I was so frustrated! Are you kidding me? Traffic was lined up as far as I could see and I had a client in just a few short minutes. I’m not one to like to be late for appointments, particularly when running my practice. The thought of a client wasting their valuable time in my waiting room gets under my skin. Traffic? This is a PROBLEM!
As I sat and griped and moaned to myself, my mind slowly went back to a moment at a conference a few days prior. The speaker’s exact words that struck through my heart like a bow and arrow were as follows:
If you have a home, have food to eat, a job, and transportation to get there, you are among the top 15% of the wealthiest people of the world!”
Wow! I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never considered myself wealthy. Blessed but not wealthy.
A few days later, I was reading a book by Jim Martin from the International Justice Mission. He was talking about modern day slavery, sex trafficking, and the horrible abuse that goes on in our world. He talked about how we see our issues as problems but “they are mostly frustrations and annoyances” when it comes right down to it. So true. Losing my cell phone? Inconvenience. Stuck in traffic? Frustration. Slavery? Now THAT’S a problem!
I’m not trying to minimize the problems that some people are struggling with. Divorce, the loss of family and friends, job loss, abuse are true problems as well. But I am talking about some of the things we consider problems that are really just annoyances, frustrations, and/or inconveniences. The barista at Starbucks messed up our order so we have a bad morning. We get a little wet from the rain so we gripe and moan about going to work a little soggy. These are NOT problems!
When I was sitting in that traffic, I realized that it wasn’t a problem but rather a frustration or annoyance. I would still have a job to go to (with forgiving clients!), lunch today, and a place to lay my tired body tonight.
I have been reminding myself of this DAILY. When I feel the stress of a “problem” I ask myself “Is this really a problem? Or am I just frustrated, annoyed, or inconvenienced”.
Try it! It will really put things into perspective for you.
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville