I have been thinking a lot about how negativity has a snowball effect and after reading a post titled, "Man, you SUCK!", I thought it might be time to reflect on a concept I learned about a long time ago . . . emotional banks.
With all the craziness in my life and stress, my mind has turned into mush (using CD's term) and seems to be on empty! An incident yesterday was like icing on the cake for me and my family. After being out of our house for almost four hours for showing appointments, we got home to find we are locked out. It was my fault b/c I took my house key off of my ring to leave out for the housekeeper. In the rush to run to the bathroom and get out of the house, I forgot to grab it before we left. We don't usually lock the garage door and go in through there a lot, but the realtors did lock it! DH was pissed off and I had to call our realtor to come and let us in, thankfully she is a friend and helped out.
Some where in the middle of all of this, the word "stupid" came up. One minute I was stupid, the next minute Loo thought she was stupid, etc. I was so upset and clearly felt stupid, but was most upset by hearing her say it. No matter how bad things are, I try to watch what I say in front of the kids, b/c Loo is definitely repeating everything now. The other day she told me to "shut up", something we yell at the dog barking outside (when we are not thinking and have heard enough). I want to be a good parent and a positive role model for my children and students! This is difficult to do, especially when I have not been feeling positive myself.
When I was college and upset about something (I think it was a time DH & I were fighting), my mom explained to me the concept of an emotional bank. The interactions in our life affect the balance of our banks; something positive is a deposit and something negative is a withdraw. Just like with money, it feels good when you are ahead and not struggling emotionally. Sometimes your account is so close to zero that it is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. When you are out of money, each withdraw hits you harder and harder, the "fees" add up, and the hole can get so deep that it is difficult (sometimes impossible) to get out of it.
This is a good analogy that I try to comeback to when things get out of "balance" for me. It forces me to examine my bank. What withdraws are being made? Can I control them and/or eliminate some of them? Are my own thoughts and actions making it worse? What do I need to do add to my bank? Right now, I am a little negative and need some deposits. I hate to be this way, b/c I snap at everyone and take everything personally. Does that mean it is okay for people to put me down and keep making withdraws from my bank? NO! But, I can control the way I react to them and make it known that I am not happy with the way things are going.
I know when we get through this next week and things settle down, life will begin to feel normal. With normal, I might be able to find some balance and, with any luck, get a little savings accumulated!
"You can't expect to prevent negative feelings altogether. And you can't expect to experience positive feelings all the time. The Law of Emotional Choice directs us to acknowledge our feelings but also to refuse to get stuck in the negative ones." - Greg Anderson, U.S. Basketball Player