Monthly Archives: October 2011

Easier in the Long Run

It may be a difficult challenge to find a way to let go of your anxieties. Yet it is far easier than allowing those anxieties to continue poisoning your spirit as they multiply upon themselves.

You may have trouble letting go of your need to continually judge others. Doing so however, will be easier than having to deal with the growing burdens that those judgments impose upon your own life.

It can certainly be difficult to tune out all of life’s distractions in order to focus your energy on what truly matters. Yet it is much easier than living with the emptiness of a life without direction.

What may not initially seem the easiest path can often turn out to be so. The sooner and more sincerely your deal with life’s challenges, the easier you make things for yourself in the long run.

There is always a temptation to take the easiest way out at the moment. By not giving in to that temptation, you set yourself up to enjoy an easier, more fulfilling way forward as time goes on.

Look down the road and make your choices based on what is best in terms of the big picture of your life. By so doing, you can build a life that continues to get better.

-Ralph Marston

Vulnerability

The following comes from one of my favorite authors, Melody Beattie. She writes like I think, so almost everything she writes resonates with me.

I’ve learned that the more vulnerable I allow myself to be, the more in control of myself I really am. -Anonymous

Many of us feel that we can only show our strong, confident side. We believe the face we have to show to the world should ALWAYS be one of politeness, perfection, calm, strength, and control.

While it is certainly good and often appropriate to be in control, calm, and strong, there is another side to all of us — that part of us that feels needy, becomes frightened, has doubts, and gets angry. That part of us that needs care, love, and reassurance that things will be okay. Expressing these needs makes us vulnerable and less than perfect, but this side needs our acceptance too.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable will help us build lasting relationships. Sharing our vulnerabilities helps us feel close to people and helps others feel close to us. It helps us grow in self-love and self-acceptance. It helps us become healing agents. It allows us to become whole and accessible to others.

Today, I will allow myself to be vulnerable with others when it’s safe and appropriate to do so.

Children are Paparazzi

“Children are paparazzi. They take your picture mentally when you don’t want them to, when you don’t look good, and show it back to you in their behavior.”

Recently our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter has begun to really communicate with us, rather than just repeat what she hears. There have been several phrases that have come out of her mouth, that we’ve wondered where she ever heard that!

But the other day, as I was working in the kitchen I heard her sweetly telling her dolls (repeatedly), “I’ll be there in a minute.” I KNEW where she’d heard that one!

Since she’s come to live with us, my husband and I have both been a bit overwhelmed at times, just trying to stay on top of every-day chores and activities that have to be done.

But when I heard her say that to her dolls, I knew she was showing me what I had been doing to her. I realized that when we’re doing something that is important to me, I repeatedly tell her, “we’re in a hurry” or “we don’t have time to play on the stairs right now.” But when I’m busy and something else is important to her, it can wait. My priorities get screwed up sometimes.

We all know we have nothing but this moment. I’ve told many clients that I realized a few years ago that when we get to wherever we go from this life, they will not be waiting for me at the gate with a clipboard holding a list of all the daily tasks I didn’t accomplish.

And I won’t feel sorry for those uncompleted tasks. What I will regret is the time I could have spent enjoying my family and friends, or giving time and energy to a cause I believe in deeply.

That doesn’t mean that every time my granddaughter asks for my time, I need to jump. We need to keep a balance of giving her loving attention and allowing her to fend for herself at times. I don’t want her to grow up believing the world revolves around her. But I do want her to grow up knowing I respect her feelings and values, and that she is important enough for me to slow down and be with her.

Formula for a Happy Life

I heard this on Wayne Dyer’s podcast recently. He told a story about the poet, Mary Oliver, who was asked the question: What is the formula for a happy life? Her answer is below:

Three things: 1) Pay attention. 2) Be astonished. 3) Tell other people.

It’s very simple, but it’s so true. This is a topic that comes up in sessions often. People seem to think they’re supposed to be happy all the time, and if they’re not, they think something is wrong with them.

Life is supposed to be like a roller coaster. If we didn’t have the low, slow places, we wouldn’t enjoy the excitement we feel when we’re at the high ones. We wouldn’t know anything felt different.

So instead of focusing on what isn’t happening or what we don’t want in our lives, we need to be amazed at what IS right in front of us. We get so hung up on the way we think things should go, or on what seems important to us (like making lots of money, or becoming successful in our careers). Not all of us get to have these things, and I believe that’s one of our lessons. Maybe we are defining things differently that it’s supposed to work in our lives.

If we can see that there are many things that can be important and many ways to look at the purpose of something in our lives, then we can be so grateful that we were given an opportunity that we might otherwise completely overlook.

And when that gratitude swells up, we can’t help but want to share it. The more we share the positive things that happen to us, the more positive things will happen to us.

Dealing with Pain

Emotional pain is not unlike physical injuries. If you cut your hand, you typically make sure it’s clean, put something on it to help fight bacteria and bandage it to keep out dirt. As long as you do this immediately, it’s more likely to heal quickly and not hurt as much. If you don’t tend to it right away, it is possible that the wound will get infected and/or hurt much worse before it gets better.

When you have an emotional trauma or injury, you need to do the same thing. How do you treat it early? By facing the situation head-on (acknowledge it, accept it and feel it), rather than ignoring it or hiding it. None of us want to feel bad, but avoiding it is the same as exposing it to ugly bacteria. It will fester and grow, and become more painful.

All of us have pain from time to time. During periods when we aren’t in pain, we can spend time being grateful. That’s the best way to nurture ourselves. But when the pain comes, the best way to take care of yourself is to deal with the pain as soon as you can.