid disappointment? That doesn’t sit quite right either. It was time to analyze this further.
Model from the past:
Circumstance: I have a bed
Thought: I need to make the bed
Feeling: neutral, no big deal
Action: make bed
Result: I keep making the bed every day
Model when Mark makes the bed without me:
C: I have a bed
T: Mark is so thoughtful for making the bed! How sweet!
F: love, happiness, gratitude
A: calling Mark to gush on the phone about how great he is
R: Mark makes the bed more often
Model today, when bed was unmade:
C: I have a bed
T: Argh! Mark didn’t make the bed. He had time to read his book, and he didn’t make the bed.
F: some resentment (…then guilt and remorse…which lead to forgiveness, no longer feeling resentment)
—model was interrupted>>my thoughts and feelings changed direction.
NEW Thought: I sure love it when he makes the bed; it’s okay that he didn’t today. I’m glad he got to enjoy reading. That was probably a nice way for him to start his day. He needs that.
F: peace, compassion, love
A: made the bed lovingly
R: authentic kind interactions
I love being able to find new thoughts that are positive and helpful! It’s amazing how small irritations can become big, and small thought changes have the power to truly change feelings. Trying on new believable thoughts like this can make such a big difference in my day and in the way I show up for my family (and everyone). It’s so empowering!
(The coolest thing is that right this minute, at 11:58pm and completely unprompted, Mark is in the kitchen doing dishes since we both have been gone all day. What a keeper!)