How to Rid Your Life of Annoyance and Frustration

Every Tuesday night during the month of October we’re doing Tuesday Night Terrors at our house. Basically, we gather the kids, cuddle up in blankets, and watch a scary movie. This past Tuesday we watched “Signs.”

One of my favorite thoughts I’ve adopted since I started coaching is “Everything is exactly as it should be” and this movie embodies that to a tee. You’ll remember at the end, Mel Gibson sees all the pieces fit together. His wife’s death, his brother’s strike outs, his brother’s award bat, his brother moving in with him, his son’s asthma, his daughter’s water quirks, EVERYTHING led up to this moment. EVERYTHING had happened for a reason.

I’m pretty good at getting here with the big things, mostly because it’s the only way I can enjoy my life. If I keep thinking my divorce shouldn’t have happened I’m going to be miserable for the rest of my life. If I want to be happy it’s in my best interest to get to a place where I truly believe it was meant to be that way.

Some of you may really struggle with the big things. Mel Gibson’s character was a reverend. He lost his faith when his wife died. He just couldn’t get to a place where he believed that was supposed to be happen.

Where I struggle is with the little things. What really grabbed my attention in the movie was the little girl leaving glasses of water all over the house. Literally everywhere. You see Mel throughout the movie, grabbing glasses and emptying them in the sink, full of frustration.

I’m the kind of mom who likes a clean house. My kids will open a piece of candy and just drop the wrapper wherever they happen to be standing, rather than throwing it in the garbage can, and my brain just about explodes.

I can only imagine the annoyance and frustration I would feel if I had a child leaving water glasses all over the house. We’d have to run the dishwasher every day just for the glasses. You’ll notice he asks her repeatedly not to do this but nothing changes.

At the end of the movie you see why she leaves glasses of water all over the house.

Most of us will never know WHY things are the way they are. We probably won’t have this big epiphany as we’re fighting off an alien to save our children’s lives.

But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Everything is exactly as it should be.

Here’s another example. I have three boys at home. They all express their independence in different ways. When I ask them to do something here is how it goes:

1. Oldest son: says yes, is very agreeable, and then doesn’t do it. Have to ask repeatedly for it to actually happen.

2. Middle son: argues every single time, then, once he’s had his say, does whatever is asked.

3. Youngest son: digs his heels in, says no, stubborn to the core. It will get done when he decides he wants to do it and not until then.

This is exactly as it should be. The longer I tell myself I shouldn’t have to ask 12 times, or they shouldn’t argue, or they should just do what I ask, the more miserable I will make myself.

It’s not the circumstance making me feel annoyed or frustrated. It’s only my thoughts about it. The circumstance just is. When I remember, “this is exactly as it should be” I have an entirely different experience.

I know I will have to ask the oldest child repeatedly to do something. So what? I know the middle child will argue with me. So what? I know the youngest will throw a fit. So what? None of these reactions need to cause annoyance or frustration. I choose to be annoyed or frustrated when I choose to argue with reality.

Take a look at your life this week. What do you think should be different? Maybe it’s big things, maybe it’s little things. But just notice, what do you think SHOULD be different? And then be willing to be wrong about it. What if everything is exactly as it should be?

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