I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Something’s been missing and I’ve lost a few steps when it comes to having any enthusiasm. I realize I gave up the best parts of myself when I stopped blogging and going to yoga. Those were 2 things that kept me balanced and the scales are so tipped the wrong way, I pray I have the strength to tip them back the right way. Ebb and flow is a real thing and with that knowledge I find comfort in the fact that this phase too shall pass. If you feel lost, do what makes you feel found. Set your soul back on fire and get some zip back in your step. You are in control. Sometimes you just forget.
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.
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. ~~Andrew Boyd
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I had lunch with a friend today who shared a brilliant thought with me. I wanted to share it because I know I am going to apply it to my own life.
Every interaction is like a knock on the door. We are open and kind and we answer the door. Someone is there on the other side holding out a present. There are two kinds of packages. The first package is beautiful. It is wrapped in gorgeous paper and covered with a shiny gold bow. The second package was picked up out of the garbage can. It is covered in junk and growing mold. Other garbage has started to cling to it. It is in that moment we have to make a choice. We hold the power to accept the package or turn it away and shut the door.
This is how one very smart mother taught her kids to deal with people who say and do kind things vs. kids who do and say mean and hurtful things. When her daughter comes home and talks about someone who has hurt her feelings, the mother asks, why would you accept such a horrible package? Hand it back and close your door. It’s so simple and so genius at the same time.
I have always told myself that words are just words. Only I get to decide what meaning to give them. If someone says something unkind about me and it is untrue, why would I get my feelings hurt because the words hold no value. They simply aren’t true. But to be able to visualize kindness or unkindness in the form of a package and to feel the freedom in my choice to accept or decline, places the power right back into my own two hands.
Next time someone gives you a compliment, grab that shiny package and feel good. Next time someone holds out a rotten package, hand it back and close the door. Don’t forget to lock it before turn and you walk away.
It amazes me how different we really are. One thing I’ve always been intrigued about is what determines our mindset. We can face the same exact situation and interpret it entirely different ways. What’s even crazier is how differently we react to the same situation.
For the life of me, I have tried my very best to understand why and how some people feel the need to punish people who displease them. What is the determining factor that allows someone to forgive and forget or maybe shake something off and the people who just cannot let things go. This eye for an eye mentality can really damage relationships, especially if the person who needs vengeance has a warped interpretation of reality in the first place. Generally, I have noticed that this group often feels victimized. Instead of seeing how aggressive they are, they are blinded to their own actions and become super focused on examining and interpreting the actions of others. It seems that obsession, apprehension and expectation that someone will wrong them becomes something they become addicted to. They like being the victim and they don’t even realize it. They actually convince themselves that they are the ones being mistreated and they don’t deserve it, because after all they do so much for the people in their lives. Only they don’t admit that what they do comes attached with strings and expectations and the right to punish anyone who lacks appreciation for all they do.
It’s a mystery to me and it certainly isn’t healthy for anyone involved. I say it’s best to avoid these people as much as possible and try to be as pleasant and cordial as you possibly can. No one wants to cross someone who is vindictive and no one needs to be the whipping board for someone who really thrives on being angry. Anger gives them power, the power to feel sorry for themselves and punish the people who try and love them but will never live up to their ridiculous standards. It’s everyone else all the time and never the person with the anger issues. Just ask one of them and I’m sure they will tell you that very thing.
We may never understand what makes another person tick. We do, though, have to learn to get along with all types of people no matter how easy going or difficult they are. That’s just the way life is.
“We are more powerful in our letting go than our holding on”
Someone spoke these words today and I was moved by them. I felt compelled to share them and pass them on. What do they mean to you? I’d love to hear about it. When have these words made sense in your own life?
Recently I watched a video on a fellow bloggers site. It was a video of a handful of women who didn’t feel very good or confident about themselves. They were offered a beauty patch that they would wear for a week and report by video journal any changes they noticed taking place. The results were amazing! At first, the girls didn’t notice any difference, but by the end of the week the changes in their self confidence were unexplainable. The way they saw themselves was completely transformed into something positive and beautiful. They were completely amazed to find out the patches contained dove soap. That was all.
The bottom line here is that the mind is a powerful tool. However, if used against us it can be a debilitating weapon that holds us prisoner by its own negative thoughts. The amazing part? All it takes is a few powerful suggestions to manipulate it to see ourselves and life an entirely new and positive way.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. We too have the power to build others up. Our words and our actions and years of negative interactions can destroy the very people we claim to love. On the other hand, all it takes is a little verbal coaching and kindness on our part to completely change the life of another. I am doing this little experiment now myself and I am excited to post what I have discovered on my journey when I am finally done. However, I don’t really think I will ever be done. What I discovered is that when my words are the reason for a smile on someone else’s face, I smile too. I feel good knowing I did something effortless and simple to build someone else up and make them feel better about themselves.
There is no greater gift you can give than kindness and unconditional love. Love is not saying I only want to be around you when you act the way I want you to act and speak in a way I want you to speak. To have a relationship like that, you would have to write a book and fabricate the characters from your own pen where you create every action by each character and plan every word of every conversation. Give people a break and stop expecting people to act as you wish. That sounds more like bullying to me. And, if your one who threatens others that you will end the relationship because it is not 100% the way you want it, maybe you would be better off on a little island completely alone. I am not talking about tolerating abusive or harmful actions, I am talking about repeated confrontations with everyone you come in contact with. Have you asked yourself if maybe you are the problem? Maybe you should. How do others react to you? Are they happy, angry, frustrated? It’s worth it to take an honest look.
Remember the power you hold to change someone’s life. The question I have for you is this, will you change it for the better or will you make it worse?