My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

What if your “parakeet” can’t dance? The challenges of discontentment

As the story goes, a fellow went to the pet store in search of a singing parakeet. Seems he was a bachelor and his house was too quiet. The store owner had just the bird for him so the man bought it. The next day the bachelor came home from work to a house full of music. He went to the cage to feed the bird and noticed for the first time that the parakeet had only one leg. He felt cheated that he’d been sold a one-legged bird, so he called and complained. “What do you want,” the store owner responded, “a bird who can sing or a bird who can dance?”

I knew that story would come back to haunt me as my logical-self demanded reason from my emotional-self with the question “Girl, can your parakeet sing?” “Of course it can sing.” I replied in annoyance, “but why can’t I have a bird that can sing AND dance AND do lots of other stuff?”

I hate being illogical, but my emotions were not submitting to reason, I was disappointed because of something that had taken place and I could not seem to shake it. I’ve heard that unmet expectations lead to disappointment, but I couldn’t say that I had not received what I had expected, so what was the problem?

After wrestling with it a while longer with no results I went to bed. I expected that I would awake with everything resolved. My sleep is normally a time when challenges are sorted through and solutions found, but when I awoke the next morning the change I had expected had not been in the right direction. I was still disappointed, and there was a growing sense of discontent and anger.

How do you fight that? When you know there is no valid reason to be as upset as you are. Or, maybe, it’s felt that there are valid reasons, and discontentment is growing, anger escalating, bitterness setting in, and that non-dancing bird has gotten on your last nerve.

I don’t know what or who your “parakeet” is, but I knew I had to regain proper perspective, get rid of my negativity and bring my emotions under control.

First: I had to be honest enough to admit that I had wanted something else and had been unwilling to face up to it

Second: I realized that the unspoken expectations had been quite unrealistic

Third: I resisted the urge to complain

Fourth:. I started identifying the needs that had been met

Fifth: I remembered the scripture that talks about “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness…”

Sixth: I gave genuine thanks for what I had received

I know it’s not magic, but it certainly worked like it. Before I got out of bed my attitude had shifted and through the eyes of thankfulness I found on closer examination that I had more than I needed.

I can’t promise that if you try the above steps your “parakeet” will grow a leg and break out in dance, but maybe you’ll start hearing the parakeet’s sweet melodies once again and as you give thanks for what you have, the fact that your parakeet can’t dance wouldn’t be as important.

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4 Comments»

  Jnel wrote @

Beautiful… reading this help clarify a thoughts that I have been struggling with… so am gonna listen to the music and be thankful for the things that I have…

  my6inchchallenge wrote @

I promise, J that it will make all the difference in the world. Your circumstances may not change right away but viewing them with the right attitude will help you to cope and being thankful for where your are right now positions you to move to the place where you need to be. May blessings overtake you today.

  LOH wrote @

I have many one legged parakeets, but I’m learning to give thanks in everything ( for it is the will of God for my life), ‘cos hey my parakeet might have had no legs at all.

  my6inchchallenge wrote @

HI L, Great perspective. Identifying our parakeets is important, for then we can develop a coping strategy. But we can also look at them with new eyes and intentionally find the good in them and let the good become our focus.


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