Monday, April 16, 2012

Learn to Love What You Hate

I'd much rather be at my computer, composing something or reading something, than doing housework. I'd rather run errands, exercise or cook dinner than clean. I don't like housework.

I like a clean house; I just don't like the process that brings that result. Or do I?

No, I've never liked housework. It's tedious. It's boring. Not stimulating at all. I wish I liked it since it's so, well, daily.

A few weeks ago my son had an accident - he fell from a zip line. He stayed home 24/7 for nearly two weeks while recovering before going back to school. I still have to feed him every few hours as he is on a liquid diet (he had to have oral surgery).

As you might imagine, I had a lot of adrenalin flowing initially. As that drained it was followed by surges in whatever hormone gives a mother that strong desire to make sure her baby is safe and healing well. So I stayed home nearly 24/7 keeping busy around the house ... cooking soup for him, cleaning, fluffing his pillow, organizing, changing his sheets every two days, etc.

I wasn't on the computer much at all. I couldn't really escape into a screen or run any errands because I felt the need to be fully present in my home, for my son. And I wanted to make my home as conducive as possible to his recovery, and to my sanity.

Two weeks after immersing myself in housework with gusto daily, I decided that I don't mind housework as much as I thought I did. How can that be when I hate housework and always have?

Hold on and I'll answer that question.  But first, is there something you dislike that you really wish you loved?


Here are just a few things many of us avoid because we deem them unpleasant.

  • Eating Right
  • Living on a Budget
  • Disciplining our Children
  • Taking Risks/Trying Something New
  • Exercising
  • Honoring our Husband's Lead
  • Saving Money
  • Taming our Tongue
  • Cleaning our Home
  • Doing our Bills or Taxes
  • Staying Organized

Thing is, when we anticipate something will be unpleasant - boring, difficult or cause us some sort of pain -  we avoid it. We procrastinate. We make excuses. We spend energy dreading and avoiding it rather than doing it. In short, we hate it.

Here's what I want you to notice: Avoiding it and hating it is already causing you stress and pain!

Hating it is draining your energy and leaving it undone is costing you something. Pounds. Dollars. Peace of Mind. Influence. Happiness. Health. Something.

So you are creating unpleasantness for yourself, and possibly your family as well, by ignoring and avoiding something you know needs doing because you deem doing it unpleasant. 

I know, I've been there too. You are figuring the unpleasantness of dreading it or skipping doing it is less than the unpleasantness of doing it. But is that assumption accurate? And wouldn't you rather learn to love what you have to do but hate doing?


What can you do to help you learn to love, or at least like what it is that you hate?  That's what I'll be talking about in my next several posts. Today we'll start the process with some questions to consider.

I'm going to give you a set of four questions to ask yourself about that task that you hate. These questions come from the incredibly intelligent, mega successful and uber inspirational Dr. Ben Carson. (Read his biography here.)

Dr. Carson suggests we interview ourselves when deciding what we will do, using these questions:
  • What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?
  • What is the best thing that can happen if I don’t do it?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do it?

That is step number one to learning to like doing what you currently avoiding doing: analyze the reality of the consequences of doing it, and of not doing it.

Which outcome do you want? 

This ANALYSIS will help you deal in reality. It will help you see that in most cases procrastinating or ignoring is ultimately just as painful as doing the unpleasant task. And at times, more so. Plus we often procrastinate and dread it much longer than it would take us to just complete the task and feel pleased that it's done.

This will also help you begin to form the second thing you will need in order to learn to love what you hate. But that's the topic of my next post. So stay tuned. Meanwhile examine your possible outcomes and tell yourself or me - in writing - which outcome you truly want.

What is one thing you often avoid that you need to learn to love?

If you are serious about changing your attitude towards this, answer the four questions about that task in the comments below or in your journal.  And come back Wednesday for step two.


  1. Great post! And so timely...I get your words about hating housework!!! But just this past Saturday, I dove in and did some cleaning/organizing that I've avoided and literally caught myself thinking, "this isn't that bad!!" Seriously it surprised me, but when the day came to a close I felt good. And yes by dreading things before we even begin I make it so much worse!

    You know Rachel I came to your blog today because your question on FB last week about self-control keeps rolling around in my head. Discipline is my word for the year and I believe this ties right I'm lacking self-control (or not practicing it since it is a fruit of the spirit) when I'm not being disciplined which can happen when I'm tired, being lazy and/or selfish.

    Thanks for stirring up these thoughts...crazy how they tie right in with this post!

    Blessings to you, Jill

    1. Thanks, Jill. I totally agree with you, self-control plays a definite role here.

      Sounds like you and I are on the same wavelength right now!

      Smiles ~ Rachel

  2. Now that school is over; I actually have time to read AND comment on blogs :)

    I think overall health is a big one for me. I just don't like taking care of myself which I'm sure has a deeper psychological reason but I don't eat enough let alone eat right and I'm terrible with excercise even though I have the desire to do it. Throw in an infant and toddler and I have zero motivation for either (although I do fee my 2 year old healthy food and snacks).

    So thank you for putting it all in perspective. The best thing that could happen is I could be healthier with more strength and energy to have for my family; the worst is that I may put on a little weight by actually eating and I might be in physical pain for a bit as I start exercising.

    And I don't even want to think of the worst and best thing if I don't do it because in my opinion, both are bad!

    Love and blessings to you sister.

  3. You are so inspiring. I am so sorry about your son's accident and I will pray for his continued healing.

  4. Wow Rachel,

    This couldn't be more timely. But then again, God's timing is impeccable. I wandered over here after reading Lysa's prayer request. I basically spent my morning going through God's Word trying to set some goals for myself, including how to tackle and stay on top of my house work. Hate really is the only way to describe how I feel about it. To sum it up, there's a post going around on FB that basically says "I watch 'Hoarders' so I don't feel so bad about my mess." I will be watching for your posts in this series. I will also be praying for your son and a speedy recovery.


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