Sometimes being coherent with ourselves and respectful of who we are can put situations and relationships at risk. So, what do we do?
If something inside of us is telling us a particular situation isn’t right, but we know confronting it might mean an adverse response, do we go forward and explore how we feel or do we retreat and try to bury the feelings?
I think the true answer is, we move forward in step with our feelings. While we are risking losing the situation or the person by confronting them with our feelings, we will be living in our truth which is the only way we can live in harmony. Because, not giving air to our thoughts and feelings does not make them go away. It only transforms them into resentment, anger and sadness. So, it is obvious that as hard as sometimes it can be, we must act according to our truth.
Now, how we go about it is something we can work on. First we have to make peace with all the possibilities that can happen by our actions – from the best to the worst. Once we thought about all the outcomes then we have to think of the approach as we are trying for the best. So planning is a good thing.
Picking the right time, and coming from a place of love – rather than anger and resentment – will allow us to stay in respect for us, the other person and the situation. Calmly stating how we feel without blame and accusations will most certainly give the other person the chance to also be truthful.
Once the cards are on the table a decision can be made as to the future of a situation or relationship. If it is not the outcome expected we must remind ourselves that what has taken place would have been the end result regardless. The truth is the truth. But, what we have gained is the knowledge that however hard a situation might be for us to confront, we have the strength and the respect to say: “I don’t want to live this.”
As we go on in our lives respecting our own boundaries a sense of strength and respect develops within us – which is a lot more important and truthful than hoping that which isn’t right to transform itself in being right.
It takes courage to live in harmony, but it really is the only way to find true contentment.
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Change is messy. Change is uncomfortable. But change is the only path to getting where we want to go.
Anyone over the age of thirty, know that as we get older we hold onto who we are and what we have with iron fists. We get settled in our ways and little by little we stop seeing different possibilities of being and living. The consequences of settling is that we stop learning and experiencing. Something inside us starts to feel bored and trapped. Sameness takes over.
The first step of change is to give voice to the restlessness. What is it that of lack of satisfaction I’m feeling is trying to tell me? What in my life needs to change?
This is a period of introspection. We must give it room and time. The answer lies in our ability to stay with the search. To peel away the layers of chaos and find the clear need within ourselves. It is there just waiting to be discovered.
One we know what needs to be change we need to commit to this even more uncomfortable phase. We are people of habits and there is nothing more unsettling than responding to life in a different way. We feel as if we no longer have our baring.
It will be difficult at first. We will fall back into old habits. We will be anxious over responding differently. But, with restrain, thoughtfulness and determination we can succeed.
Change gets us to see the world in a different way. Change gets us to gain greater wisdom. Change makes life more exciting and interesting.
Expose yourself to different experiences. Have the courage to try something outside your comfort zone. Be flexible. Breathe.
And as John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Grief is the agony of an instant. The indulgence of grief the blunder of a life – Benjamin Disraeli
As we go through life we lose friends, relatives, parents, looks, youth, wealth, health, jobs, reputation, possibilities, opportunities, love and at the end of it all, life itself. Wanting or not loss is part of the human experience. Denying it leaves us in limbo.
Great grief takes away the ground from under our feet. We falter and look for support. It hurts deeply and it often feels like it’s going to swallow us whole. Grief brings a period of mourning, introspection and the possibility of growth.
Grief without transformation devastates. Like a deadly virus it eats away at hope, enthusiasm, and beauty leaving behind only sadness and despair.
Many of us experience grief as a form of fear. The fear of life itself swallowing us whole and leaving us trapped.
Grief, as hard as it is, needs to be acknowledged and given respect. There is no other way. In our weakest moment we are asked to find the courage to walk through the loss and feel its full impact. But as we do so, something amazing takes place. For the courage we show, we receive knowledge and understanding in return. And at the end of our journey our hearts will see life and the world in a different way.
