Archive | November 2011

Nobody’s Perfect

One thing I have learned “is the futility of expecting anyone, including ourselves to be perfect. People who go about seeking to change the world, to diminish suffering, to demonstrate any kind of enlightenment, are often as flawed as anybody else. Sometimes more so. But it is the awareness of having faults, I think, and the knowledge that this links us to everyone on Earth, that opens us to courage and compassion.” Alice Walker

Anyone who knows me knows that I readily proclaim to be a work in progress.  I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be.  I mess up, I make messes, and I get up the next day hopefully with a lesson learned to try all over again.  The struggle comes in our expectation of others doesn’t it?  We know that we are flawed with room for growth yet we sometimes get into situations where we expect the other party to be perfect.  Some of us expect the other person to not only be perfect themselves but also to help us fix our mess.  Hmmm

The great news is as Alice Walker stated- everyone is flawed and it is our flaws that make us human and help us to join forces in this life experience.  We must learn to see the best in people not focus on their shortcomings, forgive mistakes for we too will make them, and recognize that most people are trying really hard to do and be their best.  The trying may not be  in all areas but it is certainly in some.  What a wonderful and comforting thought it is to know that someone else understands your trials for they too have rowed in the same boat.  As I slip up and sometimes expect perfection in others, I’m taking a moment to remind myself that we are all evolving masterpieces.  Hopefully some of us will be “ready” in time to show ourselves in the same show.

My daily reflection revolves around the following quote: “I am beneath or above no one.  When I am independent of the good or bad opinions of others, I stand strong in my own divine power.”  The power of this quote in my life has been amazing.  Things and people who used to throw me for a loop are met with a chuckle.  I don’t need the approval of others to shine.  I got this, and if I stumble and fall I got that too.  Understanding the force of my own divine power is truly amazing.  Now to apply that same theory to my understanding of others… I’m working on it really hard.  I’m a work in progress.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

Advertisements

Strive to Be The Best

This week’s blog comes at the suggestion of my 11-year-old daughter.  She suggests that I write about “comparing yourself to those who are less than and how you should always strive to be your best.”  You’ve got it baby girl!  I like it, and I’m running with it.

For many years now, I have been confused, surprised, and amused at those who compare themselves to those who are “less than” themselves to make themselves feel better.  An example of this would be “How can you say I don’t pay any attention to you just  because I am in the house playing video games?  I could be hanging in the streets with the boys, or in the clubs, or with women at night.  Instead I choose to be here with you.” One is always going to look good in comparison to someone doing something more egregious than you.  But what about the spouse /significant other who is doing a better job than you?  Why not compare yourself to them?

I think I have the answer.  Most of us want to feel good about ourselves, even in areas where we know that we require improvement.  We would rather tell ourselves that we could be worse than to acknowledge that improvement is required.  Why is that you ask?  I think it is quite simple.  Once we openly acknowledge our short-comings we are obligated to act upon them.  We no longer have the upper hand in the argument that we held when we could haughtily say “well at least I don’t…”  Let’s be honest, the discussion sounds a bit different when we acknowledge that “… the least I could do is.”  Can you hear the difference?

It may be frightening and it may require work but I challenge you, as I challenge my children, to strive to be the best.  Do not compare yourself to the worst.  In my home, this attitude has resulted in a healthy competition between my two children for grades.  The well-placed benefit for me?  I don’t have to say a word.  They strive to be the best (of course the girl moreso than the boy 🙂 ) and have bought into my concept that anything less than an 85 is failing.  I didn’t have such prodding or competition as a child.  As a result, I didn’t push myself to the fullest of my capabilities.  I told myself “…well at least I’m not failing.  At least I’m still in accelerated classes.”  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am a great individual, but there are areas where I come up short.  I remind myself, in these areas, not to take the easy cop-out.  Instead of consoling myself with what “at least I’m not” I try to look at the point I’m still trying to reach.  I won’t reach all of the peaks, but I’ll be a much better person in the long run if I continue to strive to be the best.

(special shout out to my baby girl Analeis for the inspiration)

Spread love…peace and blessings.

When Is The Best Time To Do Something? When You REALLY Don’t Want to Do It.

