Mountains and Molehills
When Jo and I started looking into what really makes for healthy relationships, it became clear that one of the areas where I needed God’s help was around magnifying everything, and making mountains out of molehills. We Magnifiers have the tendency to exaggerate events until everything seems like a catastrophe, and we cannot move on and let go of it. We often use extreme words and phrases such as never, every, devastated, abusive, worst, ruined, beyond repair, too late, nothing: for example, I would cook a lovely meal, but because one little bit was a shade burnt, the refrain in my head would be “Everything is ruined” We Magnifiers have often been brought up in homes or environments where little misdemeanours were blown up out of all proportion, and discipline was excessive to the size of the offense. Remember the proverb “Don’t cry over spilt milk”? Well such a spillage would be treated like the ultimate sin, and the resulting atmosphere feel like the end of the world had come!
My making every little event into a catastrophe was hard for Jo and the children to live with, and of course the truth is not everything is a major event, and molehills are not mountains; a 50p event needs a 50p reaction; people sometimes treat us badly, but not always; we do some things wrong, but not everything – it is usually too soon to give up!
It has been slow progress, and taken years, but nowadays, even if I do overreact initially, I am learning to ignore the event that could become so inflamed in my mind, and deliberately force myself to speak and carry on as normal, and within a few minutes things shrink to a normal size – and miraculously I can even sometimes laugh and make a joke of it!
I can’t remember how it came about in my prayer time a few mornings ago, but it seemed the Lord was sharing one of His mountain reduction strategies with me, telling me to “treat slights (occasions when I felt slighted: insulted or disrespected, or lacking in attention, or ignored) as slight” (nothing worth bothering with, small in degree, lightweight, petty, negligible, inconsiderable).
Now that did make me chuckle. Can’t help but be excited that God hasn’t finished with me yet.