We learn to appreciate the simple things that take place in our daily lives. A word from a friend means more and a spontaneous laughter more gratifying. We also gain the organic knowledge that life is fleeting but our inner-strength steady. Love for ourselves and compassion for others becomes the side-effect of loss.
Grieving is not easy and not something anyone looks forward to. But when time does come we must be brave and put our arms around it and in loss we find our own transformation. It is the cycle of life.
All people have doubts about their self-worth; from the most successful to the least. So what is the difference between someone who seems self-confident and someone else who is timid and seems to be always second guessing themselves?
- First is how people deal with their inner-chatter.
- Second is the level of importance we give to others and to occurrences
We all have the harsh critic inside whose sole purpose seems to be to put us down. “You won’t succeed at doing XYZ”, “Bad things always happen to you, just you wait”, “You are not smart enough”, “You are not capable enough”, “You are not pretty enough” and so on.
The trick in dealing with the inner critic is to gradually and constantly stop listening to him/her until it becomes just noise. It sounds easy but it actually takes committing to changing the way we live our lives. It takes – whenever the voice within starts to scream – to distract our minds and not wallow on its destructive monologue. It takes substituting the negative with positive aspects of ourselves. That is what self-confident people do. They have the critic. They just don’t give him/her a podium.
The next trick is to realize nothing singularly can destroy or promote us to the inner-circle of the happy and successful. A life time spans over decades of successes and failures. Both sides of the coin exist so we can distill the experience into wisdom. So remembering that no one person or one occurrence has the power to label our lives good or bad will give us a sense of freedom and experimentation.
And lastly having the courage to continue to challenge our own status quo will impress upon us that we can all live outside of a box where statements like: “You are a loser” or “You are stupid” have no place.
Stepping beyond our immediate present and looking at our lives as a life time, will give us the prospective that in the end what matters are the lessons learned – comfortable and uncomfortable – and the love and laughter we have experienced.
Life changing changes require sticking with what’s going on. No easy task. It means being uncomfortable. It means having your heart jump every time somebody calls or says something. And it means no going back. If you can withstand the pressure, then like a phoenix you will raise from your old self into your new self.
I am going through such a time myself. The pillars of my life are being shaken. Intellectually I know where I need to go, but now is the time to take myself there also emotionally and psychologically. I must confess it isn’t easy. But I have not given up on what I know to be right. So I’m going through the stress of one foot here and one foot there; meaning one foot in the old self and one foot in the new self. But I am fully aware if I put my two feet in the old self, I will only find myself again in this same situation in some time in the future. But if I do endure the anxiety and the fear all the way till I cross to the other side, I will have accomplished my own transformation.
Much has happened lately that has kept me away from writing my blogs. A couple of weeks ago my 86 year old dad contracted a very serious pneumonia. It was touch and go there for a while. It was stressful, painful and transformative.
First, let me just say that as of a couple of days ago, he is stable. Yesterday he sat up for the first time in three weeks and today he has made his first sounds.
While at his age, contemplating the end of a relationship is not out of the ordinary, when the situation does present itself it brings about much fear, acceptance and contemplation.
Darlene Bertil was trapped under concrete for five days in Haiti’s earthquake. She lost both of her hands but not her spirit.
I sometimes feel like I sound like a broken record but again I must share how important it is for each one of us to connect with who we are and live accordingly.
Life is complicated, busy, and often misleading. If we are not connected to our core we become victims of appearances and overload of information. But here is the catch: respecting who we are assumes we also invest in being truthful with our own selves while acknowledging other people’s rights and existence. I’m definitely not in support of anyone who thinks the world is for them or about them.
Buddhists often say we live in a world of illusion. I’m not a Buddhist but I do agree with the statement. Why?
Check out this Ted (ideas worth spreading) Houston Talk by Brené Brown. In this video Brené discusses how being afraid of our vulnerability keeps us from connecting to others. She offers having the courage to fully be our imperfect selves as the solution.