Some days I am unsure about everything.
Should I work toward a goal or let it go?
Should I feel good about myself or bad about myself?
Should I be kind to someone or let them have it?
Should I care?
On those days (lately) what works:
- Talk it out with a trusted friend who will listen until you ask for their advice.
- Don’t argue with the help they offer. Listen. Appreciate.
- Have confidence that clarity will come when I need it.
- Be kind while I wait.
Yesterday a book came in the mail that I had ordered several weeks ago. It was exactly what I needed to read. (Anything You Want, Derek Sivers)
The ambivalence brought important questions to the surface.
Ambivalence didn’t kill me.
Tim Ferriss wrote his latest book, Tribe of Mentors, because he was overwhelmed with anxiety over a growing list of unanswered questions concerning his own life and productivity. To get clarity he went to his tried and true question, What would this look like if it were easy? which ultimately yielded this reply: What if I assembled a tribe of mentors to help me?
Now, he has not only achieved personal clarity, but helped me and countless others along the way.
So often, our questions (as our prayers) tend to be ineffective due to an unhealthy inward focus on what is not working. When we get the question right, mentors, angels, and answers are free to appear.
(If you haven’t yet read the book, do so, and prepare for inspiration…and answers.)
Sometimes I don’t know what to do.
Sometimes what I do instinctively does more harm than good.
What I have learned, though, is this: when in doubt, kindness is usually the best choice.
In the end, nothing else matters more.
Pretending to be something I am not might give me temporary power or prestige. But, continuing to pretend will tear up my moral fiber and my digestive track. Both will effect my longevity and my quality of life. That discomfort motivates me to be real, genuine, transparent, and humble.
Being around someone who isn’t posing, but finds their significance from within rather than from without, is so refreshing! When I have the rare privilege of meeting someone like that, I am energized, the air is charged, and the whole world feels like home. That comfort motivates me to be real, genuine, transparent, and humble.
…which saves me lots of time and mental energy.
Win for me-Win for people who have to live around me-Win for people who may need me in the future
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. – Malcolm Muggeridge
Or, we can continue to argue with reality, curse our luck, or squawk about injustice.
The next time I am complaining about poor phone reception, I’ll let it remind me to tune up my own message receptors.
I didn’t know I could paint until I was forty-seven. I didn’t even know I wanted to paint before “the ache” started. One day I felt this sucking feeling in my chest, and then my fingers literally started to ache as if something wanted to come out. Instead of running to the refrigerator, I ran to the craft store and the clerk helped me purchase something on which to paint. With random, leftover house paint, I coaxed my pain out, unto my first canvas.
It’s the same with writing. I get the same sucking, restless feeling in my chest. I now know that to ease the restlessness, I must create something. Before I thought it was just loneliness or sadness and tried to feed it or ignore it.
It only wanted out.
- The infinite number of living creatures sharing the space with us
- The complexity of the integration of every living thing (that has lived and will live) with our own existence
- The “why” of our own specialization and specifications
- How we are perceived by others
- The difference we are making in the world
With that acknowledgement, beauty and peace are finally accessible.
courtesy of geekdad.com
Life is much easier when I make peace with these truths:
- My opinions are “junk mail” until they are requested
- No one listens to my advice until they feel as if I really “see” them (telling them I do doesn’t count)
- I might think I understand another person’s issues, but it is much safer to listen longer (no matter how profound I think I am)
- People who know me can predict the content of my “lectures”( and translate them to “Blah blah blah”)
- Appreciating someone and showing that appreciation by stopping for them (and keeping my ego out of it) trumps everything
Possible reasons for the malfunction:
- I did it so I would look good
- I did it because I felt guilty
- I was arrogant or condescending
- I was feeding my ego and patting myself on the back
- I complained about it the entire time
- I did it expecting something in return
- My motive was misunderstood
Simple, no-strings attached love for the recipient of our service will correct each of these issues. Unadulterated generosity needs no defense or assistance.
Experience the joy.
Photo courtesy of kootation.com
For many years I thought I was in jail, feeling trapped by circumstances beyond my control. Little did I know that I had a pass in my pocket.
My soul had been seeping out in unhealthy ways…anger with my children, poor choices, blaming others, boredom in my work…but I trudged on, mistakenly thinking I was doing the “right thing” by bucking up. Everyone who knew me heard my complaints about my circumstances. I now realize I did no favors by playing the martyr.
It is always the most loving choice to do what we were born to do. If there is a pain in your chest, don’t ignore it.
“What a person can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.” – Abraham Maslow