You Reap What You Sow

Standard

There’s been a disturbing topic that has come up the last few weeks. I guess I have been numb to it until my eyes were forced open and I started to see the pattern all around me. I see it on social media and in the news and unfortunately it breathes its ugly life into families as well. People find fault with everything and everyone like they get paid for it. We are not put on this earth to fix people and especially not to determine who needs fixing. We are all sinners, a work in progress and we have enough work to do on our own selves before we even should have time to notice another persons flaws. None of us are worthy of that job and I do believe the generational seeds of criticism, blame and unworthiness have been planted so frequently that they are now growing out of control everywhere I look. The crops from those seeds are destroying relationships, our families, our countries. It is time to pray for crop failure that is tearing people apart and taking humanity out with it. Plant love and praise and watch how different your relationships begin to grow in a positive, healthy direction.

Today I say no more! Those seeds have no place in my home. I won’t receive them and I will resist them with every ounce of strength I have left. In this house we will find reasons to build one another up. We will speak positively toward one another and we will grow in the direction of love. Remember that you reap what you sow. Plant love and everyone wins. You want to see some change? Start here. Tell people what is RIGHT and GOOD about them and if you can’t see anything, the problem most likely lives inside of you. The time for change is right now.

Advertisements

Shutting Down Your Inner Critic

Standard

I love to evolve. Maybe even to the point that it’s painful. Seeing so many insults being flung among people lately, I have finally recognized how important it is to respond positively and respectfully. I’m not one to think before I speak. In fact, I am honest to the core and sometimes that can be extremely hurtful to anyone on the receiving end of my truth telling. But tonight, I have committed to a new gentleness in my speaking. I can choose to be critical or I can choose to be quiet. I can choose to make someone feel bad or I can say something that will make them smile. Don’t we all need to feel good these days? Don’t we want the people who make us feel special and tell us we do something right around us more than someone who always makes us feel like everything we do is wrong? Don’t we need to hear, of course you can rather than I don’t think you can? I did it tonight. I finally made the conscious choice to keep my criticism to myself. We need to give more compliments, more pats on the back and use more words to make someone smile. We can make little changes than can mean the world to the people we interact with. Let’s hope I can carry it through to day two. 

How To Tell If You Are Doing A Crappy Job As A Parent

Standard

First of all, if you are reading this, you must be questioning your own ability to parent. You are probably cringing, wondering to yourself, AM I a crappy parent? Read on to find out.

I’d like to start by reassuring you that I don’t think the majority of us are crappy parents. However, I do believe all parents act crappy from time to time.

Today was my daughters first swim meet of the season. I was sitting next to one of the moms I know, when her son walked up after finishing the 50 free. He asked her if she saw him swim and she nodded her head yes. What was your time, she asked? He responded 32 seconds. Her response actually made my heart hurt. He was excited about his time. In fact, for a first year swimmer he said he was proud of that time. What did mom say? That’s not a good time. It’s just not good enough.

There I was sinking lower in my chair. Was I that kind of parent ripping my child’s confidence away instead of building it up? Did my child’s success or failure depend on my expectation of her instead of what she was actually capable of? We all want our kid to win the race. When she comes in first place, we as a parent win because our child is better and faster and stronger than everyone else. The problem with that is there can only be one winner. We have to learn to be proud of our own child whether she comes in first or last. Imagine swimming a race with all you have only to step out of the pool and hear your own mother(who should be your biggest cheerleader) say “that was not good enough”. You are not good enough.

We’ve all done it to some extent or the other. The important point is to recognize it and stop that pattern right in its tracks. Are you perfect all the time? Are you the best at everything? Anything? Give your kid a break and make her feel good for having the dedication and commitment to step up and want to be in the race. Some kids don’t even make it that far. Do you like to be measured and compared to the people around you? He or she probably doesn’t either. 

