Remember the arcade game, Whack-A-Mole?
When we babysit my grandsons’ dog, the three dogs are inseparable. I took this photo as I drove up to the house one day. So cute and reminds me of the Whack-A-Mole game, because they are rarely up there at the same time. One will pop up, then the next and then another, always making me smile. Okay, Enough about cute dogs—the point is Whack-A-Mole.
The object of the Whack-A-Mole game is this: There are many moles that keep popping up in a bunch of holes. You have a rubber mallet to beat them back down into the hole. The Whack-A-Mole game is an illustration of how I deal with my challenges and problems. They keep popping up and I keep whacking them down—trying ever-so-fruitlessly to keep them at bay. It just reminds me that I think I have the mallet and the solution in my life, but it is just an illusion. The challenges and problems will always come back if I keep trying to solve them in my own will. In my drinking days, alcohol was the solution if I was baffled and couldn’t figure it out.
In using alcohol, it was like I became one of the moles that I whacked, temporarily beating down the problem with the mallet (alcohol.) But, when I sobered up, there were the problems all lined up again all ready for the mallet to pound them down and keep them at bay. Alcohol is not my solution anymore. And, my thoughts controlling the situation can’t be the solution either.
As you know, this kind of negative thinking begets itself continuing the negative cycle, which keeps us in circular tormented thinking. My only hope is to surrender and put down the mallet. Hand the mallet over to God and ask for help with the solutions to any given situation.
My husband recently came up with a term called the Grace Cycle to help combat the vicious Negative Cycle thinking—and it starts with gratitude, that grows and begets itself. It flips my thinking and outlook on life like this: Saying thankful prayers for all I have, writing a gratitude list each day, and performing random acts of kindness or service that lift me and others at the same time.
It truly works.
I recently heard a woman say in a meeting: “My sponsor told me that I shouldn’t pray for things to be alright. But, rather, pray for me to be alright with things.” That’s a whole different mindset of acceptance— the way things are, not as I would have them be.
What a relief.
You might want to try it too.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
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