I choose my thoughts and therefore my experience
I was running late for my two and a half hour drive to southern Indiana to lead a bariatric surgery support group. It had been a stressful day at work, including technical issues that I felt I was being blamed for.
Just as the support group got under way, we were asked to move our cars so a Lifeline helicopter could land to pick up a patient. After the group, everyone hung around for a while so I got a late start on my long drive home. Only a half hour into my commute home and the traffic in front of me was at a complete standstill due to roadwork! What else could go wrong? The highway was shut down, forcing everyone off at an exit and onto back roads. As I continued on a two lane state highway, two deer ran out in front of me and I barely missed them.
I thought, “Can this night get any worse? It feels like there’s a dark cloud following me. My boss was on my case, I was running late, the group was interrupted, the traffic was detoured, and I almost hit two deer!
I felt so frustrated! I kept thinking about how bad things were and wondering, “Why me?” That’s when I noticed that I was clenching my jaw—and the steering wheel. My neck and shoulders felt tense.
Suddenly TFAR popped into my head. “Jeff, your thoughts lead to your feelings, which lead to your actions, which lead to your results. You’re ruminating about things that you have absolutely no control over. There is no grand plot against you, just random events that seem to be a pattern because you’re focusing on them! Stop all this negativity! It’s making things worse.”
I took a deep breath and decided to lighten up, change my mind and move on. I cranked up the radio and had an absolutely amazing, relaxing, fun drive home.
It was another reminder about how powerful our thoughts are. We can choose to change our minds and create a completely different experience for ourselves.