I’m sorry as I even think about the words it will take to write this post. I’d like to think that words matter. I’d like to think that maybe words can make a person consider the way he or she is living the precious life they’ve been given to get this short time here on earth right. We are meant to love one another. Is it possible for a heart to have the desire to fight and the desire to love at the same time? I watch countless people I know and love fight about politics. I sit back and see them engage and even fight total strangers. Everything they post revolves around something so insignificant and shallow. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be informed and do our civic duty to vote but I believe more than ever we are born to love and bring peace and to display that so strongly that others will be called to do the same. It breaks my heart that people are so engaged in nonsense that they are not available to be the love for the people who need them…people right in front of them in desperate need for a kind word or some kind of support. Although they may not miss an opportunity on Facebook to lash out, they certainly miss out on their gift to reach out. How can people not see it? I’m not judging, but rather pointing out some things that really break my heart. Is your inclination to hurt or help? Divide or unify? Bring stress or bring peace? We really need to take a step back and ask, who am I? Do I like this person I am becoming?
My hope is these words get to the eyes who are meant to read them. I hope someone’s heart softens, that their eyes are enlightened and that their ears open to hear the truth that can save them from themselves. Is it you? Only you know.
I started playing this game on my phone called Coin Master. It’s silly really. You spin a wheel and acquire money to purchase and complete your village while others simultaneously try to destroy it. I am fascinated that we willingly choose to partake in destroying someone as they are trying to rebuild. What is the point? How can anyone ever win if those are the rules of the game? The parallel to real life leaves me feeling a little bit sad. In real life we would move heaven and earth to do anything for our tribe. We would do everything to build them up right, yet in the next breath we voluntarily destroy them with our tongue. Why isn’t our instinct to protect the ones we call family and friends rather than to attack and hurt them? If we can’t help them why can’t we at least not harm them? Is it pride? Arrogance? Why can’t we do better when we know better instead of making the same mistakes over and over and why are we so afraid to set boundaries so people can no longer walk all over one another? Something has to change. What we tolerate has to change and what we allow ourselves to get away with has got to be acknowledged and changed. Maybe we play these silly games the same way we live our lives or maybe we forget that people’s feelings are not a game as we continue to stomp all over them with our dirty boots. We are better than this. If we aren’t then we should be and we must stop making excuses for poor behavior. If you have a boundary problem…set some boundaries but do not allow yourself to hurt or disrespect a fellow human being. Learn to bridle your tongue and be accountable for your words. Words alone can completely destroy someone or lift them up. Don’t waste your words or the time you have in this world. You are leaving an imprint. Are you brave enough to look deep enough to see what it really looks like? Be better and stop being so darn mean and bitter. And stop provoking people with your tongue. You always have a choice to be quiet. Sometimes silence is better than words. Know the difference.
It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.
There’s a lot of drama playing out in my state with the teacher walkout ongoing. I am seeing roadblocks to finding a solution in every direction and believe me people have been ugly on all sides. Throwing insults and angry outbursts have not gained support from anyone looking to win someone over. There’s been misinformation and twisting of information to garner support on both sides. One post I saw this morning was from a teacher. She was comparing the difference in democrat offices vs. republican offices at the Capitol. According to her, the Democrats left their doors open so people could charge their phones, pump or sit and relax. Republicans doors were shut and locked. I can only speak of what I have seen with my own eyes. I have seen post after post threatening that Republicans will lose their seats and insinuating that the reason Oklahoma schools are so bad is because we have a republican governor. I have watched teachers boo Republicans and cheer for Democrats on public tv. I often wonder if we get so caught up in pointing fingers at others that we forget how our own behavior is a direct result of how people respond to us. I know if my neighbors were walking past my house and waving I would keep my doors open but if they were threatening me and holding signs with insults I would probably lock my doors and close my blinds. These people are even getting death threats. They have been demonized and taken the brunt of the anger every step of the way and it doesn’t seem hard to figure out why there is not a welcome sign on their door and cheese and crackers in the hall. I’m not taking sides I just think we need to stretch our ability to see things for what they are and not what we are trying to make them out to be.
Today I challenge you to think beyond your feelings, your narrow mindedness and your limitations. Perhaps it’s time to talk and judge less and think more. Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves, how am I treating others and am I doing something to elicit an unfavorable response from someone else? These are hard but necessary questions to ask. It’s easy to get caught up in a movement, it’s hard to be objective about what is really happening. Make it your intention and watch how your interpretation of everything starts to change. These are tumultuous times and we have to get real if we ever want to outrun the storm.
Today, take a step back and take an honest look at what is going on around you. Vow to not see things through emotional eyes but rather to see through honest eyes. We only allow ourselves to see what we want to believe and there alone lies the problem. We can’t fix what we won’t acknowledge. Take that leap today. That is what will give you the courage to bring about real change. The path will become clear when you get real with yourself. It won’t be easy but I promise it will be worth it. Let common sense lead the way and use your heart for loving others. It was always meant to be that way.
I’ve written posts before about denial and how it holds me back. I went to a yoga retreat a while ago and we talked about the key to healing any part of your life or succeeding in places you have failed before. It all came down to one simple thing…getting real with yourself. Sometimes it is painful to say the truth out loud so we find a way to twist the truth to help us accept it better. The key is admitting that we all tell ourselves bullshi$ stories and it is those stories that sabotage our chance at real growth.
