Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Tale of the Toilet Seat

I had an AHA moment this morning! While putting the toilet seat down yet again, I became aware of the following thought entering my mind -

"Why the hell can't he put the seat down?"........

I have been with my husband for over 30 years.....muliply 32 by 365 and you get 11,680 times that this thought has crossed my mind!

I have nagged, pleaded, demanded, cajoled, joked, begged and sulked about this issue. All to no avail. And today was the first time that i actually stopped to think about it. And then I started laughing.....out loud......it was so simple.....why have I wasted so much energy on this? It was time to do "The Work" on my toilet seat issue! And here is what I discovered. And if you are not familiar with Byron Katie's "The Work" you can click here and learn how to use this remarkable tool of asking 4 questions and turning it around.

The belief I've been clinging to for all these years is "He should put the toilet seat down."

Question # 1 - Is that true?
Answer #1 -Of course it's true! All men should be courteous enough to put the lid down after using the toilet!

Question #2 - Can you absolutely know that it's true?
Answer #2 - Well, no....it's not true because he does not put the toilet seat down.

Question #3 - How do you feel or react when you think the thought 'he should put the toilet seat down?'
Answer #3 - I feel angry, frustrated, hurt, unappreciated, tense, marginalized, annoyed, etc.

Question #4 - Who would you be without the thought 'he should put the toilet seat down?'
Answer #4 - I would just put the seat down when I entered the bathroom w/o any of these negative emotions invading my mind.

What would a good turnaround be? (In order to see what you and the person you've judged have in common.)

1)He shouldn't put the toilet seat down.
Is that equally true?
OK....think of another one....
2) I should put the toilet seat down.
Is that true?
Can you think of a third one?
3) and here is where i had my AHA moment - I SHOULD PUT THE TOILET SEAT DOWN ON MY THOUGHTS!

The more i considered this possibility the more i realized that i'm the one that has a problem with this - not my husband! And so the negative thoughts were flushed from my mind.....and I thought - what can i replace this with?

There are 3 churches in the vicinity of my home whose bells ring hourly. One day I told my 6 year old granddaughter (who lives behind me) that whenever the bells ring it's a reminder that Jesus is with us. In the same way the raised toilet lid will be my reminder that my husband is with me. Some day he may not be and I might not have to put the lid down anymore & I would miss him terribly. So what a perfect time to lift up a prayer for him as I once again lower that lid.
The End.


kristin said...

This is just simply one of the most honest, thought-provoking, insightful, enjoyable and genuine stories I have ever read...that something so "routine" to so many people's lives, could be turned into the truth of how we are SUPPOSED to love (in Jesus' name) is just awesome! Thank you for sharing this little (but huge) piece of your own life...and turning it into a lesson in love and humility. I think I am going to forward it to my pastor, so that he can think about including it in a future sermon on how we are called to love - and to forgive...

God bless you. And God bless your husband.

kristin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sis said...

That was awesome ;-) I'm putting the lid down a good 3x a day with bubs running around the house as well as wiping the seat with a drip or two before sitting down. I just do it without thinking anymore.

Mary said...

Wow........ you do alot of thinking!

Faith said...

On Griffith Farm Road Dad would leave the toilet seat up in all of the bathrooms. One day I ran into the half bath by his office having to go reallll bad and the next thing I knew my entire bottom was in the toilet! I must say I am impressed with Chris on this subject...Not only does he put the seat down he puts the lid down. Which I have nothing to do with. He just does.

d said...

Once again my simplicity took that annoyance over long ago as I wondered: "Does he get mad every time he has to lift the lid? Who says the lid has to be closed?".

Kristi said...

Oh man I love this one! Actually I have been so priveledged to marry a man that does always put the seat down! Woo hoo! Ya know my email is full with your daily quotes...not because I don't check my mail, but because I like all of them so much i cant seem to delete them!

Sigrid said...

Maybe the next time you use the toilet, you can put it up, for him!

gene said...

I jokingly told my first wife that I would put the seat down after I used the toilet if she put the seat up after she used it. Seems like a perfectly good arrangement unless. . . . . .

I learned to put the seat down when visiting my folks who were caretaking my 100 year old Great Aunt. There was a bathroom between the guest room and my great Aunt's room. I sleepily used the bathroom forgetting to put the seat down.. My great aunt yelled for help a bit later when she fell in and coundn't get out. I think that cured me.

Rebekah said...

I came to the same conclusion recently. :0) ...it's just much easier this way.

Jayne said...

It's never really about the toilet seat, now is it? ;c)

Evelyn said...

What a thought-provoking discussion!

Personally, I'm in favor of EVERYONE putting both the seat and the lid down BEFORE flushing. (I'm just thinking about the toothbrushes nearby).

My son lives with me, and I'm SO GLAD that he GOT IT when he was young, so putting the seat down is a habit for him. Why did my son learn it so well? Probably, in part, because I was SO AGGRAVATED with his father for REFUSING to do it! Hence, that was one battle I decided was worth the occasional battle. :~)