Updated: May 5, 2020
I miss going to the movies! That is one thing I am looking forward to when everything opens up. However, I don’t miss the concession lines. Standing in lines drives me crazy! When I’m getting popcorn at the movies, I try to pick the fastest line. Unfortunately, I usually end up in the slowest line looking with envy at the people in the fast line. However, the few times I’m in the fast line, I’m looking over at the people in the slow line and thinking, “Suckers, ha ha!” I know I should have compassion….but I don't. When I am in the slow line, I often get mad at the people working. I justify my anger with the thoughts: “If they had more workers….” “That person is the slowest worker….” “They need to train their people better…. “They better give me extra butter on my popcorn!”
The problem with situations like this is we often blame outside situations or people for our attitude. We say things like, “You make me so angry…”, but the reality is we are allowing ourselves to get angry. Our attitude is controlled by our mind and when we forget that, negative things can happen.
When we allow outside things to control our attitude, we are actually giving them control of our brain. However we don’t think of it that way. I had a friend one time who said that when he drives his “Captain Justice” comes over him and he wants to fix all the stupid on the road. I’m so glad his car doesn’t have James Bond machine guns or there would be less people on the road!
When we allow outside forces to control our attitude, we are giving away ownership of our thoughts and actions. This is a dangerous place to be because we train ourselves to allow momentary feelings to rule over us. Just because we feel something strongly doesn’t mean that the feeling is right. We don’t want these wrong feelings to take over and make us regret our actions later. We must learn to control our attitudes no matter the situation.
Ownership for our own thoughts and feelings starts with taking responsibility for them. There are things that may set you off and make you feel angry, but you don’t have to let anger control you. Just because you feel angry doesn’t mean you have to act angry. When we allow outside forces to control our attitude, it causes those closest to us to be wary of us because they do not know which “us” they are going to see any given day. Our lack of control over our attitude does affect those around us.
Responsibility for our attitude isn’t denying thoughts and feelings, but knowing what to do with them. You may “feel” like throwing your coke at the movie clerk who moves like a turtle, but that won’t fix the situation and you could end up getting escorted to a cop car. Responsibility comes when we recognize the feeling and seek to find out the “why” behind it. Blaming other people or saying things like, “I have a short fuse” are excuses we use to justify our lack of responsibility. Ownership starts from within and no outside force or obligation can make you change. You have to want to change and do what it takes to get the help.
I still don’t really like lines and I try to do things to stay out of them, but I’m learning how to not let the line own me even when I am stuck in it.
What is something that always tries to control you attitude?
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