“If it were only nicer out, I’d be happier.”
That’s just a step away from, “If the current world crisis would abate, then I’d be able to concentrate.”
Which is not that far from, “If you would simply behave, I wouldn’t be upset.”
When we focus on external forces and tie them directly to our state of mind, we’re giving up agency.
The hard-won privilege of being in control of our own status and peace of mind.
Without a doubt, there are situations that are unfair, abusive or dangerous. And we should work to fix them or walk away if we possibly can. However, we don’t have to link these external forces to the way we choose to talk to ourselves. We can decide to claim possibility and take action instead.
Roz Zander teaches us to avoid, “I’m on vacation but it’s raining.” It’s far more powerful and useful to think, “I’m on vacation and it’s raining… what should I do with this moment?”
The story we tell ourselves belongs to us and only us. It’s entirely possible that someone selfishly or thoughtlessly put a story there. It’s possible that there isn’t enough empathy or fairness or opportunity. But once we see that we’re able to own our story, we gain a huge amount of power. And we retain that power for as long as we refuse to hand it over to someone else.
If the blame and the anger isn’t going to change the situation, better to reclaim our agency instead.