Manure Pile Reactions

February 12, 2011 — 3 Comments

The Day of Love is fast approaching, and with it comes the celebration of relationships. Cards, flowers, chocolates, and all manner of gifts are given in an effort to demonstrate our love for one another.  Don and I celebrate this day with many of those same things, but we try to take time to remember the good changes we have seen throughout our thirty-seven (almost) years together.

One significant transformation we often mention, took place in my own heart and extended over a number of years.

When we began our married life, I was a very negative person. (I think I must have hidden this while we were dating) In order to remedy this problem, my (amazingly positive) husband wouldn’t allow me to be negative about myself. If I put myself down, he would say, “You have to take it back. I won’t allow you to talk that way about the woman I love.”

In some ways, it was a game we played, but I was the only one receiving the penalties! If it had been a board game,  I would have had to go to jail or not pass GO numerous times throughout the day while he easily breezed around the board. I simply viewed life through a dark lens. But, the man (God had given me) wouldn’t let me keep my lenses. His continual game began to work it’s way into my heart.  And then one day, someone told us a story…. about a pessimist and an optimist ….. and somehow, this silly story made ME want to change …. for good!

THE Story:

There once was a family with two little boys. One was a horrible pessimistic, while the other was an extreme optimist.  Their parents believed each of the boys needed to come into a more balanced attitude.

With this goal in mind the parents devised a brilliant plan. They purchased beautiful new toys for the pessimist and placed them in his room while he was sleeping.  For the optimist they left a pile of horse manure.  They believed that upon waking to find these gifts each boy would be unable to remain in their current state of mind.  Surely the pessimist would see something good in his lovely new toys.  And of course, there was no possible way the optimist would be able to see any good in a smelly pile of horse manure.

As morning dawned, the parents crept to the door of their little pessimists’ bedroom.  Peeking through the door they saw him tossing one toy after another and remarking in a negative tone of voice, “This one’s the wrong color.” “This one is ugly….”  They sadly closed the door, shook their heads and tiptoed to the optimist’s room.  Certain this son would be cured they quietly opened his door.  To their amazement, he was frantically digging through the horse manure shouting, “THERE’S GOTTA BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE!!!!?

That story slapped me in the face! I realized I wanted to be the little boy looking for the pony in the manure pile! I wanted to view life through a bright and cheery lens. At some point after hearing this story I began to choose to think positively. It wasn’t easy, it took many years, and without God’s help and my husband’s game, I probably couldn’t have done it! But, I did! And I’m “oh-so-glad” I did!

This Valentine’s Day, we’ll talk of our life together, recount our blessings and together we’ll choose again to “keep looking for ponies”!

3 responses to Manure Pile Reactions

  1. This made me giggle. Thank you for the encouragement. I grew up with a Mom who taught me by her actions to put myself down before others could beat me to it. It took me a long time to break that cycle. This is great timing too, because I’m trying to not complain for 30 days. On day 23 now, and working on all the “little” complaints that slip out habitually.

    I’ve only met you a hanful of times in person, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to get to know you better through your blog.

  2. Good one, Cheri. I’ve had to play “take it back” with a couple folks lately…one a friend and one a family member. I’ve also had to use the “Who told you that?” with one of my granddaughters. Thanks for sharing. Love you two bunches.

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