Has one text or email ever ruined your day? You know a text from a co-worker that questioned you or your authority.  Or one from your spouse where you could hear the negative tone oozing through the words that you read.

Perhaps before the text arrived you were having a great day.  You were living your best life. You were “winning the day”. Then, in an instant, everything changed.  I’m sure you’ve experienced this but have you stopped to ask yourself why your day was ruined because of something someone else said?! Your heart rate increases, you feel tension throughout your body, and anger builds and builds. It was just one text.

The reason this text has so much power over you has nothing to do with the words on the screen, my friend.  It doesn’t have anything to do with who sent it, the time of day, or anything else that is out of your control.

What then you ask? It has everything to do with how you interpret the text.  You see, that text doesn’t mean anything until you make it mean something.  Your spouse says something like, “can you start doing the dishes more often”? It’s a simple question, right? But when you make it mean that you are not a good spouse, or that your other contributions to the household aren’t appreciated, you’re headed for disaster.

You’re making it about you.  The question is about her needs.  Do you have to do dishes more often? Of course not.  Can you choose to because you love her and want to help out more? Of course you can.

Notice this week when your heart-rate begins to rise from a simple text or comment someone says to you.  It’s a sign that you may want to take stock of your interpretation of the words that are typed or spoken.

You begin to find freedom when you understand that they are simply words.  You get to decide what they mean to you and how you respond.