I stumbled upon this quote and felt I had to share it because the words seemed to be presented specifically to me at time when I needed to be reminded of an important lesson.
Lately, one of my biggest pet peeves has become extraneous noise and like most people, I live in a world where it seems to be everywhere. There is the traffic I encounter on the roads when I am out running or driving to work; there is noise from my neighbor who likes to bang away in his garage or operate power tools at all hours of the day and night; and of course, there is my family.
My children are both avid talkers, singers, yellers and hollerers. They like nothing more than competing for adult attention by raising their voices, one louder than the other. When they get excited they like to cheer, laugh, scream, whoop and clap. And when they don’t get their way whining becomes their preferred form of communicating their displeasure. My husband and I also come from families of vocal communicators and our gatherings seem to get louder every year as the kids and grandparents get older and everyone competes for air time.
And then there is me. I am an unapologetic extrovert and very comfortable communicating verbally, but someone who has become the quietest person in our house. Simply because some days I don’t want to add to the noise.
While this may all sound like a rant against my cohabitants, it is not. Stumbling upon this quote reminded me of two important lessons. The first is that ‘like attracts like’. I can choose to blame everyone around me for making noises that distract me and say they are cause for me to be impatient, muddled and stressed; but it will not change my experience. By labeling extra noise a pet peeve I give attention to that which I don’t want. And when I do, I find it everywhere.
The second lesson this quote highlighted for me is that by accepting ‘what is’, I more easily find myself thinking thoughts of gratitude, and as a result, I experience more positive emotions. When my emotions are positive I experience more of what I do want, which in this case, was peace. This was proven to me a short while ago.
We were having an exceptionally loud dinner with another family, and as the kids competed for attention I decided to shift my focus. Instead of shushing them I engaged in their conversation. I asked them to tell me more. I smiled at their silly noises and jokes that didn’t make sense. It felt good to let go and by the end of the meal I found myself thinking about how grateful I was.
Grateful that we had the means to share a meal with friends; that we had good friends close enough to come by for dinner at the last minute; and that my kids were social and felt confident enough to tell a story to a table full of people. I enjoyed the whole experience, despite the volume in the room.
Soon enough, the meal was over; the girls were at dance; the boys were outside running around; and all I could hear was the humming of the dishwasher. Quiet had returned to my physical world, but in reality, I was at peace the whole time.
Do you have a pet peeve that you focus on? A dirty mug always left in the sink, the bathroom light that never gets turned off, someone’s bag in the doorway? Something small that becomes big because you focus on it? Share your comments below, I would love to hear from you.
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