My attitude is my main hindrance to joy. I can remember my first realization of this fact, when I was in kindergarten or first grade and my aunt as dropping my older brothers and I off at school. I was sulking in the back of the car because she told me that morning that she would french-braid my hair. In the scramble to get us out the door, my hair-do went undone and I felt slighted and neglected – so I sulked. I remember my aunt exasperatedly asking me what was wrong a million times until I finally mumbled something about my hair. She said, “I’m sorry! but why didn’t you remind me instead of sulking back here?”
Now, I was pretty little at the time, but some part of me realized that my attitude during that car ride was wrong and that if I had behaved differently everything would have been simpler and I would’ve been happier. I remember a little voice had been telling me, “hey, you should remind her, she probably just forgot.” But I was offended and everyone was going to know it! I’d like to say I learned my lesson from that morning’s experience and changed my ways, but jumping off the self-pity bandwagon is still difficult at times.
Growing up means trials and crosses are usually going to be more difficult than “ugh, my hair!” (though that’s still a morning struggle more often than I care to admit!) but I’ve found that regardless of the size the response is the same: jump off the self-pity bandwagon and take a look through a lens of gratitude instead of resentment. As Colin always reminds me: try to see everything as a blessing. If you do, then the only appropriate response is joy.