From the time we are born, our parents tell us how special we are. We throw tantrums until we get what we want and then we grow into adults. Somewhere along the way, we missed the part where the world doesn’t accommodate us anymore after a certain age. We cannot special order the world, people, our president, or an outcome the way we can special order eggs at a favorite, local restaurant. The truth is, we are all special in our way but not so special that what we want holds more value than what someone else may want. The world does not owe you or anyone else a single thing. As an adult, we must learn to adapt to whatever is and to find a way to survive in situations that make us uncomfortable. We don’t get a fuzzy blanket wrapped around us every time we are cold and a lollipop each time we bump an elbow on the same corner of the wall. We don’t have the right to make everyone else’s life miserable because things in our own life are in disarray. We have to leave the tantrums behind because the result of this ridiculous behavior is stealing any chance for peace for people just trying to make ends meet while wanting desperately to live a happy, decent life. Just my two cents. I know life is hard but all the lollipops have been handed out. You have to learn to do this without a reward.
Something happened Sunday evening that made me stop and really appreciate how fragile life really is. It was a difficult lesson but the amount of gratitude I feel reaches far beyond any words.
There is a farm in the back of our neighborhood. The boys who ride motorcycles often duck in the fence and ride the perimeter of the property to get over to another neighborhood. I’ve warned the boys time and time again. Trespassing is wrong and I will never argue the fact that breaking rules and laws are wrong every single time. Apparently the farmer had enough. He took barbed wire and hung it perpendicular to his property fence and attached the other end to a cedar tree. There was only one wire across neck height. The most dangerous part of all was he hung it in an area where the property takes a major dip downhill. The barbed wire was not visible to the human eye. I understand this man wants these kids off his property but the result of his choice to alleviate the problem almost killed my son. The barbed wire caught him between his chest and neck and pulled him backwards off his bike where he landed on the ground hitting his head extremely hard. I can’t help but struggle with the question, do two wrongs make a right? Is land really more important than a persons life? I am not at all condoning what the boys did but is what this man did acceptable? Couldn’t he have filed a complaint, called the police, tried to talk to the boys or parents? Here is the result. I am so grateful my son is still alive.
One week. 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes.
For weeks I have been sabotaging myself. The more I practice this devoted art of self hatred, the more addicting it becomes. Out of control seems to be the theme these last two months. Why do I do it?
Does it feel good?
Does it make me happy?
Do I want to continue this ridiculous pattern?
Do I really need to eat an entire bag of mini Cadbury eggs in one day?
Well yes, of course, so why do I keep buying bag after bag, week after week?
The answer is simple. There is some messed up part of me that feels the need to bring what I cannot control on the outside to the inside of me as well. It’s like I am a rebellious little girl that says, you think it’s out of control out there? Wait until you see how uncontrolled it can be in here.
It’s sad. It’s stupid and it doesn’t make a bit a sense. So, I am devoting this next week to counteracting every self loathing behavior with healthy behaviors that will actually make me feel, well, I’m guessing pretty darn good.
Will it be hard?
Will I try and talk myself out of it?
Can I do this for one whole week?
One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. Ready, set, go!
My challenge this week is, be the person you want to be.
Often times I lay in bed at night repeating some of the things I’ve done or said into the late hours of the night. They repeat over and over until I’ve beat myself up enough to finally fall asleep. I get stuck in these negative patterns that weave their way into who I am leaving me feeling discouraged and ashamed. I am not perfect. None of us are but the fact is, when you are doing something you know is wrong, you have to decide to make the change. Awareness is the red flashing light that screams “don’t allow yourself to go there again”. Habits are hard to break. They don’t happen over night and the more you fall victim to the act, the more it becomes embedded into who you are. That line between where the habit stops and where you begin blurs to the point you will never see again. So how do we stop doing something we are not proud of? How do we wake up and say, this is the day I take control over my life again? This is the day I be the person who will say, I got it right today and drift fast asleep when night quietly knocks on the door. The first time you do something you are not proud of is the day you should decide to never do it again. The more you repeat the behavior, the more you start to accept it. Expect more from yourself, never less. This is the day it stops, right here, right now. No more excuses. Be accountable for who you are and the effect you have on the people around you. Ask yourself, how do people to react to me? Is it them or could it really be me? It’s a tough question to ask but you cannot heal what you don’t acknowledge. It is time to heal.
Double standards make me crazy. How in the world is it possible to expect more from everyone else than we do ourselves?
I was in Target the other day walking out behind a young mother and her 2 year old son. She had just given him a lollipop and kept repeating over and over, “say thank you!” The boy continued to suck on his pop and and when he ignored her request, she smacked him pretty hard on the backside. So, you want your child to be courteous and polite yet when he doesn’t do what you want him to do, you spank him? Imagine what happens next time that child wants a drink and that mother doesn’t get it for him. Will he hit her the way she hit him? Who knows.
We have to model for our children who we want them to become. The hard part is not acting out of anger in a way we never want our kids to do. This just happened to me the other day. My son had a take home test in Spanish. All the kids had failed yet another test in another class and guess who was left to pick up the pieces? I lost it! I was horrible and I am still angry with myself and my choice of words. I wasn’t really angry at him but he took the brunt of it. I was angry that there was another class I now had to become the teacher for. I try to teach him to be understanding and patient and then he watches as I completely freak out on him because he cannot answer the questions on a silly exam. I can’t even imagine how that made him feel about himself. He is already struggling and I make him feel even more guilty than he already does.
It’s tough to be a decent human being through every thought and every mood. How we act when things are not going our way tells a great deal about us. It is in those difficult moments that we discover how human we really are. The fact is that there is no excuse for bad behavior. When you know right from wrong, it’s necessary to hold yourself to a higher standard. Treat people with compassion and respect. They are not your whipping board or a sponge to soak up your frustration. They are people with feelings too and they deserve your respect. I guess today I will try again and hope I do better than yesterday. Admitting a problem is the first step in fixing it. What are you willing to admit today?
Provoke: to cause a reaction, especially an angry one.
There’s always one. No matter what you do or how hard you try, just the mere sight of a particular person can make you go from a normal human being to a raging, angry maniac in 2.5 seconds. You can feel the heat rush to your face and you lose all control because they’ve learned to push your buttons with their calculating words. It happened today. That person barged into my life, put up his boxing gloves and said lets go one round. Maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way but that’s how it felt. I could feel my body tense up and my stomach start to turn and I made the choice to walk away. It’s only a fight if I choose to participate and today I chose to step out of the ring. Everyday I am learning that I have more power over my life that I ever imagined. I’ve learned the value of sitting one out and not always being the one who volunteers to take one for the team. I am making wiser choices and one day at a time, my wounded soul is learning to heal. Sometimes the best thing you can do in a fight is to just walk away from it.
Since the post from my friend at Dream Big, Dream Often earlier was about being honest and accountable, I guess it’s now my turn to come clean. Once a week, I do a post on one of my own self destructive behaviors. Self sabotage comes in many forms. Once I get a handle on one problem, I recreate another. It’s almost like I am addicted to having something to work on and fix. It’s been an amazingly stressful week. The good news though is I am handling it like a professional. No palpitations, no woe is me, no panic attacks. The bad news is, I am binging again. The more I try to stop, the more obsessed I become with eating. I guess it’s true that we replace one addiction with another. So which do I choose? My addiction to stress or my addiction to food? Either one will end up killing me eventually so maybe I should flip a coin.
Chase had a dentist appointment today and I drove through Taco Bell on the way back to school. I never eat Taco Bell and what do I do? Order him 2 tacos and me a chicken chalupa. I got home and immediately coordinated a search and rescue mission for any chocolate that might be hidden someplace in the house. That’s how it works. It’s a cycle, a chain of unfortunate events that goes around and around until I gain a ton of weight or gain control. I eat one bad thing that leads to another and another until I go to bed at night feeling bloated, sick and disgusted. Then I wake up and do it all again.
I am hoping putting it out there to the world will help me stay accountable. I actually looked up the calories in a chalupa and I haven’t blown anything today at all, at least not yet. So I’m going to do my best to stay within my caloric limit and crawl into bed feeling happy and proud. It takes a village to do many things. Encouraging and supporting people should be one of them. I really do want some chocolate though. Thank goodness I didn’t find any.
I can’t believe I blinked and it is already Friday. What have you accomplished this week? Did you have a goal or did you let life pull you behind on a leash with no purpose of your own? That happens sometimes. We get lost in the hours that blur into days and sometimes weeks. We allow ourselves to feel drained in the never ending game of catching up or fighting to stay ahead. Ahead of what? What exactly are we trying to keep up with? The world has plans for us. Bosses have expectations, family has expectations, school has expectations and somewhere in the huddle we lose sight of what is important to each and every one of us. When we walk around living our lives the way everyone expects us to, we forget what it truly is that makes us feel alive.
This weekend, ask yourself “What is something that will make me happy today?” AND GO OUT AND DO IT! Stop putting everyone and everything ahead of your own happiness. Put on your own oxygen mask first and when you start to breathe a little easier, then go out and save the world.
I was watching a high speed chase on the news today. Why do we do that? Why do we run away and keep on running even when we know eventually the consequences will catch up to us? We avoid doing the work, we avoid eating healthy, we avoid paying bills that have piled up but eventually we run out of room to run. There comes that time when we have to stand face to face with the very thing we have tried to avoid. Why not waste less time and get it over with right away? We can only run so long before we run out of speed and then whatever we were running from will plow us over leaving us exhausted and defeated AND we still have to face it anyway! Stop running. Stop avoiding. Get it done.
Today, Danny from http://dreambigdreamoften.co/ reblogged a post I wrote awhile ago titled, Can You Name Your Self-Destructive Behaviors? I am grateful for two specific reasons. One because it is getting a great response and the other for holding me accountable to talk about a different self destructive behavior a week. I believe it takes a good, honest look at yourself to bring about any amount of change. If you are not being honest with yourself and you allow the little excuses to distract you from the truth, the image you see of yourself will be only an illusion instead of a clear, honest reflection of who you are. The truth can really sting sometimes and I believe that is why we try and avoid it.
That brings me to behavior #2. I speak when I am angry. I say things that are hurtful and hateful or I say something in such a brutally honest way that I will never get the support I need from the person I am speaking to. It’s been a slow process but slowly, one day at a time, one year at a time, I am learning to pause. Sometimes I fail but I’m getting much better at strategically putting my words in order before spitting them out of my mouth. My words, your words, they define who we are. They leave people with a lasting impression of who our words imply we are. Is it a true reflection? Of course not. There are many who make a career out of manipulating with words. I do believe if you can be honestly raw and speak from your heart, your true intentions cannot be ignored. So, this week, I will work on keeping hurtful things to myself and using more tact when it comes to my conversations. It is a curse and a blessing to be honest and blunt but it is our responsibility to show others respect and sensitivity when we speak.
Your turn? What is one of your self- destructive behaviors?