A friend of mine told me a story one day. It was about his dad. So, one night his dad and his pals were hanging out, having drinks. They had a few too many and so they went home drunk. The next time they hung out together after that, they exchanged experiences about what happened to them after they got home that night. Or more specifically, what their wives did to them that night. They made a bet on who had it worse. One guy got the silent treatment. Another one got locked out. And there were other to-be-expected responses. But my friend s dad wowed the whole table. His wife opened the door, had his back when he had his head in the toilet, changed his clothes and tucked him in. He said that it was the worst hangover he s ever had. Guilt apparently had a harsher effect than the alcohol, and he would not want to go through that again.
I like my friend s mom s response. She could have done what the other wives did, but she didn t. She could have been mean in the hope that punishment will change her husband, but instead, she showed that it s more important to be kind that to be right. She surpassed all expectations.
That got me thinking. When things don t go as we want, we do crazy things to assume control. We set boundaries. We yell. We go out of our way to prove them wrong. We threaten. But we fail to remember that the only person we have control over, is ourselves. We control our emotions. We control our thinking. We control our response. And the best response to anything that we want to change is actually acceptance. When we accept things just as they are, we create a favorable environment. And when we feel that we are accepted, it s when we really want to volunteer change. This way, everybody wins. Really.
It s funny I should be thinking about this as I started this blog about Andrew and Hilda. Let me take you down my trail of thoughts for a while. Andrew is the conservative one while Hilda is the more modern type. He likes details and planning, she s the in-the-spur-of-the-moment kind of girl. To the naked eye, they are different. But their chemistry is undeniable. To them, it s as simple as loving each other just as they are. And that is the whole idea of acceptance. Accepting your spouse is a magical thing. You might want to go and give it a try sometime.