I have a task before me.  It is daunting. It has heavy consequences.  It is not fun to do,  but it is necessary.  I have begun the task but find it difficult to resume.  I don’t like it and I just DON’T REALLY WANT TO DO IT.  You know what that means?  Now is the absolute best time to “get er done.”  Why so you ask? Because right now the task itself is becoming bigger than what it represents.  It is a huge boulder block in my mind.  It is my mountain and I need to tell it to get out of my way.  How do I do that?  By getting it done.

If you’ve ever read me at all, you know I look for the lessons in life.  I see several here.  I am not perfect and have not fully learned them.  OBVIOUSLY, or they wouldn’t be presenting themselves at the time.   So let’s look at the lessons.

1.  Procrastination (one of my biggest flaws) will not make a undesireable situation go away.  It only prolongs it. The only way to get rid of an unpleasant task is to get it out the way by quickly completely.  This is akin to eating the thing you like least on your place first (a lesson we try to instill in children) so you can get it out of way and get to what you enjoy.

2.  There are some things in life that we just will not want to do.  The price seems a little steep to pay.  It is something that is mentally overwhelming for us.  You know what has an even steeper price? Incompletion.  Some things absolutely must be done.  There is no way to avoid them. Whether we like it or not, this thing requires action.  If it is not illegal or impossible, we just need to get on with it.  Some penalties are much steeper than the high price.  Ask the IRS if you want a little confirmation on this theory.

3.  When all else fails, talk to a wise, motivating friend who can get you on your way.  Perhaps they can dangle a carrot that is worth reaching for or just shed a little intelligent light on the subject.  The only thing I don’t want you to do is talk to them for too long.  This only prolongs the inevitable.

4.  Sometimes the best reward is in just getting something done.  There is nothing else to be gained, but you will know that you moved the mountain.

 

There is probably more that can be said here, but you know what?  I’ve got work to do…

 

Spread love… peace and blessings

fear defines too many relationships

A friend made this statement to me just yesterday and it gave me cause for pause.  After a short contemplation I realized just how much truth it holds.  This statement is true for both romantic and non romantic relationships. We tend to operate within our relationships out of a state of fear.  There is fear of disapproval, fear of rejection, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, fear of repeating prior mistakes, fear of making a mistake. Fear, fear, fear!!! And within the realm of this fear, it does indeed define the relationship.  We may tell ourselves that we are operating out of  love when in truth that is the farthest thing from reality.

Let’s take a closer look. When we operate out of a place of fear we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We may know, primarily because they have shared it with us, the other person’s history of “kicking others to the curb.” We do not wish for this to happen to us, so we walk on eggshells. The same can be said if the other person has a bit of a temper that we don’t wish to encounter.  In doing this eggshell walk we are holding back.  We are inauthentic in an effort not to rock the boat.  What we sometimes don’t realize is that in doing the eggshell walk we are withholding a part of ourselves.

When we fear abandonment either through infidelity or termination of the relationship, we also hold back.  No need to love this person completely only to have them leave me is the mindset.  Is it not? Then there is the fear of making a mistake.  What if this person is not the right one for you?  You have invested time and given your love only to have made a mistake?  This fear can not only define a relationship but prevent one from participating in one.  The fear becomes greater than the basic need to be loved. But what if you have made a mistake? So what!!!! It is a learning experience.  One through which you have spread love to another person who may have been in desperate need of it.  They may not have been the one for you, but perhaps the universe needed them to encounter you for their learning.  We don’t have all the answers, but isn’t that part of the joy of life?

The granddaddy of them all is the fear of repeating past mistakes.  You will see this often in relationships that occur soon after a major breakup like a divorce.  Often times the divorced person “wastes” several potentially good opportunities by staying stuck in the past.  They are so busy analyzing the mistakes of the marriage, embittered by the experience, and definitely fearful of reliving the same results again that they don’t  offer themselves anywhere close to fully to a new relationship. They spend a lot of  time in conversation about “what went wrong.”  Well your potential mate does not need to hear all of this for a myriad of reasons.  First, you may have been the one who made the mistakes that led to the demise of the marriage. This new person, in hearing all of the gory details, more often than not may become fearful that those same mistakes may be repeated with them.  You have now put a cloud where there was sun. More importantly, you more than likely have grown from the prior experience and are not the same person.  The new person you are dealing with is certainly not the person you were married to.  Why taint your new relationship? If you have decided you would like to reenter the dating arena, then do so boldly.  Offer your very best and expect to receive the same in return.  Even if each person is not “the one” I assure you the quality of dating partners will increase as a result of this attitude.

