Thoughts, Attitude and Molasses
by Charlotte Siems
Chicken Taco Soup was bubbling in the crockpot and the homemade cornbread batter was being whisked in the bowl. Company would arrive within the hour, and the table was already set with a cloth, candles and a pretty ivy centerpiece. Then came a sudden noise from the pantry—what was THAT?
Opening the door, I found bags of cornmeal and sugar dumped on the floor, in the midst of a spreading puddle of thick, black molasses and broken glass. My first reaction was “oh, no!” and then thoughts of stress began tumbling through my mind. “I still have to finish the cornbread and pick up the den and fold those towels on the couch. All of the older children are gone to choir practice and I only have 30 minutes to finish everything. Why did this have to happen? What a mess!” You get the picture.
Suddenly an image that I had seen earlier that day flashed in my mind. A tumbled, broken building destroyed by an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Immediately the little pantry disaster shrunk to small proportions.
Did I still have a sticky, gooey mess to clean up? Yes. Did I still have time constraints and lots to do? Yes. But my attitude had changed completely. As I sopped up the floor I was thankful for paper towels. I thought about how we would laugh over the story later. I decided to just throw away the dish towel because of the all the tiny shards of glass embedded in it, instead of worrying about how I was going to get them out without injuring anyone.
It’s actually pretty amazing what a change in thoughts will do. Our thoughts create changes in our brain, which affect our emotions and release chemicals that affect every cell in our body. We don’t have control over what thoughts pop into our head, but we do have control over what we do with them. We can water and fertilize them and go down that road of self-pity and stress. Or we can toss them and declare, “I’m not going to think those thoughts” and they will fade away.
It’s a two-step process: Choose not to think negative, stressful, toxic thoughts. Choose to think positive, peaceful, healthy thoughts.
Your thoughts accumulate and create your attitude, my friend.
I wish I would have known this as a young mother. Oh, the pain and desperation it could have spared me! I remember praying hard that God would change my attitude. I didn’t realize that He had already given me the tools and the ability to change it myself. I kept waiting for a magic sudden change in my attitude. Instead I slowly, painfully learned that the thoughts I chose to think were shaping and creating my attitude.
Today the mess is mostly cleaned up but the pantry floor needs another scrub with hot soapy water to remove the last traces of molasses glaze. I’m guessing my thoughts could use some more cleaning and scrubbing, too. Like the pantry, my mind needs constant vigilance and refilling with good things.