Black and white thinking. Sometimes it’s called “all or nothing thinking.” What is it you ask? It’s rigid thinking where one sees things as all good or all bad. That kind of thinking can be damaging to relationships. We’re all susceptible to this though. As a stepmom, I think it’s important for the well-being of my family, as well as my own sanity, to keep myself in check. Here are some examples of black and white thoughts a stepmom like me (or you) might have. Just guessing here (ha).
B&W: “My husband’s ex is a horrible person.” (It’s probably more realistic to admit that while she (and each of us) has done bad things, sinful things, she’s got lots of positive qualities too. Maybe not directed to you, but those positives are probably there.)
B&W: “My step kids hate me.” (It’s probably more realistic to acknowledge that stepmoms are easy scape goats. We get blamed unfairly for a lot. Recognize that in loyalty conflicts, kids are in an emotional bind and cannot easily express positive emotion for their stepmom. Even more so if Parental Alienation is occurring. The longer one is a stepmom you realize that when you are getting sassed or challenged, often times the bio parents are too! Try not to take it so personally, mama.).
B&W: “My husband can’t stand up to his ex (or his kids).” (Give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s a complex situation he has to constantly weigh. He has to think about the ramifications of his words and actions on everyone. How it will affect his relationship with you, his kids, his ex. What are the consequences to the whole system if he takes one action or another, or chooses to not intervene. And of course there’s not only the short term view but the long term impact. Whew! He has a lot to juggle.)
Today I’m thankful for the ability to choose happiness, to choose a positive frame.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
What are you thankful for?