The most beautiful and lasting euphoria I have ever experienced has come from almost embarrassingly small things: victories over my fears:
- a tandem bungee jump
- fighting an “attacker” in a self-defense class
- resisting temptation that had formerly controlled me
- having the courage to face rejection
- giving when I thought I had nothing to give
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” -Rikki Rogers
Life is often ironic. Be willing to give it all in order to receive. Be willing to die in order to live.
A woman I met this week on an airplane complained about everything the entire flight…loudly. Toward the end of the flight she asked me why I was going to Denver.
“To speak about being drama-free at a conference,” I answered, impaling her with my eyes.
“Good for you. So many people have a problem with that and those people have made my life miserable.”
Her oblivious response was not a surprise. Typically, those of us who cause the most drama denounce it the loudest. Mentioning it to her would have done no good. It took years and multiple messengers before I saw the drama in myself. And when I finally got it, I quit wasting the airspace with hate for anyone and anything that crossed me.
Here’s to a drama-free day!
When I look at people I know well, or at myself, I see a patchwork of weird, dark, light, smart, ridiculous, redemptive, ruined, interesting, disgusting, helpful, harmful, beautiful, and ugly. What keeps me sane and out of rage when the ugly, dark, ruined, disgusting, or harmful side shows is:
- remembering that not one of us escapes this irregularity
- focusing on the other side
- counting people as worthy of mercy
Some people say that we have “summoned” whatever has come into our lives. And that made me so angry.
But, while passing the last aid station in a half-marathon, a volunteer asked if I needed anything. Because of pain from Plantar Facsiitis, I answered, “A new foot.” Two weeks later I broke my left tibia and fibula at the ankle. When I saw my foot hanging loose, I thought of that comment. It was the foot that I had disowned.
As my “new foot” (with two plates and ten screws) was healing, I was cautious to treat both feet with utmost respect.
Whether I “summoned” the break or not, I definitely have new appreciation for every bit of my body that I have often taken for granted.
Appreciation summons abundance.
10. It makes you ugly
9. No one likes hanging around insecure people
8. It is the opposite of generous
7. Jealousy steals smiles and simple joys
6. Gains made by jealousy don’t last
5. People who are jealous trade confidence in their own worth for fear of another’s
4. Jealous people destroy their own lives from the inside out
3. Jealousy cannot protect love or belongings
2. History, court records, and police reports show that jealousy is a vile murderer
1. The happiest people are at peace with whatever happens
Want less jealousy?
Practice wishing good for others.
Want more for yourself?
Practice wishing good for others.
Even if you think they are the one who is not a good communicator.
I was always so quick to justify myself (and condemn others) that I missed my chances to adjust and grow. That translated into lost opportunities, broken relationships, hurt feelings, and unnecessary confusion.
- My friend told me I often hurt people’s feelings with my sarcasm. I said I was just being funny and quit hanging out with that friend.
- My boss asked me to quit talking so much and be more sensitive to people. I rolled my eyes. She fired me a few months later.
- My children said I didn’t listen well. I argued with them.
For too long, I ignored this freedom, this power, and this escape route. I chose instead to whimper about my plight. It would have helped me to remember this other Frankl quote:
Just because my life didn’t resemble the picture of “what I thought my life should or would be” didn’t mean something went wrong.
When I decided to take what came to me with hope instead of despair, I took back my life…and leveraged the burning for light.
Endocrinologist Deepak Chopra tells of University-of-Ohio-research conducted on the effects of high-cholesterol diets. One group of rabbits used in the study was surprisingly unaffected by the unhealthy diet. The only variable was the feeder’s tender love and care for the rabbits during the feedings.
Deepak’s point was that our health is more determined by our emotional state than by the quality of the food, supplements, or medications we ingest. Worry about anything (including our health) can override the best of diets, and a sense of well-being can overcome the worst.
Want more proof? Studies have also shown that top indicators for avoiding heart disease are…
- How happy we perceive ourselves to be, and
- How much we love our jobs
Just a reminder about what counts:
Health professionals tell us that when a baby cries, they are strengthening their lungs. I thought that was bull until recently.
Our three-legged dog, Coyote’s original owner came back from South Africa. I was so sad because his owner would have to crate him all day. He howled and cried so much that his bark was hoarse. But, prior to this, he had a hacking cough due to congestive heart problems. Now, his lungs are completely clear.
Often we waste our time on regrets, sadness, disappointments, and resentment.
The movie, Sliding Doors, is about barely, and sadly, missing out on something that radically changes a life. The movie shows the two paths that, ironically, (spoiler alert) end up in the same place.
The stories we tell ourselves aren’t always true.