SUMMER SHORTS: Stop The Presses.

Summer Shorts is a weekly short-read in honor of the season, to convey ideas about relationships and life in the blink of an eye.

We can change a relationship. We can change the flow between us and someone we live with, work with, or love.

We can do that by creating new responses to old stimuli. Viktor Frankl, the Australian neurologist, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor said, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

When Eric was alive and well, like any couple, we had our ups and downs, especially at the beginning of our time together. I’m glad to say I learned from those ups and downs.

One of the practices I developed to rescue myself from saying something I would later regret was one I called “stop the presses.”

If I was about to react negatively to Eric, I’d say something (usually silently to myself) along the lines of “whoa, sweet girl, stop the presses, honey.”

A side-note here: I believe in sweet-talking ourselves through change, because change isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and that spoonful-of-sugar-makes-the-medicine-go-down thing can be ever SO helpful. I called myself sweetheart, darlin’, and honey-puddin’-n-pie pretty often.

I liked “stop the presses” because it was short, but also because it carried auditory and visual impact.

Imagine a scene where newspapers are being printed. Hundreds of papers per hour are being pulled through machines by a steady heartbeat, the machines thumping along as fresh newspapers land in a crisp pile at the end of an assembly line.

Suddenly, a supervisor yells over the loudspeaker “Stop the presses!” because there’s an error, a mistake that can’t be sent out in the morning news. The printing operation is called to a halt.

“Stop the presses” reminded me to pull the giant lever in my mind to stop what I was about to do or say. This is one way I interrupted my pattern of making Eric the bad guy, or insisting he should accommodate me by changing his ways.

I used it when I felt a heavy reaction brewing inside, or when I was about to make a thoughtless, snippy comment. (And yes, noticing an oncoming reaction requires awareness, among other things, no doubt about it.) Rather than heading down the path (excuse my French) of thinking he was an a-hole, I’d reach for the lever about to announce inaccurate news.

When the machines in my head came to a stop, I’d get quiet and ask myself, “What if he’s doing something good? And what might that be?”

Or I’d ask, “What if there’s a good reason he’s doing what he’s doing?” or even “What if he’s not doing what I think he’s doing?”

To close, here’s a little more from Viktor Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. What is to give light must endure burning.

Something to think about while you sip your sweet tea by the seashore… Oh, you’re most welcome, honey darlin’ with sugar on top …

Sweet Changes to you!

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Toni Galardi


    Love this! A simple solution through mothering yourself before allowing your brain to be high jacked by the wounded child. Brilliant!


    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby


      Thank you my dear. Love you, appreciate you. So glad I’ve known you forever. :–))


Leave a comment

Intimacy Is Everywhere

Hello Everyone,

Today, intimacy.

Love to you all,

Read more

Friday Love: Bam! Gate Breaking, Anyone?

Good Friday, Everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!

Let me know if you relate…

Read more

Enough with the Name-Calling

It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.
Much love,

Read more

Get in touch

Terri Crosby

Talk to me