Roxanne Column art - 5.21

“...So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making,” is a quote I’ve been told from the Big Book-Alcoholics Anonymous.

Ouch! That steps on my toes a bit. I don’t want it to be my fault. I don’t want to believe that I am the creator of my own misery.

It’s easier if I can blame others or the circumstance. When I am uncomfortable, it eases the pressure if I can divert the attention away from how I have participated in causing my own troubles.

Even small children understand this at a young age. One says, “Joey made me do it,” even when a part of him really wanted to try what was forbidden. Another whines, “she hit me first,” though she had been antagonizing the other for an hour. “That’s not fair,” one claims without understanding the whole story.

However, my troubles are of my own making, I think. My own resistance to reality causes misery. The way I think about the situation can create distorted realities and misunderstood intentions. Believing the worst about people leaves me wounded and cynical. Living in self-pity rather than gratitude locks me away with the pain. Trying to get my way leaves me exhausted and disappointed.

Another option is available to me. I can pause and look for the ways that I am participating in creating my own misery. Once I become aware, I can choose again a different choice that serves me well.

It reminds me of the baby squirrels I’ve been watching in the yard. When it rains, they use their tail as an umbrella. When the bird seed is out of reach, they hang from their feet and stretch a little farther. When the corn is gone on the cob, they look for more on the ground. Whatever the situation, they don’t spend time making matters worse or looking for someone to blame.

They just keep it moving.

Contact Roxanne Converse-Whiting at roxanne@gothenburgleader.com, or call 308.536.6499