I’d like to share a personal story with you that I think can change the way you look at things. One of my children has allergies that have his nose full of boogies at this time of year. When the poor little guy sneezes, they come out in full force (not sure where he keeps them all). The other children at school were calling him “snot monster” which took me back to childhood memories of being made fun of for my weight and I have to tell you, my heart just about broke. We went for a ride and had a talk.
“Hey B, did I ever tell you about the time Poppi and I built a house and the kids down the street kept throwing rocks at the windows just as we were about finished with the home?” I’m glad he still remembers his Poppy.
“Well, listen to this….”
I went on to tell this story. It’s true. Every couple of days the kids at morning time, while waiting for the school bus, would throw rocks at the windows of a house we were building. We discussed how to stop it. We could remove the windows but that would let the water in if it rained, not to mention leave the house unsecure. We could board them up but we would never have sold that house if we’d done that. We could just suck it up and replace them but it took a couple weeks to get the windows in, so there always was a gap when the windows would just be broken….awful curb appeal.
I sat down on the curb in front of the house and contemplated the issue as I rolled a small rock around under my shoe and then it hit me. I quickly walked up and down the street and picked up every single rock I could find in my front yard and across the street in both directions for at least 100 yards and I tossed them all in the woods. When I was done, there was not one available projectile to be found and guess how many broken windows we had after that?
“How many?” my son asked.
“So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to buy you some special tissues with your name on them (hankerchiefs) and if you feel like you might have some boogies, you blow your nose right away and then when you sneeze, they won’t come out of your nose like they do and everyone will forget about the snot monster. Make sense? It’ s just like picking up the rocks. We can’t control what other people want to do but we don’t have to give them their rocks to throw at us. Sound like a plan?
Sometimes we just have to change the way we look at our problems and not try to change everyone else to make us feel better.
Carl Jung once said, “You don’t solve your problems, you outgrow them.”
I think we outgrew the broken windows and I know my little guy will outgrow the snot monster.
What problems do you have in your life that you have struggled with for years, perhaps trying to get others to change? What rocks can you pick up?