Updated: Feb 16, 2019
We eat out a lot. It's kind of our family's "thing." Some families have game night. We have Taco Tuesday.
One night at dinner, our eldest challenged me to a game of tic-tac-toe. She went first, choosing the top left corner to mark her "X."
I chose a corner. She chose another corner. I moved to block, but she had somehow maneuvered so that she had two ways to win. No matter where I moved to block, she was going to beat me. She laughed jubilantly, then coaxed me into a second game.
We played several more games, and every time she went first, she went for the corners and she beat me. I was convinced she'd come up with a strategy that was invincible!
I told my husband, in awe, how brilliant our child was. How she'd become unbeatable at tic-tac-toe. How there was no way to defeat or defend against her strategy.
Of course, the first game they played he successfully defended against the "invincible" strategy, and they tied.
It wasn't that her strategy made her unbeatable. It was that I believed it to be so. I convinced myself that every time she took the first move, she was going to win. Not surprisingly, that is exactly what happened.
I truly believe that we receive what we focus on. When I focused on my daughter's invincible strategy, and she became invincible - to me.
Which leads me to wonder, what other insurmountable foes have I created in my mind?
"We'll never get out of debt."
"This house is always a mess."
"I'm so out of shape."
"I'm never going to be a great writer."
"These kids are driving me crazy."
"I'm dying here."
Can I make a gentle suggestion, friends? Don't give away your power. This life is short, and precious, and full of potential. Become a master of spin in your own thought life - reframe the negative and make it what you want it to be.
"We will be debt free, and we will prosper."
"This home is full of life and love."
"I am thankful for good health."
"I am blessed with talent."
"My kids make me laugh!"
"I am grateful for this life."
Choosing to speak life takes practice. But, if I am going to receive what I focus on, then I darn well want to focus on some awesomeness!
I know it's not always that easy. When you're grieving the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, facing a difficult health diagnosis or anguish over another's substance abuse, the whole "Just think positive" mantra probably makes you want to punch someone in the face. I get it. I've been there. I would never suggest that simply thinking happy thoughts will make it all better. However, I do believe that it is in those dark, difficult times that you are best served by being able to lean on the habit of controlling your thoughts and focusing on the good in your life.