We all do it. From time to time, we get caught up in the mindless busyness of life and we fail to recognize the good that is around us. I have to admit that I have been in a funk about work lately. We have been super busy and the stack of documentation I need to catch up on keeps growing. (please don’t mention that to my boss…) We keep getting new patients (which is great for the business, but quite stressful in all other ways) and that means that not only do I have more and more group therapy and individual sessions, but I also have ongoing and seemingly non-stop Utilization Review.
That sounds quite glamorous doesn’t it? Utilization Review…WOW…what might that be?! It means that I deal with all of the insurance companies to keep the patients funded and I do all of the FLMA and Short Term Disability paperwork for our location. Be still my heart… (It means job security and help for our patients.)
Anyway, back to my complaining about work…
I really do have a great job. I love the level of care I work in, I have a wonderful boss who let’s me do my thing without micromanaging, I can see the patients improve as they move through the program, I get to do yoga with the patients almost daily… I really can’t complain. (Especially compared to some of the environments in which I have worked in the past.)
Yet, lately, I have been complaining. I have been focusing on the bits I don’t like about it; I have been whining about things that are not going to change right now; I have been wishing it were different right now; I have been dreading Monday’s coming all day long on Sunday… you get the picture. I have been wallowing in the bad and suffering through.
So last week, I was working with the adolescents and leading a group therapy session. One of the girls was especially whiny about not wanting to be there, about how bored she was, her wanting to quit coming to treatment, and how it was terrible just like school. The other kids attempted to encourage her to no avail. I simply told her that she was creating her reality. That she had the power in her mind to change her thoughts and have a good or a bad experience…that it was up to her.
We moved on with the group and a bit later, she started again. “Kellyyyyy…this is sooooo borrrrrring. Can I just go home? I don’t want to be herrrrrrrrrre. This is awfullllll!” And on it went. Again, the others attempted to encourage her and one group member even told her that she did not think she was trying hard enough. I again told her that she was creating her reality and making herself miserable by focusing on how much she disliked it. I told her she had the superpowers to change her experience. I even mentioned that there were people held as Prisoners of War that, after release, would talk about having only their thoughts to keep themselves sane and positive. (Of course, then she said that she felt like a POW…smh)
Once more, we moved on with the group session and one last time, she started to whine. I looked at her and she (with a dramatic eye-roll) and I simultaneously said, “You are creating your reality”. And that’s when it hit me. This was a lesson for me every bit as much as it was for her. Ah, the things the patients teach me…
I am the creator of my reality. I have the superpowers within me to change my perspective, to see things from a different view, to find the good in every situation, to be present, and to make my experience what I want it to be. And so do you!
So, this past Saturday night when I went to bed, I thought about how grateful I was that I did not have to work the next day and I reminded myself that I was creating my reality. On Sunday, I had a GREAT day! I redirected myself back to the present moment any time I started to think about going back to work. And when I did have to return to work on Monday, I continued to remind myself that I am creating my reality and that I can waste the day being miserable or I can enjoy myself and be grateful for all of the good things in my life. And you know what? It worked! I have been happier, less stressed, and better able to handle whatever pops up by using my perspective-changing superhero glasses to view the moment.
So, this week, turn on your superpowers and take control over your experiences. Remind yourself that you are creating your reality. Even in moments of stress or frustration, you can fight against the moment and be miserable or you can accept what is and find some happiness. It’s all up to you.
Yes, it takes practice and redirecting over and over sometimes, but remember, you aren’t alone. I will be practicing my superpowers with you.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning