Sometimes I don’t want to choose grateful.
Take last night, for example. My throat was burning, my eyes were itching and my house was 78 degrees inside. The night air was cool and I wanted to keep the windows open, get some fans running and enjoy the fresh cool air as it poured into the the room, but due to circumstances outside my control I had a choice to make. Cool outside air immediately or air conditioning which cools the basement quickly but the upstairs slowly. Because I value and appreciate eyes that do not itch and a throat that is not sore, I chose the air conditioning route… and then everything inside me wanted to complain! Thankfully I remembered to choose grateful for the fact that I have an air conditioning unit to turn on, which I did (although rather begrudgingly).
You know the “devil” and “angel” that sit on the shoulders of cartoon characters when they are trying to make a decision between right and wrong? Well, they were with me last night. The out-of-control, red-faced, pitchfork carrying Terri wanted to get on Facebook and tell the world how very ‘grateful‘ she was for air conditioning while pointing angry fingers at “rude” neighbors who were enjoying a beautiful summer evening in their backyard. On the other shoulder was the voice of reason. She was NOT an angel. Rather, she was a smiling happy girl, truly full of grace and peace in her heart. Her free spirit was dancing around on my shoulder proclaiming, “HOORAY for air conditioning, it is so wonderful to have the choice!”
(Devil Terri went over and knocked her on her happy little butt more than once). Back and forth I went as I prepared for bed, picking up my phone to post a complaint disguised with gratitude and then deciding, maybe later. Finally, sleep won over and I got through the night without making a choice I knew I would regret.
Why do I share this story? Because this morning, I am truly grateful. Over time, the choice I made to live within my own value system (in this case, I value being a positive voice on social media more than having my gripe, which absolutely has validity, heard and starting an argument) resonated with my heart and I am at peace. Choosing grateful through that journey wasn’t easy but it was possible and I am better for it.
For most of my life I let “devil” Terri make choices for me without even realizing there was a choice to make.
It wasn’t easy, but I have learned to listen to “angel” Terri and I am grateful.