A few years ago, my husband had a responsibility at church that made it so that he left early, and I would get the kids ready on my own and to church, hopefully on time. I made a conscious decision that to me it was more important that we get there in a good mood than that we get there on time. So I planned ahead. I knew it was easier for me to be in a good mood if I had enough time to get ready myself, and THEN get the boys ready. It was really awesome. We usually got ready with enough time to play a game or read a book before church AND get there on time.
Then my husband was released from his responsibility and for some reason I forgot to make this a priority. I found myself always rushed and harried on Sunday mornings. I wanted to get to church ON TIME! I had lots of negative thoughts about my husband and my kids and how they were incapable of getting ready and getting to church on time. I blamed them for not even being able to get ready and out the door myself. It was not good for my relationship with anyone.
Then I remembered, “The relationship is paramount.” If we’re late, we’re late. Being snarky and demeaning wasn’t helping anyone get ready any faster. But it was hurting my relationship with the people I love most. I’m working on repeating this to myself whenever I start to feel uptight and want to blame someone else for what I think is going wrong. It relaxes me immediately and my mind opens up to thoughts like, “maybe they’re not trying to annoy me”, “maybe they’re doing the best they can”, “maybe I could focus on getting ready myself so I can help them after”, and “how would I hope they’d interact with me if I were running late?”
How can you remember the importance of the relationship in stressful times?