I would love to blame it on
- The full moon,
- Mercury being close to the earth last month,
- Not enough sleep,
- Working too much,
- The behavior of those around me,
- Circumstances outside of my control
- The series of unfortunate events that played out in just a short span
Anything to take the blame off for my crankiness over the past three days. I certainly could make the above excuses. I could gain some sympathy from those around me to my unfortuante plight. However, while all of the above might be true, the only one responsible for my attitude is me.
It is easy to make an excuse for my actions; it is much harder to accept responsibility. It is even harder to take action to change things, especially when every ounce of your being is cranky right down to the core. That is where I have been the last few days. So cranky, I didn’t even want to be around myself.
I admit, a lot of people around me didn’t realize how cranky I was. I do a pretty good job of masking it, much better than I used to when even the dog next door could sense my crankiness. I have learned over the years to not express the full extent of what I am thinking. I realize I am better at hiding the crankiness, because I found myself wanting to apologize for my snappy attitude, which I did to two of my coworkers. It was met with a “You were not snappy.” and a “I thought you were funny.”
However, I also am not good at hiding it with those closest to me. By the end of the third day, I had provoked my husband with my attitude to the point he asked if I wanted a divorce. That is a word that neither of us has mentioned in over a decade. I would not typically allow myself to take responsibility for his words or actions, because I am not. I will certainly say that I really provoked his response in this small time frame, and that he resisted most of my cranky instigations.
I knew that my focus had been on all that was wrong in the moment. Nothing life shattering, just small inconveniences in the larger spectrum of life. On day three, I finally decided to stop walling in my crankiness, and reluctantly give it to God. I recognized it as a spiritual battle, because any other time I can count my blessing, naming them one by one, with a gratefulness that allows me to proudly proclaim, “I am blessed and highly favored.” I had given away my joy, by allowing myself to focus on the things that I am discontent with, not on the amazing things that I have seen and walked through.
So here is my confession, I know the secret to fixing crankiness, especially as a Christian; although I know that it works for non-Christians too. Crankiness, can be fixed by changing what you are thinking about. If the focus is the negative, you will always find it. If the focus is on the good, you will find it too. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What we think on has a powerful ability to steer our behavior. So if you need an attitude adjustment, change your focus.
I will be the first to admit, it is easier said than done. However, if we keep taking the thoughts captive that are not true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise, we will eventually find our attitude changing. It took a few hours once I started doing it for my attitude to change, but it was a complete makeover, not just a mask I put on.