I’ll Do Me And You Do You

Standard

I realized something very important yesterday. When you are honest about your life, your feelings, your flaws and your struggles, you are opening up a door that some will be all too willing to enter. You are taking an enormous risk that people will judge and belittle you because maybe you are experiencing something they cannot even fathom. You also allow someone to compare their life to yours and make you feel crappy about your own. So why do we do it? Why do I do it? I believe that writing has become an avenue of therapy and self discovery for me. It is an avenue that allows me to explore my own life, MY life which consists of so many thoughts, feelings, decisions, regrets and just about anything else you can think of. It’s about my perspective and lessons I have learned through the people in my life or my own experiences. I don’t have to explain that and I sure as heck will not apologize for it. It helps me figure things out and deal with some issues that I can only face once the words are written on a page. There is nothing more rewarding than a reader being deeply touched by something I write. When I can help someone else while I am helping myself, I consider that a wonderful gift. Sure, it might open my own life up to finger pointing and criticism but in the end, the positives far outweigh the negatives. People will always judge. They will continue to try and make you feel inferior and that’s okay. They may use that knowledge against you. I’ve never discovered a way to avoid that. Tell your truth anyway. Be who you are and tell it the way it is and never stop for a second to wonder what anyone else thinks. I’ve always used this line for as long as I can remember. “If you don’t give someone a reason to talk about you, they will look until they find one anyway.” Be you and do it proudly.

Which Way Will You Go?

Standard

I had a conversation with someone about judging. Why do we do it? Why is it so much easier to find fault with someone than it is to see the positive? What you focus on becomes becomes bigger and bigger. Your thoughts actually grow what your eyes will be allowed to see. Make your thoughts good ones. We are all human. We make choices but they are ours to make and at the end of the day it is us who must own them. Don’t assume you know what makes somebody tick. Until you live someone’s life or walk in their shoes, you cannot assume you know who they are. Focus on your own flaws and you won’t have as much time to notice others. You are a work in progress. Work on changing you and being the best possible version of yourself. Complaining about or judging others will not change a thing but it does engulf you with negativity. I don’t like to choke on that stuff. It makes me feel like I cannot breathe. Push it aside and look for the good. I promise you will feel so much better. So, are you with me? At least give it an honest try.

Pay attention to how many critical thoughts you have a day. Don’t judge them, just observe and acknowledge them. Ask yourself who these negative thoughts are about? What is the condition of your relationship with that person? If you are continually finding fault, would it even be possible to have positive feelings toward the person at all?

I’m not perfect but I am work in progress. Awareness is the first step. Change happens over time, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time. Every step in the right direction takes you to a better healthier place. Which direction are you walking? Thoughts become things. Choose good ones.

A Humbling Lesson About Humility

Standard

There are times when self discovery can influence us in such a way that the experience can absolutely transform the person who we are. It’s tough to change. It usually happens gradually over a long period of time and requires overcoming an enormous amount of resistance. But sometimes, the lesson is so eye opening that it brings about immediate change. I am hoping that is what comes from my lesson today.

I started my day in a yoga class with an instructor who prides herself on perfectionism. She is critical and really grows frustrated with anyone who has less than perfect form. She expects it from everyone in the room without taking into account how long someone has been doing yoga, individual physical strengths or limitations, and whether or not it’s even a goal of the student to have perfect form and alignment. She pushes her expectations on everyone and I have to admit, I dreaded every single minute of the hour and a half class. I don’t like her comments, I don’t like her attitude and I certainly do not walk out of class looking forward to going back. I decided today would be my last experience with her. Sometimes we think we have to challenge ourselves to prove something to someone. It’s just in our stubborn, competitive nature. But today, I realized people who are perfectionists are impossible to please. In their minds, there is only one person that can do something completely correct, and that is the perfectionist herself.

Unfortunately, this whole experience forced me to have one of those AHA moments and take a good, hard look at myself. I am a perfectionist too. If someone tries to do something for me, it is never good enough and often I will redo it because I will do it better. It’s disgusting, it’s shameful and it is going to change. It is hard having these traits, because as hard as you are on everyone else, you are that much harder on yourself. The truth though, is that it feels awful for the person on the receiving end. It is degrading and condescending and harmful to someone’s self esteem. Why on earth would we want to make someone else, or even ourselves so uncomfortable or fearful that what they do will never be good enough?

It’s easy to see something that absolutely disgusts us about someone else. The truth is, what disgusts us more than anything is seeing our own reflection in the very thing we despise. Some look the other way and pretend there is no connection. The brave look it right in the eyes and commit to change. I hope that change starts today. I would never, EVER intentionally want to make someone I know or love feel that bad. Hopefully I can say lesson learned. I was truly humbled today and grateful that I was able to make the connection. And, I am never going back to that class. I enjoy yoga. If I am proud of what I do and it is good enough for me, than someone else’s standards will never define my self worth.

20140522-115902.jpg

20140522-115914.jpg

20140522-115924.jpg