So the obvious question is if most of our relationships are defined by fear what does the opposite look like?  Well the simple answer is that it is relationship defined on love. If I spread love in as unconditional of a manner as I can, then I will receive it in return.

I can almost hear some of your brains engaging as you read this.  🙂  You contend that you are not operating out of fear, you are simply “being smart.”  Um hmm… smartly fearful. Fear is a natural way of relating for most of us.  It is how we were raised.  We were afraid to disappoint our parents for fear that they would not love us as much.  Some of us were afraid to “step out of line ” for fear of corporal punishment. We have all had the experience of loving someone with all of our heart only to have the relationship end badly.

So what do the opposite look like you ask?  What does a relationship defined in love look like? Well, let’s take a look. If I offer love in as unconditional manner as I can in my familial, friend, and love relationships, I have trust, honesty, caring, support, encouragement, strength.  Others don’t have to worry about whether they will be “punished” because I am disappointed in them.  They know that I accept them fully, their strengths and their shortcomings, and will love them anyway.

This does not mean that everything another person does will be acceptable to me or that I receive any and all treatment of me as good. It means that I am open to all of the love they have to offer and offer it in return.  When that is not the case, I will still love them but maybe not from the same level of closeness. This distancing will come from a place of love though and not hurt, anger, and betrayal.  We may just not be the best fit for one another at the moment.

I promise you this is easier to type than execute.  I also promise you that when we operate within our relationships from a place of love instead of fear, the quality of said relationships will increase exponentially. It goes back to the Law of Attraction. We will receive that which meets our expectations. Expect the best for and from one another. Stop living in fear.  It is boxing you in, stifling your growth and pushing love away.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

Can One Fail In Life?

‎”Failure doesn’t kill you… it increases your desire to make something happen.”  Kevin Costner

I read the above quote earlier and I began to wonder about this notion. Webster’s Dictionary defines failure as a lack of success. The truth of the matter is that all of life is about lessons.  Thus, if as Kevin Costner states in the quote, if failure is really just a life motivator, something that spurs you to make something happen, one needs to ask is the failure really a failure?

Some define success by traditional means.  Does one have the material things that indicate a certain level of financial independence or earning potential has been achieved?  Others define it as reaching a certain level of inner peace and self-satisfaction.  Still others define success as the amount of service they give to others.

So the question is raised:  if the definition of success is so subjective then isn’t the concept of failure subjective as well?   At what point in life does one stop to assess whether this journey has been successful or not?   A quick review of history shows us that many great people endured a lot of failure before they became a “success.”  Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections, had two bankruptcies and suffered a nervous breakdown.  Yet, he is thought by many to be have been quite successful in his role as President of the United States.  So, if the measurement is taken after the defeats,  Lincoln is a failure; take the same measure after the presidency and he is a success.  Do we measure while we are living or once our life is complete? Mother Theresa spent much of her life working to feed and help the poor.  She had very little personal wealth of her own, yet she is thought to be one of the great leaders of our time.

If life is about the lessons, aren’t the failures just part such ultimately inspiring us to reach again for greatness?  We all are successes in our own right.  Define success for yourself.  It is subjective.  I think those who view themselves as failures are often doing so based upon someone else’s definition of success.  This is your life!  Define these concepts for yourself.  Know where you want to go and what you want to accomplish.  Dare to be purely, unapologetically you and go out and conquer the world.   If conquering the world is not your desire, if you aim to make a small ripple in the large pond of life and that is your definition of success, there is no one alive who should be allowed to tell you that is not correct.  I suggest, however, that you strive for a deeper creative connective and your purpose will become crystal clear.  You may find you are called to do more than you suspected. Sometimes you will fall.   When you fall, get back up and keep going.  It’s no big deal… just another lesson… another path on your journey.  And, life is such a wonderful journey.  You are not a failure.  You are living and learning and you were made to succeed.

Spread love…peace and blessings.