I looked haggered, angry, tired. I didn't look like myself and I certainly didn't look the way I wanted to. Though I did feel tired and frustrated, I didn't want to project those feelings on those around me. Something had to change. Given that I couldn't change the situation with my daughter, (autism isn't curable--yet), I had to take control of what I could change. And that was my attitude. At that time I happened to be taking a class on family and behavioral therapies and was preparing a paper on the work of Victor Frankl. This quote changed my life:
"Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude to any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way."
I could choose who I wanted to be even in the toughest of times. I chose a mantra: Be a blessing.
I had those words engraved on a bracelet. Whenever I glanced at the silver on my wrist, those words reminded me to put on a smile and serve someone else--to be a blessing.
Last January while teaching my kids a church lesson I came across this quote: "...peace may abide in our hearts and in our homes,...we may radiate sunshine and cheer wherever we may go...."
A new mantra was born.
A mantra as simple as this can help brighten your mood, keep you focused, energize your work, and pull you through tough times. And this mantra, like "be a blessing," sets an intention, an expectation for myself of who I want to be and I what I want to project to others. I remind myself to radiate--radiate warmth, joy, strength...to radiate sunshine.
Do you have a mantra? Feel free to share.