last night our oven caught on fire!
Something had spilled in there and made a mess. My wife (being the incredible partner that she is) was cleaning it up.
She had turned the oven up to like 500 degrees.I walked in and saw smoke coming out of it and said, "Is there supposed to be smoke coming out of there?"
"Uhhhh, nope," she responded.
I opened the door and saw flames.
My wife calmly retrieved some baking soda from the cupboard, opened the oven door, and tossed it on the flames. They went out instantly.
The calmness she displayed while dealing with the flames was impressive... and pretty hot (literally and figuratively).
It made me think... (here's a look into how my brain works).
In life, we experience all sorts of craziness. We get hit with surprises, crisis, injustice, pain, loss, grief, and struggle.
Metaphorical kitchen fires, if you will.
Does what happens in your life keep you from acting with compassion, justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness and kindness?
Sometimes we freak out because, well, we think we should.
We hear about neighbors freaking out. We see people on TV freak out. We see leaders freaking out.
We assume it's the only way to respond.
The truth is, YOU GET TO CHOOSE HOW YOU RESPOND.
When something goes wrong in a surgery, a surgeon can't afford to flip out. They stay composed and lean on their experience. They've been training for years for moments like this. They know freaking out doesn't help anybody, so they stay calm and do their best deal with the issues as they arise.
When something goes wrong on a space shuttle, an astronaut has no time to panic. They are practiced in handling stress in all sorts of scenarios. They revert to the procedures they've run through hundreds of times to get back on track and stay safe.
When a professional athlete falls behind in an event, they know panicking and beating themselves up will not help. They breathe deep. They stay focused. They do not give up. They grind away until they accomplish the task at hand.
The same can be true in your marriage! When your partner is disrespectful, when you feel like you're not being appreciated or treated fairly, when you are feeling angry or tired or betrayed, you have a choice...
Will you allow what happened to give you an excuse to be the worst version of yourself, or will you choose to be at your best
You get to write your own story. You get to choose your reactions. With practice, you can determine how you respond when you're under duress or when things aren't going your way.
Pain, loss and unfairness are never an excuse for being the worst version of yourself.