Organize your attitude #18
Our attitude is the most important factor in how we handle life, and it is a multi-faceted component.
One of the components of an organized attitude – and one we don’t consider often – is imperviousness.
The dictionary defines the adjective impervious as
- not allowing liquid to flow through
- unable to be affected by
This is not being unemotional, although at times it may appear so. It is, however, not letting circumstances or irritants dictate your emotions.
It is only if you are impervious – if those liquids of outer happenings and other’s behaviors don’t flow through to your nerves – that you can control and manage your own emotions and responses.
So how do we build our own imperviousness?
Here are some strategies I have used:
- Chant it as a mantra-motto when you find your irritation rising: Be impervious, be impervious.
- Fake it until you make it. Pretend you’re impervious. Respond as if you are. Slowly, you’ll have trained your habitual reactions and you’ll find you are actually impervious.
- Start and end the day with alone time – even just 5-10 minutes – and fit in a couple minutes here and there throughout your day. Don’t squander down time with aimless meandering around the house or online – close your eyes and breath, read a good book, walk outside and clear your head. Remove yourself from the madhouse regularly so you don’t become one of the madmen.
- Pray continually. Instead of a single morning prayer to get you through the day, build the habit of praying for grace to honor God in how you respond – a quick, desperate, “forgive me, Lord; help me, Lord” prayer – when you feel your irritation rising.
- Remember there’s always a way of escape. Others do not control your responses. We are commanded to love and irritation and resentment are not love. They are sinful responses. God forgives and He gives us the grace to choose to obey, but we need to turn to Him for that grace and forgiveness, as soon as we can, as often as we can.
To be impervious is not to be stoic. Rather, it is how we become the thermostat rather than the thermometer, how we set the tone for ourselves and for our interactions.