One of the many routes my dog takes me on, for his walk, involves travelling down a relatively busy street.
This morning, we passed by a woman standing by her (small) front lawn.
I said: "Good morning!" and she replied: "Just look at this mess!"
I looked at her lawn and saw some old garbage that the melted snow had revealed. Nothing super spectacular: a faded Timmy's coffee cup, a flyer from KFC, and a couple of pieces from a torn City of Ottawa sign letting the neighbourhood know when snow removal was happening on her street.
I smiled and said: "Ah yes, the joys of discovery once the snow is melted!"
She didn't like that.
I then said: "Let me help you pick it up, it'll just take a second or two", and started walking towards her with Herschel (my doggo) happily wagging his tail.
"WHY SHOULD I PICK THIS SHIT UP?!", was the response.
"This isn't my garbage!" and with that she turned around and went back into her house.
(Nope, I didn't stay and pick that shit up, in case you are wondering! I kept on walking Herschel as I pondered what just went down.
She needs to do this herself.
She needs to realize that she is capable of creating the world she wants.
If I picked it up for her, it would be: "Well at least there's once decent person out there.", clouded by her remaining in the mud of feeling wronged and super bitter about it.
My actions may appear to be helpful on the surface, but I would be doing her a disservice in the end.)
The solution to her discomfort was right in front of her, but she was so hyper focused on being wronged that she didn't even want to end the discomfort. She was blinded by being in her thoughts of: this is so unfair.
I totally get that looking out on her lawn and seeing other people's garbage sucked.
But there it is.
So here comes her chance to choose:
Stay in being wronged or just fucking fixing it.
I mean....that sums it all up, right?
"This shouldn't be happening to me" may be a fair assessment of the situation.
People's literal or metaphorical garbage should not be on your literal or metaphorical lawn.
However, what are you going to do about it?
1) Stay in righteous indignation and constantly remind yourself of this annoyance
2) take action to clear it up yourself.
You hold the power to change your thoughts and therefore your feelings about it.
You then take action.
She chose to just let the garbage stay there.
So every time she steps outside, she is going to be pissed off.
Her day is set to shitty.
Her attitude is set to shitty.
And I am fairly certain that those in her circle will be feeling it, and so it goes.
She could have chosen to acknowledge the pissed offed-ness of the situation (totally fair and understandable), take a deep breath in and out with an "it is what it is" acceptance vibe, and then move on and take positive action.
What will that do? IT WILL LIFT HER UP.
She will be a useful, empowered, take action problem solver and she will feel all the great feels that come with that!
What she chose to do will KEEP HER IN THE MUD OF VICTIM MODE.
That is a heavy feeling of being trodden upon by life.
Even if she went ahead and cleared the garbage up, if she was in this mode it would be done with resentment and anger.
She will need to clear up her thoughts and feelings about the situation before taking the action.
This can be applied to anything that makes you feel wronged in your life.
It is all metaphorical garbage on your metaphorical lawn.
YOU GET TO DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE WITH IT.
Some things are going to be WAY bigger than that faded Timmy's cup for sure.
These bigger things will take longer for you to get to the "Now I am going to choose to do something about it by changing my thought process" place.
But, letting yourself know that you are willing and able to lift yourself out of the mud is the first step in this process.
Tell yourself that you want to be an active participant in the bettering of your life and that you don't want to stay in victim mode just because you are "right" and they are "wrong".
Your mantra: "I choose to be a positive player in my life."
See how that feels!