Bleach and Blunders

positive thinking tip: Even a laundry room catastrophe can teach a valuable life lesson.

Big MistakeWhen my oldest son was seventeen, he was given the assignment to do the family laundry for a solid week.

With nine people in the household, that is no small task – especially when (at the time) the laundry room had no folding tables, and no floor space unless you stepped on the piles of clothing waiting to be processed.

(We eventually remodeled to remedy the problem, but I thought you should have a visual of what my son was up against.)

While he was at school, and realizing that he was too busy to keep up on all of it, I helped fold and put things away.  Occasionally, I’d notice an article of clothing that didn’t look quite right.  There were swirly designs on certain shirts, and faded spots on certain pants.

I asked him, “Honey, are you using bleach on the colors?”

“No, mom; I’m only using detergent.”

I thought, “That’s really strange.  Maybe our washer is acting up again; maybe it’s holding bleach from previous white loads and releasing it into the colored loads.”

Finally on the last day of his assignment, he pulled out one of his favorite shirts.  It was navy, but the sleeves were now light brown.

He exclaimed, “What is going on?!  That was one of my favorite shirts!”

“Are you sure you’re not using bleach?”

He pulled me into the laundry room and showed me the detergent.  Or, at least what he thought was detergent.  Sure enough, it was bleach.

He thought the loads would run better if he used the liquid detergent instead of the powder.  However, as he finally realized to his horror: it was not liquid detergent after all.

He had washed an entire week’s worth of laundry for nine people in NOTHING but bleach!

(No wonder why they didn’t have that springtime-fresh smell!)

Here’s what I gained from that experience – besides a few new items of clothing – I noticed that his blunder didn’t get his attention until something meaningful to HIM was affected.

The same goes for our lives and the laws of success.

We might go around violating certain principles, possibly even unintentionally causing pain for those around us, but until our blunders affect something meaningful to US, we may not care or pay any attention.

However, life has a way of getting our attention, and putting us in a position to where we start asking the right questions.

But how much better would it be to remain in learning mode – discovering ALL the principles of prosperity, and practice living by them, even when things are going pretty well, so that we might avoid personal catastrophes meant to teach us the lessons we may be unknowingly disregarding?

Pay attention when that inner voice speaks up and suggests there may be something more to learn.

If it comes and you disregard it, God just may allow you to lose your shirt, so that he can get your attention and so you’ll start asking the right questions.  Sometimes that’s what it takes in order for you to be receptive to the simple adjustment He hopes you’ll make, so that you can live life a little more abundantly.

I think we’re first given hints, a subtle nudge from that inner voice, like when I asked my son if he was doing something wrong.  If we don’t pick up on the hints life sends our way, then we’re on a collision course with an experience that will really get our attention.

Share

What You Do to Yourself Sometimes Can’t be Undone on Your Own

Positive thinking tip: Success is not a measure of how many problems we avoid; it’s a measure of how well we respond to the problems we have.

Jacob (18)

I was visiting my in-laws one evening when I signed in to my Facebook account and saw this post on my newsfeed. It was from my 18-year-old son. He said:

I just walked past my parent’s room and heard my 4 year old sister Sarah crying. My parents are gone so I thought she was in there waiting for Mom to get home. I tried to open the door but it was locked, so when I got into the room with a key and asked what was wrong, I saw that she had tied the ribbon of her dress to their bed. As I was struggling to untie it she said:

“I’na good tyer.”

Then she came and asked me, “Wanna know why I tied myself to the bed?”

I asked, “Why?”

“Because Bethany was being mean to me.”

That was the only explanation she gave me.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be mean to your little siblings or they might lock themselves in a room and tie themselves to furniture with knots that they can’t undo on their own.

As my sweet little Sarah demonstrated, sometimes it’s our reaction to life’s disappointments and frustrations that becomes the real source of our problems. We only complicate matters when we react without calculated control over our thoughts.

The fact is, life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.  Our power to rise above such problems lies in how we respond to them.

The larger the problems, the greater the opportunity.

Bethany (7) and Sarah (4)

I echo my son’s moral – and would like to apply it to the world of adults:

If life is mean to you, don’t lock yourself in a room and tie yourself to furniture with knots that you can’t undo on your own.  

However, if you do find yourself “tied up”, pat yourself on the back for being a “good tyer” (be kind to yourself!) …and get help. You don’t have to stay stuck forever!

To see how I can help, and to learn how to choose your reactive thoughts carefully, visit ProsperTheFamily.com.

Share