My BUT Gets in the Way

Yesterday, my wife said something to me and my reaction was “What made you say that?”  She was giving me credit for some recent life-changing events we have been through.  Specifically, we decluttered and got rid of lots of stuff that we and our 4 kids accumulated over the years.  I called the realtor and got everything in motion to sell our house.  We sold our house and found an apartment in a matter of just a few weeks.  We have improved our financial situation so that we feel less stress about paying bills and being in debt.  We’ve adjusted quite nicely to our new apartment with its extremely small kitchen and pantry and no linen closet.  I guess she was proud of me for what we have accomplished and wanted to let me know.

Accepting credit or praise has always been difficult for me.  Yes we decluttered and got rid of lots of stuff but it cost us a decent amount of money to haul away junk and unwanted stuff.  Yes I called the realtor but I procrastinated for quite a while before getting up the nerve to call.  Yes we sold our house but we got lucky that the realtor found a buyer even before the house was listed.  Yes we found an apartment quickly but we were lucky that one was available.  Yes we’ve improved our financial situation but other people we know can buy homes or condos and we are renting an apartment.  Yes we’ve adjusted quite nicely but we’re still trying to figure out where to put things.

Get the picture?

I try hard to live with gratitude but (sorry, there’s that word again) I often get bogged down in my thoughts of low self-worth and the “I’m not as good as whoever I compare myself with”.  When I am able to feel gratitude, I can get my BUT out of the way.  I can accept the fact that I am a capable person, I do have strengths, I have accomplished a lot, and I have worth.  I am able to accept praise from others without thinking that anyone could have done what I did, or I could have done it better.  I am able to say thank you and feel good about myself.

Is your BUT in the way?  Be grateful, be kind to yourself, give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished, and get rid of your BUT.  You’ll be so much happier!

I’d like to leave you with a cute story from my college days.  In my junior year at Michigan, I applied to be in the Honors Psychology program and, to my surprise, I was accepted.  I told my roommates that I had been accepted and said. as you might expect, “But I don’t know why”.  Back then, there was a popular song by Benny Bell called “Shaving Cream”.  It would appear that every verse would end with a word that starts with “sh” and rhymes with “bit”.  So my roommates sang the following little ditty:

Gray’s grades in psychology were high,
This puzzled him quite a bit.
He said “But, but I don’t know why,
I thought my performance was. . .

That was in 1974.  Old habits can be hard to break.


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