Today, I listened to colleagues tell tragic story after tragic story from their emergency room experiences. Most of the stories involved self-inflicted injuries. As I listened to the sheer insanity of it all, I thought of how powerful our mind is to confuse and mislead. I thought of the dark times that I had experienced and the thought patterns that took me there.
What a powerful reminder to choose with reverence the thoughts and words that will lodge into my subconscious, so to lead myself into harmony and not into confusion, boredom, despair, or discord.
When Einstein was trudging through his work on relativity, he said he would have to stop and play his violin until he could reconnect to what he called the “harmony of the spheres.”
There is nothing more important that we can do for ourselves.
It only took a lifetime to…
- forgive myself (and others) for being human
- learn the value of me
- quit comparing
- notice the teaming life around me
- smile (instead of sneer) at my uniqueness
- delight in the Universe
- laugh at being a (valuable and unlikely) speck on a speck
- remember how to get the most out of life by playing
Although, I ignored my “Control Center Alert” instructions for years, due to time spent in deep, dark pits, I now pay attention.
IN CASE OF:
“…think about these things…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy…”
Dwelling on what is scary, dreary, horrid, painful, wrong, and depressing never worked.
Even though it seemed counter-intuitive and too simple, soaking my brain in beauty did. I now use books and the internet to refuel on success stories, overcoming obstacles, recovery-after-tragedy, unexpected-redemption-in-dark-places, love, loyalty, art, nature, animals, and role-models. The change I feel inside is immediate.
Pain to progress. Darkness to light.
Reading Julie Lythcott-Haims memoir, Real American has skillfully prodded me toward important awareness of:
- my inadequacy to see the world from others’ points of view
- how many moments I have wasted in self-absorption instead of seeing others and their obstacles
- how long it takes in a lifetime to really understand that compassion toward others is everything
- the importance and long-term impact of all people (especially people we discount)
- the terrible pain people of color have endured due to the callousness and ignorance of others
People often tell me they are good observers of people while they make uncomplimentary comments about random passersby and complete strangers. Here’s what I think when I hear their self-assessment:
uncomplimentary elements can be noticed by anyone
brilliant elements will only be noticed by exceptional people
When we make the effort to focus on the brilliance all around us, light will begin to bubble up within, reducing the urge to draw attention to the defects in others and increasing the urge to highlight the beautiful wherever we are.
Want more light this holiday season? Find it in others.
Quit wasting our time on them.
Quit wasting our energy with them.
Invest that time and energy in the things we can control.
(“Never lie in bed at night asking yourself questions you can’t answer.” – Charles M. Schulz)
Move on to things we can.
Turn off the neurotic machine.
Snoopy creator, Charles Schultz practiced what he preached, funneling his personal angst into his humor. And, when he lightened-up, he helped countless others lighten-up.
(originally posted January 2015)
I used to dread attending a party at some perfect home of some perfect hostess with a perfect manicure until I realized there would always be an imperfect person present who would need an imperfect friend to help them feel less anxious about their far-from perfect life. Then I could attend without worrying about my unpainted nails. I could go and not think about how I looked…rather, about how I would see.
Stuff is stuff. Yet, it seems that, deep down, people are always looking for a genuine that goes far deeper than Dior, décor, or crystal decanters.
I can go there.
I’ve learned to go there with pleasure.