Looking for Ways to Know We Matter

Not just children, but most of us scramble for data to support or justify our existence.

Typical of L.R. Knost, the above quote hits the nail square on the head; our behaviors are reflecting the affirmation or lack of affirmation we seem to be receiving from our conscious or unconscious, “do-I-matter inquires.”

The only cure for the insecurity tied to these inquiries?

Be aware that every human is seeking the same answers and, then, pursue all available avenues to say “Yes!” to them…and to ourselves.

How to Look Past My Ego’s “Churched-up” Picture of Myself

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Most of us spend a lifetime trying to pretty-up or cover-up our own darkness, so an accurate picture is very difficult to access.

So how can I ever fully see my own darkness?

A good start is to turn around every criticism I have of someone else.

For example:

Whenever I hear myself say or think…

  • “He is so arrogant and selfish.”
  • “She is so self-centered.”
  • “I would never do something like that.”
  • etc.

First: I quit patting myself on the back for being the indisputable standard of perfect character.

Second: Honestly ask “How and when have I been arrogant, self-centered, or clueless?”

Third: Open up to the words of people who may feel the same about me.

Accepting this One Fact Makes Life More Bearable

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“We’re all crazy, just in different ways.” – Alex Michaelides in The Silent Patient

Aha! Someone else finally agreed with what I have always said; “We are all in various stages of mental illness.”

If you are reluctant to agree, just think back on your life ten years ago and honestly say you didn’t seem a little whacked in the head at the time.

I don’t know any honest person who won’t admit to multiple what-was-I-thinking, cringe-worthy episodes.

So…instead of being critical of another’s cray-cray, forgiving it as just another manifestation of that shared human malady will save tons of drama and self-righteous anger.

(Even though, admittedly, some can certainly be way more mental than others. 🙂

Call It What It Is

I have read two books recently that I should have read years ago. The content would have accelerated my growth through difficult circumstances.
But the reason I didn’t read them is pathetic; I was jealous of the authors.

I had convinced myself that one author was too young to be insightful and the other was not profound, just lucky.
Too often I have stymied my own growth by hanging on to a prejudice and refusing to learn from a perceived competitor.

So, I will now be suspicious of these behaviors:

1) Writing someone off before I know them
2) Protecting my own ego by condemning someone else’s

And…I will call it what it is: plain and simple jealousy, driven by insecurity and immaturity.

Original post: July, 2013

R U OK? Day

R U OK? is an Australian not-for-profit suicide-prevention organization founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009.

I love this a-conversation-could-change-a-life initiative as I love its US counterpart of Hi, How Are You? Day.

Today, in the States, Hi, How Are You? Day reminds us to show genuine concern for “how people really are.”

Because “How are you?” is too often a mere rhetorical question rather than an expression of a legitimate desire to know, being willing to ask the deeply sincere version and really listen (rather than talk) can be a life-saver for those who struggle with suicide ideation.

Not being too busy or too frightened to take such an initiative is the critical point.

I hope many will find “we are ear” for them today.

I See You

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“To love is to recognize yourself in another.” – Eckhart Tolle

The good and the bad

The unsavory elements of ourselves we have stuffed in the closet

Out of sight where we hope (with racing heart) no one will think to look

For what we have denied or blamed on others

 

The best love is an honest love

Full of responsibility for the mixed bag of who we are

Neither better nor worse than any other

“I Was Wrong”

Kelly Corrigan’s brutally honest book about twelve hard things to say includes great apology instructions.

Saying, “I was wrong” makes an “I’m sorry” so much more potent. “I’m sorry” gets thrown around so often that it tends to trigger cynicism.

“I was wrong” (combined with the specific error) brings relief to those who desperately need to know we get it.

It’s not easy to say. But, it is easier when we remember being wrong isn’t the same as being bad. We are learning. We are erring. We are sometimes blinded by our selfishness or our ego. We are human.

Let’s make June 2018 our best June ever…beginning with the apologies people long to hear.

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Putting Ourselves to Sleep?

“If the individual receives no satisfaction from his work for its own sake, he dies internally, a condition which no financial reward can justly compensate.” – Timothy Gallwey

This quote describes the inner struggle I experienced while working to support my family in the wrong job.

Sometimes, for a season, many of us are constrained to do so. In those cases, rather than die inside…

  1. Don’t give up hope. When things were the darkest for me, it was because I believed having a job that fully engaged my talents was out of reach. (It wasn’t.)

  2. Be completely present. For the sake of those we serve. “The anecdote for exhaustion is wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

  3. Challenge yourself. Character goals. Physical goals. Relationship goals. Efficiency goals. Success is sweet…no matter how small.

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This March…march into your best life.

Give Laughter. Give Thanks.

If we are truly grateful people, we will:

  • not have to convince people we are

  • leave off the “but” after the sentence, “I am grateful.”

  • feel joyful vs. bored when we “give thanks”

  • take our challenges less seriously

  • have more friends (because grateful people attract “grate” people)

  • give generously (because grateful people aren’t tight-asses 🙂

  • bring laughter wherever we go