My birthday was last week. I was out of town, so we opened presents on Sunday night. I got four presents. There was no cake. There were no candles. There was no birthday song. I didn’t make a birthday wish.
These are the facts. These are just the circumstances. They are completely neutral until I had a thought about them.
The thought I had was that there should becake and candles and a song for my birthday. I thought it was ridiculous that there weren’t any of those things. I made it mean that nobody really cared that I was born.
I felt irritated. Oh, so irritated.
After that, you can imagine that I didn’t really show up the way I wanted to. My comments were snarky and I gave David the cold shoulder. In this moment of emotional childhood, I was blaming David for the fact that I felt irritated.
But the truth is not only had I created the feeling of irritation, even worse, I was the only one who had to feel it. Because the feeling was created by my thought that “This is ridiculous,” I was the only one who had that hot, fast irritated emotion burning through my body at my birthday party.
Which seemed, actually, a little ridiculous. (I only saw this result after I did a thought download the next day with my coach.)
She pointed out that the thought “This is ridiculous” was optional. I could have believed instead that my husband was careful and considerate. He knows I’m working towards a health goal right now and probably wouldn’t eat the cake. I had a choice: I could see this moment as evidence that my husband knows and understands me, is aware of goals, and was doing what he thought was best or I could see it as ridiculous and uncaring.
We always get a choice.
Suddenly I could see it. That is exactly how David thinks. His instincts are always kind and loving. He was operating out of love as he always does. The thought, “He was operating out of love” not only felt true, it felt amazing. My irritation was immediately replaced by love and appreciation.
See? When we choose our thoughts, we choose everything else.