I have a new mantra.... "Does this serve me?"
I don't mean this in a selfish, "please take care of me all the people of the world" way, I mean this more in a "I'm responsible to take care of my own life and attitude" sort of way.
This new thought that I'm injecting into my brain is meant to help guide me along my path of life. It doesn't replace God, but rather, allows me to stop the frantic searching in my brain and tune in to a wiser choice for a greater good. This is how it works....
I go to a restaurant to order food. My ego, my romantic, passionate, deep desiring self wants something really yummy and bad for me. I want to TREAT myself because after all I deserve it... right? A treat would be something that no doubt is full of sugar or fried or has more calories than a normal person eats in a month.
So I ask myself... will these cheesy, greasy smothered chips washed down with an oversized frozen strawberry margarita serve me. Hmmm... Well, I will REALLY enjoy them so in a way - they serve my immediate gratification button. BUT... ultimately... no. I will have ingested too many calories, my weight will go up, my glucose index will rise and I'll probably get a stomach ache. In the long run if I continued, my cholesterol and blood pressure will suffer and I will lead an unhealthy life.
So when I ask "Will this food serve me?" my answer is NO. What would serve me is something alive and whole... fruits and vegetables. These will serve me because I will be in greater health emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Ok, let's play it again. You can ask it about anything. "Does this attitude serve me?" You are angry at someone and want to say the meanest thing you can think of.... will it serve you? No, probably not - they will just get mad and fire back at you which will make you even madder and you will end up getting into a huge fight that may not get resolved.
"Does this relationship serve me?" This is a bit tricky because if relationships are about LOVE we are not looking to be served. We can't ask if our relationship with our kids SERVE us... that's crazy. However, there are different aspects of every relationship that must be evaluated and made better if at all possible. "Does it serve me or my daughter to have her scream at me?" may be a question that needs answering (think we already KNOW that answer).
There are times that we have relationships with people that have run their course or that are destructive. The "does this relationship serve me" question would be a good one there to know where you must shift time and priorities.
More questions to ask... Does using my time in this manner serve me? Does living in this house serve me? Does working at this job serve me? Will staying in bed till noon serve me? The list is endless.
You are not a victim of your life. You have choices on how you will respond to certain situations.
Next time, instead of running on the default mode, ask yourself that question and see if it might spur on some alternative life choices. You may be surprised at the results!