Never the Problem…

The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.’ Captain Jack Sparrow

This is pretty hard logic to argue with. With each new day that dawns in each of our lives, comes the reality that there WILL be problems. I can hardly imagine a day in my own life without at least a few…. Some are little, some are big…. and their size and severity increase due to mainly one thing: my attitude.

Some mornings, I hop out of bed and see sunshine everywhere- because some source outside of my conscious control has flipped the switch on that internal projector in my head to the sunny side. On these mornings I am a doting wife; I will do little things like pick out my husband’s tie BEFORE he asks me if it matches his shirt. On these days, I am a nurturing mom; I cut fresh strawberries to put in my son’s lunch instead of throwing in that pre-packaged fruit leather (that I know he never eats…) On these days I am a pillar of understanding to the client who shows up 5 minutes late without the intake paperwork she had promised to complete before our appointment.

Who, exactly, is in charge of that projector in my head, anyway? I would really like to know…because sometimes the switch is not set to sunny side- instead, some other knob in the back is cranked all the way left and pointing toward ‘Schitt-Storm’….

These stormy mornings are not so fun. On these days there is no doting wife in the house. I am irritated for no apparent reason and my husband refrains at all costs from asking me for any wardrobe advice. And the Betty Crocker who slices strawberries, she is missing too. In her place is a nasty line cook who throws that package of fruit leather in my son’s lunch bag while gently reinforcing his ingestion of it with some empty threat like, “… And if you don’t eat this fruit leather- I will never, ever, EVER again buy you ‘Fruit by the Foot’ (the chemical fruitless equivalent to fruit leather). And that poor client who shows up late for her appointment- well, she will unapologetically pay for a 60 minute therapy hour but receive only what time is left after she fills out that lengthy form in full while she sits silently in my waiting room.

I don’t sound very nice, do I? Truth is, on Schitt-Storm days I’m not. Once my bad weather has begun, life goes downhill very quickly…. Not just for me, but for everyone around me too. I can be quite a little tsunami of darkness if I set my mind to it. And as long as my mind stays set on the problem, I will be a magnet to unhappiness- in every way, shape, and form imaginable. The kicker of it all is, this: The weather system- is all my own, and I can change the jet stream whenever I choose to. Deciding early is key, because they more I spin, the more debris I gather.

These Schitt-Storms that I perpetuate with my attitude, they prove their mettle in ways both objective and energetic. In the objective world I will experience all manner of physical upsets, from stubbing my toe to spilling coffee down my blouse. Energetically I am a hot mess- my computer may lock up, my printer can refuse to scan an important document, or the contacts list in my phone will disappear (yes, this really does happen to me when my mood goes south…)

The ways that my little tempest rages around me are too varied to discuss, but trust me when I say there ain’t no mystery in any of it…. Nope, I know the drill inside and out. And Captain Jack Sparrow is right- the problem is not the problem…. The problem is always my attitude toward the problem… and as long as I want to ‘stick it out there’ (my attitude, that is) I will continue to be a magnet for negativity. I can crow about my ‘bad day’ all that I want to…. But I know deep inside, it isn’t gonna stop until I stop.

Every problem that will ever come down the pike is self-limiting…. Whatever ‘the problem’ is, it can only get so bad, and then things will have to improve… it’s the nature of the universe. The problem is self limiting, but our attitude about the problem is magnetic. The way we view the problem will set our path, causing us to either head straight into the Schitt-Storm or to veer toward the sunny side- where we always have the wind at our back.

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