By Patricia Potts
Too often I find myself doing the CTW dance (Counting the Wrong). I count the number of things going wrong instead of what is going right! I look at what I do and say that is wrong, pretty soon the negative multiplies and I see negatives wherever I look. CTW is like a dark-eyed monster with an insatiable appetite constantly demanding more and more to eat. He doesn’t have to look hard to find negative things so he can keep feeding all day long.
A few years ago our extended family went waterskiing. There were more than twenty relatives attending through the day. My niece Toni and her husband Mike were graciously running their boat so that everyone received a turn to water ski. At the end of the long day I gave Toni a check to help cover our portion of the gas for the day. Instead of just handing it to her quietly, I mentioned to my mother the amount we contributed. Afterwards I realized how prideful I had been to want to take credit and was so embarrassed. I found myself wishing that I could just erase my words.
A few days later my granddaughter asked her grandpa for money instead of me. She knew I was stingy with money. Again I was embarrassed about my money attitude.
The next morning I recognized that the house was messy, I had also misplaced a book and a phone number . . . the list went on and on.
About this time I realized that I was doing the CTW dance. I was counting the wrong in life when I needed to be counting the right. I was also reminded that I was not sinning in these things. I was just making human mistakes that I could learn from and then move on.
I knew I needed to counter my negative attitude by giving myself credit for what I did right: CTR. I did an about face and began to count anything that I saw or did that was right.
- 1. I was dressed before 7 a.m.
- 2. I put the milk away
- 3. I washed the table off
- 4. I lit a nice candle
- 5. I had enough money to pay our doctor bill and house payment
- 6. My husband has a good job
- 7. I have good health right now
- 8. …. (by now my attitude is better and I can start looking on the brighter, side of things)
I had a similar experience one day on the porch. One morning as I stepped onto my front porch, I looked to the west. There, above the mountains loomed dark, ominous clouds daring anyone to think of the day as pleasant. They seemed to form themselves into a defensive football team two layers deep, preventing my entrance to a good day. Turning, I faced the east. Above the snow-capped mountains hung hope. The sun had painted the sky with the brightest blue and the whitest white and it seemed to laugh at the darkness, declaring herself the triumphant winner. The light of hope won my attention, my devotion and my direction. As I face darkness in my life, I can remember that changing directions can make all the difference.
I find great power when I recognize that CTW is overpowering my life, I stop, change directions and begin to CTR (Count the right.) – My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts pg. 102