From Horace to Dr. Oz, numerous medical and psychological studies have proven that a daily practice of quieting the mind and transcending day-to-day survival adds years (worth living) to our lives.
So, why do most of us try to live our lives without it?
- It’s much easier to focus on what is in front of us?
- What we do seems more important than what we are?
- We believe we are the general manager of the universe?
- We have forgotten the unfathomable mystery of our existence and how utterly dependent we are on the force behind that mystery?
The only way out of fear, confusion, anger, negativity, disappointment, exhaustion, and pain…is in.
Don’t wait until it’s over to discover there was no shortcut.
Resist the urge.
Resist the urge to spout blame, shame, accusations, and comparisons.
To do so is as common as oxygen but as toxic as cyanide.
Trying to balance the scale by bringing others down is often driven by guilt and always steals your gravitas.
Noble people know their own value and do not have to defend it.
It’s a magic vaccination; when I give the benefit of a doubt, when I refrain from accusations, when I invest my emotions in showing mercy instead of in judging others, gradually (and suddenly) the sting of criticism loses its power. I am able to say, “It’s okay. Forgive them for not understanding” to my own amazement!
How it works is a mystery
(But it just does)
Kindness somehow crawls into my soul
As malignancy had done before
But now it is love that calls the shots
And keeps the score
Let my mind
Immune system prepare for sweet relief
Of a quality it could never know before
(Original post October 2014)
Recently, I went out of my way to get dinner for a distressed elderly couple. When I checked on them later, they acted miffed, saying the food was overcooked and inedible.
Boy was I deflated! My attempts had made things worse instead of better.
Later, when I couldn’t shake my discouragement over the incident, I realized how much I tend to base my self-worth upon the wrong things.
It hurts to feel undervalued, rejected, invisible, misunderstood, or slighted. It will hurt much less if I validate myself by doing what my conscience tells me to do without expecting or needing that validation from someone else.
My pain didn’t subside until I changed my focus from what I do to who I am.
Are you hoping your audience will jump on the bashing band-wagon, or, are you hoping they will help you balance your turbulent thoughts and emotions?
Do you ultimately want the object of your gossip to be held in high regard, or, do you want the object of your gossip to fall in the “public opinion polls?”
Gossip is often a desperate attempt to feel good about ourselves.
Venting is often a necessary attempt to feel good about someone or something else.
Classy motives? Classy words.
Cheap motives? Cheap words.
(Originally posted Dec. 14, 2013)
Life changes for the better when we realize that we don’t have to know everything and we don’t have to pretend we do.
– Simon Sinek
Pretending, posturing, and posing extracts serious psychological and physiological energy from us.
What sweet release it is to be ourselves.
What sweet relief it brings to those around us who are also feeling like imposters.
Sometimes we do have to fake it until we make it to push ourselves out of a comfort zone. That is called courage and courage is essential.
But, refusing to be honest with ourselves and others about who we really are is called by other names, including arrogance, deceit, narcissism, manipulation, and immaturity. All of which are ticking time bombs.
We may not have a clue about how to keep someone or ourselves from suicide, but here is a starting place:
- Be aware of the sucking, black hole of depression
- Have compassion for those who fight against it
- Listen to those who need to talk
- Take time to initiate caring conversations
- Adopt a non-judgmental attitude toward ourselves and others who struggle
- Drop the clichés and quick-fix recommendations
Most damaging misconception: people who consider suicide are selfish.
Sometimes, when facing our own failure and helplessness, it seems as if taking our own life is the most loving thing we can do for the world.
Unrelenting pain drives people to the edge of reason.
Confessions of a Suicide Groupie
or, maybe a little better said…
Or, we can just complain about it and flaunt our mediocrity.
When we refuse to complain about the weather or something else we can’t change, we stop global boring with those who take what life gives and make it work!
This Will Durant quote feels like the theme of my life.
I often wonder…
- How much smarter I would have been had I owned my ignorance instead of trying to appear smarter than I was?
- How many more extraordinary relationships I would have had if I had been quick to learn from others instead of quick to dismiss them?
- How much more quickly I would have found solutions to my problems had I recognized my tendency to overestimate my expertise?
- How much kinder would I have been in my thoughts and words toward people with whom I didn’t agree or like?
It’s pretty easy to lie or pretend to be something we’re not when we think we will lose something we want. We have all done it and experienced the dis-ease this hiding causes:
- loss of self-respect
- loss of freedom to be ourselves
- loss of credibility with others
- energy drain
- fear of being discovered
- judgmental behaviors toward others (to camouflage our own shortcomings)
Secrets are the most commonly-used weapon of self-destruction and relationship obliteration.
Ironically, all the things that we thought we would lose by telling the truth we eventually lose by hiding.