A most noticeable recent improvement in my life has been finding a faster way to recover from disappointment and discouragement, which was simply to
Prior to this change, I would not only focus my attention on a disturbing or discouraging channel, I would also rewind, review, and loop all the painful scenes, showing them over and over to anyone who happened to walk by.
(Just for clarity, I am not talking about denial here. Only focus.)
Those who inspire us: athletes, brave heroes, skilled artisans in all crafts, and insightful leaders all know this one truth; inch by inch, refusing to give up against the odds makes all the difference.
Especially on the days when there is no light or relief in sight.
While there is breath, there is hope.
When I don’t give up, I win.
Quit telling yourself you are weak and tired.
Understanding that your brain and body take instructions from your words and thoughts should inspire a re-write of a new and improved instruction manual:
A manual that gives you a different focus; a manual that says…
“You are more powerful than you ever dreamed.”
“Angels are standing by. Ask for help.”
“Just take one step. The Universe will meet you there.”
Be consumed with hope.
When and why others dis my opinions:
- My opinions are always “junk mail” until they are requested.
- No one really listens to my advice until they feel seen and heard (telling them I see and hear them doesn’t count).
- I might think I understand another person’s issues, but what they want is for me to listen longer (no matter how profound I think I am).
- Others can predict the content of my “lectures”( and translate them to “Blah blah blah”).
- Defending my opinions and protecting my ego appear to be my main objectives.
We are destined to lose many things…just don’t lose the present.-William Ury
I hold this moment in my hand
As a promise
To be wholly present now
For the consummation of our union
A union from which
Its brave and wise offspring will
By their birth
Prevent the frivolous trade of similar moments
For something elusive and shiny in the next
Behind door number two
When I feel…
- less than others
- out of my league, or
- judged for what I have or don’t have
It helps to remember that my best currency is love; that love has the highest exchange rate everywhere, even in the most materialistic environments.
There is a deep hunger for authenticity and genuine caring. When we see it in someone, we are enriched by them.
Focusing on the love I have to give rather than the things I may not have, gives me immediate freedom from social anxiety.
- Minor and Uncomfortable Health Challenges
- Bad Hair
- Puffy Eyes
- Weight Issues
- Failure to Keep up with Others
- Communication Glitches
- Technology Trouble
It’s been one of those
Some days, some weeks, some months leave us feeling as if everything is conspiring to humiliate or highlight our weaknesses.
The wisdom of Mother Teresa’s quote helps me in those times:
Also, remembering that to learn humility when the “stakes are low,” rather than when the “stakes are high” is a great privilege.
Example of low stakes?
- Feeling Inferior
- Disappointing Myself
- Wounded Pride
- Loss of Money or Recognition
Example of high stakes?
- Someone Dies
- Serious Injury to Myself or Others
- Terminal Disease
- Natural Disaster
I’ll happily learn the lessons in “low stakes” training!
If our employees are not rolling their eyes when we pontificate about our success, it is probably because they don’t want to lose their jobs.
If our friends are not rolling their eyes when we pontificate about our opinions, it is probably because they don’t want to hurt our feelings.
If our kids, siblings, and romantic partners are not rolling their eyes when we pontificate about what they should do, it is probably because they have tuned us out.
Never too late to learn…
Questions work better than sermons, dialog better than nagging, and giving another the chance to show what they know, better than telling what we know…even when what we know comes from hard knocks and a place of certainty.
When I feel like giving up, it helps me to think of brave people who have showed enough courage to persevere through much worse difficulties.
When you can’t do it for yourself
Do it for those who never had a chance
Who died before their time
For those who had to push through the pain
Or trudge through battle fields, cold, and rain
For those who kept going when there was no light
Who kept fighting
After they had lost the fight
Do it for them, if you can’t do it for you
Be the ball, take the shot, cop the attitude
You’ve always had enough to master today
Now go and give it away
Whatever it is
You got this.
(Poem originally posted April 2017)
A quick scan of my past people experiences reveals a mess of mostly faulty reasoning, misplaced blame, misguided actions, and blundered repairs.
Welcome to the human race, right?
My “DIY Relationship Fixing 2.0” includes some important adjustments:
#1: Quit talking. Start listening. No buts.
#2: Focus on fixing myself. Not them.
#3: Start with their story. Not mine.
#4: Always get in the right frame of mind by looking at everyone with the eyes of an admirer.
(If it is a child or sibling, focus on a delightful memory of their childhood. If it is a rival, think of them as they were when a tiny, helpless newborn. If it is a boss or politician, see them as a fallible human similar to myself; just learning as we go.)