Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Do you ever think of the power of your small, moment to moment, day after day decisions? I’m not talking about the choice to buy a cup of coffee rather than making it yourself or going to the gym verses staying in bed. Although, those types of decisions do add up to a bigger picture.
I’m talking about the hundreds of decisions you make every single day in response to your environment and the people that reside in it, including yourself. Do you take the time to act as an observer to your thoughts? Are you a bystander to the way you choose to interact with others? Do you ever notice how you can respond to certain situations in the same, old repeated ways?
Last night I got dinner with my parents at one of their current favorite restaurants, The Outback. I met them right after getting off work and I hadn’t eaten that much all day so I was a bit hangry. While looking at the menu with them, all they kept saying was, “This is such a deal, Danielle! You can’t beat it! Look at these prices, and we have a coupon. Can’t find this deal anywhere else. You see, this is why we come here all the time!”
Needless to say, after just a few moments of this, I felt the old judgmental pang rise from my stomach and into my vocal chords where I was about to tell them they’re acting like an 80 year old couple looking for the best next bargain and the most bang for their buck.
I’ve been in this situation with them before, where they act in a way that I expect them to, in this case, all giddy like teenagers for a special dinner package deal, while I typically retort with some snarky comment that makes me feel guilty for saying it afterward.
I’ve responded to them in this way numerous times before, as though my response was automatic, but I realized last night that I could reply to their excitement in two ways: I could make them feel bad about their desire to spend less while getting more for their dollar or I could choose gratitude that I have both of my parents in my life and that I’m lucky to get to have dinner with them.
Last night, I finally chose gratitude over bitterness and you know what? It’s a behavior I’ve been wanting to correct for a long time but never put enough effort in to change. The results of smiling and nodding along with them was more positive than me snubbing them for their love of coupons. If I could remember this new behavior every time I feel the old judgmental voice arise, then I will begin creating new patterns of thought and action, and thus, a new way of being.
This is just one example of the power of choice we have in any moment of our day, but I think it’s a really good one to share because we all experience these kinds of interactions with people, mostly our families. What kinds of decisions do you struggle with? Can you relate? Have you been in my shoes before? If so, like, comment, or tag a friend who’s been there. I always love to hear from you! xx