Recently, my eating has spiraled out of control. I kept telling myself my pants were feeling tighter because I was bloated when the real truth is I had completely fallen off the wagon of sticking to a reasonable amount of calories. Today I stepped on the scale and the bs story was ripped right out from underneath me. I avoided that scale for weeks but deep down I was well aware of what was happening. Avoiding the scale led me away from my goal and all that manipulative self talk did nothing but hurt me in the end. I’ve been down this road before and today I make a new commitment to stay honest with myself.
So today I challenge you to confess one of your bs stories. I look forward to hearing them.
I have discovered just how powerful the mind really is. It can be my greatest ally or my most dangerous enemy. It can talk me into believing nonsense and talk me out of doing something good for myself.
I have vowed to make it back to the gym this week. Every single hour of every day, I have allowed my thoughts to present an argument on why I do not need to go. We have to be honest about our thought. We have to be cautious on determining what is actually true and what we tell ourselves is true to fit a certain narrative. Honesty is tough to find these days and separating fact from opinion has become near impossible.
This is a reminder to myself and everyone reading that we have to be selective on what we allow our inner voice to tell us. We need to call it out for what it is by responding with the voice we can hear outside our head. The mind can play tricks on us and of course it wants to please us even if what it allows us to believe is far from the truth we need to hear.
So what do you think? Will I make it to the gym today? I can already hear that inner voice laughing in the background.
There is one thing that stands out more than anything else lately. I’ve watched and listened to different people react to a shared experience. The bottom line is simple. People see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear but they miss so much in between. This can be either negative or positive depending on who it involves and how the story can be tweaked to fit a particular mental narrative. The sad part though is alarming. We have become so shallow and critical that we are missing the truth or the important part of what is really going on. Recently I have forced myself to pay closer attention and to catch myself whenever I try and accept a lie as truth. We cannot change what is really happening to appease our own ego. The cost is far too great and eventually we start to believe our tainted version of things, accept lies or even worse, refuse to see the truth. I can’t live like that. Every time I witness it, I become more determined to search for honesty and less focused on sifting through information in a way that encourages me to feel validated. So what do I mean by looking for honesty? I mean looking at facts without my acceptance or interpretation of them. It’s not easy but it’s necessary. We can’t grow unless we get real and allow what is to just be. We have to be the reader and not the writer of what has already been written. It’s our only chance if we ever want to coexist on the same page.
Sometimes it’s hard to practice what you preach. I usually love November because it’s a time I actively focus on the things I am grateful for. However, this year the challenge was much greater than I could’ve imagined. I could come up with something I should be grateful for but the feelings didn’t accompany the words. I have been moving through life recently unenthused. It’s painful to admit the emptiness I have been consumed with lately. Depression has crept back into the shadows and left me feeling cold and dark. I used to say, there is always something to be grateful for and I believe those words ring true today. However, feeling grateful and listing things to be grateful for are very different from one another. I’ve come to the realization that the real struggle lies somewhere between our expectation of someone or something and the actual reality they bring to our lives. It’s hard to feel grateful and disappointed at the same time. Today I felt called to go back to yoga and I did. More on that story later but the first thing the instructor said to me was just don’t judge yourself. The words made me want to cry. I haven’t been practicing self love and the truth is I haven’t felt much love toward others. I have felt frustration, disappointment and even anger. I had shut down completely and built those walls so high around myself, I couldn’t even feel the wind less an ounce of gratitude. You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge so even though it hurts to speak the truth, I look forward to allowing the healing to begin. What is something that is easier for you to preach and harder for you to practice?
I’m realizing more and more lately how challenging it is to completely love and respect someone exactly the way they are. We have these damaging ideals of how and who someone should be and when they fall a little bit short, we take notice. Maybe the reflection of our own imperfections is what really stands out and we project our exasperation and irritation onto the innocent person standing before our eyes. Maybe it is the intolerance for our own flaws that draws out our disappointment in desperate hope that if someone else can reach perfection than maybe, somehow we can too. Maybe it’s just too painful to stare into our own naked soul so we focus our attention on the nakedness of another. One of the biggest challenges is to really love another but even more challenging yet, is to accept and love ourselves.
I did a yoga retreat about a year ago and one of the the things we focused on was called bullshit stories. These are the stories we tell ourselves to feed our own narrative or sometimes to make us feel more powerful or even victimized. It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves and I can assure you it’s not an easy question to answer. It takes a ton of courage and a tremendous amount of soul searching to get real enough with yourself to be completely honest. I have never in my 40+ years seen such a twisting and misinterpretation of events and words as I do today. Bullshit stories are all around us. It is the new fad, the in thing, the new craze. I won’t be a part of them. Honesty is so important to me and to see so much dishonesty is disenchanting at best. I don’t want to be sucked into other people’s drama and when I don’t like the game being played, I simply take myself out of it. I won’t play. I will not be a fuse for anger, contempt, superiority or hate of any kind. It’s all one and the same and there’s not a good enough reason in the world to justify it any other way. The problem isn’t so much leadership but rather the followers. It’s the little people, the everyday interactions, the misconceptions being spread at a record pace. It amazes me that people have such difficulty weighing all the facts and discerning the truth from there. I think part of the problem stems from following people, friends and media that are completely like minded. I think we miss the mark and it seriously damages our society as a whole. The hate groups are alive and well in our country but there are many more than we see reported in the news. People are driven by hate, consumed by it. But yet they think it only resides in everyone else. There is no excuse. No justification.The truth is as simple as this, we only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. That helps us build the strongest bullshit story we could possibly dream up and we even start to believe it too. What is your BS story? What purpose does it bring into your life?