We awaken each morning and we must choose. What will be my attitude for today? Will I allow my circumstances to control me or will I adjust my outlook and not base it on the circumstances? Stressed or not? Productive or not? For me, it’s a matter of where I place my focus.
Monday morning, my focus was off. Literally off. Way off. When I awakened, I rolled over just like I do every morning to check the time on the alarm clock. And suddenly, the room was spinning faster than the ceiling fan whirling over my head. Dizziness overwhelmed me and immediately twisted my stomach in its grip.
I attempted to sit up slowly in bed while the whirling scene slowed and when I stood erect, my world finally arrived at a standstill. But my stomach still lurched from the effects of the upheaval. I tried to lie down again and whoa, I was back on that out of control merry-go-round. Standing seemed the only way to curtail the spinning.
For most of the morning, I felt ‘not right,’ not really dizzy but not quite balanced either. Between. That’s where I landed. Between wellness and feeling ill. Between accomplishing plans for the day – strawberry jam to be made – and just sitting idle.
I found it uncanny that this week’s photo challenge on Word Press just happened to be ‘between.’ That feeling of being caught between two perspectives can make one feel unnerved, and I’ve been ensnared in that position plenty of enough times to realize that. Being between feuding friends or family can unseat the most stable person.
When our children were young, we were on a family trip: Papa driving, Mama riding shot gun, and our three youngsters crammed in the back seat. Middle daughter was stuck in the middle seat when son, the youngest, and oldest daughter started arguing. Back and forth, the squabbling continued. No doubt the disagreement was over something ridiculous, but that didn’t matter, the dispute escalated.
They continued verbally sparring and butting heads, even though Papa threw out that age old threat, “Do I have to stop this car?” Middle daughter had patiently kept quiet as her siblings warred over her. And then finally, she threw up her hands in desperation and cried in her 9-year-old wisdom, “Can’t we all just learn to get along??”
She found herself between these two often when they were still youngsters. Our daughter could have focused on how she was caught in the sometimes miserable middle. But instead she focused on keeping her patience and learned at a young age to be a pretty decent peacemaker.
I’ve also found myself between a rock and a hard place, which causes anxiety and even a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. It’s difficult to determine where to turn because each avenue you attempt seems blocked and inescapable. That’s when I’ve found that my focus needs to be diverted off the problem and off myself. Instead, I need to focus on others and turn my attention to the faith in my Savior which always bolsters me through any situation.
Sometimes reading between the lines gives you great perspective. But at other times, it may lead you to false conclusions. Again, it’s a matter of focus. It’s wise to consider all angles and zero in on the truth before making a final decision.
So I have to ask myself: is my focus stuck between one thing and another? Or can I aim my sight beyond those two things I’m between?
My unfocused world on Monday eventually righted itself naturally and I’m back on the straight and narrow. Something somewhere in my body (I suspect my inner ear) just needed to make an adjustment. And I find that’s so true about my focus when I’m caught in between.
Usually, I just need an attitude adjustment.
“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” ~ William James