Tool For Tuesday: “I Can’t Help It,” You Say. Oh, But You Can. One Self-Help Tip That Works. Guaranteed.

Arriving in Brandon, Manitoba. in the pouring rain

Arriving in Brandon, Manitoba. in the pouring rain

Sometimes our responsibilities overwhelm us. Sometimes we just don’t think we can’t make it through another second of our life as it is. Sometimes we don’t think we can ride or move or walk another step, another rotation of the wheel, in the pouring rain and the wind.

But the hidden force of the universe will help us do whatever task lies before us. All we have to do is close our eyes and sincerely ask for help and then plug into that source of power and let it take us where we’re supposed to go, and help us do what we have to do.

Sometimes we hear someone tell us something that is spot-on. For example, my husband told me, “You never let me finish my sentence!” Ouch. At first I said, “I can’t help it.” Defense, defense, defense. I can help it. How? By being aware. By taking a breath and letting that breath make a pause between my first reaction (jumping in) and a thoughtful, quiet response.

We can help it. We can. We can change our behavior and our thoughts by becoming aware of ourselves. It’s tough to bust through denial when it’s sooo much easier to stay in the fog. But we never grow. Y’all don’t want to stagnate now, do ya?

Little kids can’t help it. But adults can. No excuses. What are you doing that’s causing you pain? Can you stretch yourself a little and step out of your comfort zone and do something that’s a bit unfamiliar?

Me: I can wait to hear what my husband has to say before I jump in and react. That’s my commitment for today. What’s yours? What is one thing you can do differently today?

Tool for Tuesday: When you say, “I can’t help it,” remind yourself: Yes, you can.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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5 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: “I Can’t Help It,” You Say. Oh, But You Can. One Self-Help Tip That Works. Guaranteed.

  1. juliabarrett says:

    Noted. I tend to do that to my husband as well.

  2. Diana, just wanted you to know that I needed to read this post this morning. You made my day!
    Thank you. 🙂

    • dianabletter says:

      Thank you, Tracy, for your comments. I always remind myself that the best answer I’ve ever given is: nothing at all!

  3. Oh-oh, I do that to Jim, too. Sometimes it’s a good thing, the mark of a couple who’ve been together and know each other very well–that’s what I tell myself–other times it’s over-efficiency or impatience. Drat! I have to watch doing this!

    • dianabletter says:

      Oh yes, Marylin, I do this, too, telling myself there’s a good reason I’m finishing his sentences. But it only means that I’m not patient or willing to keep the lips zipped!

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