The Power Within

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I’ve come to realize there will be all kinds of challenges in life. Some will come in the form of people. There will be disappointments and situations we have no power to change. We are there, baking in the hot sun, stranded in the middle of a great big ocean on a small paddle boat with no oars. What we do in that moment, how we react, says so much about who we really are. We discover so much about ourselves when we are put to the test to make the choice to sink or swim. Do we give up? Do we just accept that this is our fate? Do we try and swim to shore even when the chance to reach it seems impossible?

What is it that keeps us going? How do we find the inspiration to walk that extra mile when we feel like we have been cut off at the knees? Acknowledging and embracing powerlessness is a difficult thing to handle but in that place we find a secret power we never knew we had. We are the power. With the help of our mind and choosing a new perspective on what seems an impossible sitiuation, we find power where there once seemed none. And then we see it, the shore is right there in front of is, one more stroke away. It was a difficult journey, but when we look over our shoulder, the view is beautiful.

Build A Wall

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How do you keep problems outside of your relationship from leaking in? Relationships are hard. They require commitment, patience, forgiveness and unconditional acceptance. If every couple lived on their own little island and in their own little world, you can bet those relationships would be very different than the ones in the real world. You have two people bringing all kinds of baggage to the table and slowly over the years, they feel safe enough to unpack. Add bills and kids and work, depression, frustration, you name it and the relationship gets buried underneath it all. Two wonderful people get trapped there suffocating in those little things that overnight seem to have gotten overwhelmingly big. It’s easy to stop seeing each other as human beings, man and woman and lose sight of the reasons you married each other all those years ago. When you were dating, your conversations were not consumed by problems and frustrations but rather focused on getting to know each other better. I know there is so much I don’t know about my own husband and plenty he doesn’t know about me. Somewhere along this journey we stopped talking about our dreams and became panicked about our reality. There are so many stressors constantly pulling both in so many directions and it’s hard to not lose each other along the way. It’s easier to act aggressively than it is to ask for love. It’s easier to stay angry then it is to let go of what is bothering you most. It’s easy to take your frustrations out on the closest person around and unfortunately, it is usually your spouse. So how do you push it all away and lock it outside?How do you prevent all those worries and all the stress from coming in between a bond that took you many, long years to build? There is no pill for that. No quick fix to magically melt the burdens of living away. It comes down to being accountable for your part in the relationship and making choices that will enhance the relationship and not tear it down. 

I challenge you and myself to build a wall around your marriage for one week and not let the problems of the world seep in. Do you think it’s possible? Are you willing to try?

Lost In Emotions

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One thing I’ve learned about dealing with teens that can also be applied to adults is this. Once you lose your cool, as soon as you raise your voice or use an angry tone, it is game over. You have handed over your opportunity to make a point. You have now become an enemy and someone the other person only sees as mean instead of hearing the message that was intended to be spoken. Sometimes that’s what I believe people want. Being mean gives my kids an excuse to retreat to their rooms instead of staying downstairs and cleaning up their own mess or being responsible for what is expected of them to do. I see it so clearly when there is an exchange between my husband and my kids and how this allows a point on the teens score card and zero on dads. It’s not so easy however, when I am the one that completely loses my cool. I guess I have to work on that a little more. Remember, if you want someone to listen, you have to say it in a way they are willing to hear. When you yell or berate, the person you are speaking to will stop listening and you will look like the bad guy while they escape the lesson. That is lose lose for everyone involved. Stay calm and speak in a nice voice.

Are You A Hypocrite

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Since I’ve been writing about teachable moments lately, today I learned an important lesson myself. I was talking to a friend with boys about teenage girls and how different it is raising one of each. We laughed about injuries and broken bones when it comes to boys but agreed raising a teenage girl requires a great deal of patience, a sense of humor and then even more patience. It’s so hard to keep up with the moods and the eye rolling. Sometimes it’s a contest between the two of us. Seriously, how old and I 16?  I was telling her how girls can twist their face and do something weird with their eyes until they look like a psychotic, angry monster and what do I do back? Shamefully, the same exact thing. I do the very thing I tell my kids they SHOULDN’T  do. I am failing my own lessons. 

It occurred to me that my behavior is often a reaction to someone’s behavior toward me. If someone nasty to me, shamefully I am nasty back. If someone is usually friendly to me, I’ll make an effort to be friendly too. I don’t always have that block response alarm in my brain that yells Kim, DON’T DO IT, STOP! Sometimes my body language and mouth react so quickly that I don’t even realize what I did until it’s done. I really have to work on keeping my cool and reminding myself to make a solid effort to speak to people the way I want to be spoken to regardless how they speak to me. I need to treat everyone with kindness and respect and stop using my reactions to compete with or punish anyone else. In the long run, the only one really punished is me. No more excuses. No more allowing my ego to pilot my plane. I am in control of everything I say and do and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Today, I have to choose love. I have to do better. My kids are watching.

Straight from vocabulary.com

A hypocrite preaches one thing, and does another.