The GrumpMonster. 👹
I will be honest and say that I’ve struggled with it all of my married life. I’m sure it was there before that, but being married and having kids was just the “perfect storm” to bring it out fully. That’s not to say it’s my husband or kids’ faults. No, I very much own the whole trait by myself, thank you.😛
Happily, it’s not a 100% of the time and it’s much better than it used to be when I was younger. However, it still rises up to bite me now and again, and I have to go through the paces of hammering it out once more.
I looked up synonyms in a thesaurus for the word ‘grumpy’. Um, not terribly flattering….
😠 Bad mood, bad tempered, crabby, dissatisfied, griping, grouchy, irritable, sulky. What grumpiness is not perhaps says as much or more. Antonyms: bright, cheerful, contented, happy, nice, lovely, pleasant, sunny, sweet.😧
Now, I could go the route of being all depressed about it and feeling like a failure, flinging myself on my bed and getting mad at myself, others, or even at God. Or… I can confess to it, be honest about my shortcomings, admit them and how they make me feel, and then ask (beg) God to bring about the needed changes to my heart.
I chose the latter—but to be up front, I chose the latter only because I’m older now, and all the other things have never worked anyway. Lol.😉
The first thing God began highlighting to me each time the grumpiness came out was how much self-righteousness there was in it. Oooo how UGLY that is. How much utter focus on my Self.
The Lord showed me that I must deny that Self focus. Deny…not the grumpiness (though that would seem logical), but the ME aspect of it—which is the SOURCE. That is, telling myself the truth over against the lie my heart is speaking in my moody-pants moment: I’m NOT better than the person I’m grumping at. I’m NOT more righteous. The grump in my head is just as bad—or worse—than the person I’m being grumpy against.
The second thing he highlighted was the sarcasm that accompanied the crabby self-righteousness. Another UGLY thing. Not only am I feeling grumpy, I’m judging that person and essentially condemning them for being different than me.😬😢 Yes, it might only be in my head, but if I’m dwelling on it in my thoughts, then it’s bound to come out in my attitude at some point. Grumpy is as grumpy does….
It’s the same as how our bodies get into habits. Bad habits, but also good habits. Like if you eat junk food, your body craves junk, but if you eat good food, then your body craves that. Well, the same thing happens in your head. If you are chewing on grumpy, self-righteous, sarcastic thoughts over and over, then your brain gets stuck there and continually wants to go back there.
As a Christian, I go to the Lord to help me renew my mind. To re-train it to think non-grumpy thoughts. How? What he showed me was thankfulness and praise.
Whenever the grumpy thoughts start sounding off, I deliberately stop and replace them with a thought of thankfulness for that person. For instance, some happy character trait of theirs that I enjoy, some good deed they did, or even just a physical trait like their smile. And then I praise the Lord for one of His character traits in the situation. Like his ability to change my heart. Or his love for allowing me to go through this grumping and setting me free from me. I do this over and over, as many times as needed, until these become my habitual pattern of thinking that my mind craves instead of my crabbiness. 🦀
I can’t say my GrumpMonster 👹 is gone for good, but the tides of my mind and the habits of my thinking have definitely shifted away from my being Oscar the Grouch all the time. And on the days old Grumpy does return, I have a clear plan from the Lord for effectively combating him 🗡 when he shows up. 🙏🙌✝️
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