Last night I said, “Honey…..” and my daughter said, “What?” I replied, “Not you, honey; Lonnie honey.” She said, “I know, I was just kidding. You have a very specific Lonnie voice.” My gut reaction was a feeling of awkward, indignant embarrassment. 1. That I am so predictable and 2. That I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ and other people notice.
Fortunately, I am a MASTER at thought replacement because of all the self-help podcasts and books I listen to.
And you can be too! I responded within 2 seconds with a giggle and a smile and, “I know I do!” Our brains are AMAZING. Within those 2 seconds, the following conversation happened inside my head.
“WOAH…. I’m having a negative emotion about that! What’s that about? Why does it bother me that she pointed that out? Oh. I know why? Because for most of my life I was a ‘tough guy’ and equated snarky and sarcastic with being cool and strong, but I’m past that now and I am trying to live my life modeling love, especially for the kids because I was such a terrible role model for them with their father. I KNOW I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ because I want him to know I love and care about him with every word I say, and because I feel happy just talking to him and it comes out in my voice! I want everyone in the world, ESPECIALLY Jessi and Sean, to have a special person who brings out a special voice in them too! So I’m gonna OWN AND ROCK THAT SHIT!!!”
One way I worked on this issue was to recognize when I was having a negative reaction to people displaying love by rolling my eyes or thinking, “OMG GET A ROOM,” or “gag me with a credit card and put me on layaway.” or the puke emoji. I decided every time I caught myself doing this, I would stop myself and replace the thought with a smile and “Aw. I love love. They look happy and the more happy people in the world, the better!” (even if I didn’t really feel that way yet as I knew I was a ‘lover of love’-in-training) The smile is important. Saying it all out loud is even better. When you accompany your thoughts with physical actions, your brain locks that shit in! With years of practice, my instant, involuntary response to people kissing, holding hands, or taking couple selfies, is now a smile and a feeling a happiness.
I think that’s pretty great!