Let's say you happen to be a bit of a neat freak. And you also happen to live with someone who is NOT. Let's say you go into the kitchen each and every morning and you find crumbs all over the counter top. You've asked the Resident Slob to pleasepleaseplease wipe up the crumbs; you've used reason to appeal to Resident Slob's intellect (which he/she claims to have an abundance of). You've tried every trick in the book, to no avail. So every morning begins the same way (kinda like that movie "Groundhog Day") You walk into the kitchen and get your shorts in a twist because Resident Slob has fixed another sandwich at god-knows-what-time during the night and there they are...crumbs crumbs crumbs all over the place. ARRRRGGGGGGG!!!
Let's say this has gone on for a long, long, l-o-n-g time and you want to bash in the head of said Resident Slob. You have reached your wit's end. You are on your last nerve. You are ready to throw a tantrum. You leave the kitchen, with coffee in hand, and return to your CLEAN AND TIDY space, trying your best to regulate your breathing and not kill the imbecile.
Let's say that one day it finally occurs to you that perhaps this is another of those situations over which you have absolutely NO CONTROL. You sit in your very clean living room, sipping your coffee and muse over this thought. Slowly, a little smile glides across your face. The smile grows larger and decides to plant itself for awhile. It's not going anywhere right now. You sit with your smile...and let the thought throb for a bit. Let's say the thought goes something like this:
"Listen here, little Missy. You know good and well you can NOT control what Resident Slob does or does not do. You also know that the only control you have is over what YOU do or do not do. You know there is a solution here but you're being stubborn as an ass which is why the solution eludes you. How 'bout you try what you have not yet tried? How 'bout next time you make your way to the kitchen you expect those crumbs to be there, just like you expect the sink to be full of dirty dishes. How 'bout instead of getting yourself in a snit over those stupid crumbs, you just make them another part of your usual morning ritual (like washing the dishes) and wipe them up yourself? How 'bout you quit trying to make Resident Slob change and just allow him/her to be who he/she is? Whaddya think?"
Let's say that when that thought finally gels, you find yourself giggling over how ridiculously simple it was. Do you suppose your day would be different? Do you suppose your mornings would be more pleasant? Do you suppose you would avoid a life in prison because you found a solution that did not include bashing in the head of Resident Slob?