i had lunch with a friend today and she shared some struggles she is experiencing in the now. it amazed me how closely her struggles could be ascertained to be aligned with some in my own life. strangely (and sadly perhaps) our conversation gave me hope. as i move forward in my chitty chitty bang bang life, i continue to open my heart to the struggles and the challenges i face as i absurdly vacillate between being a perfect saint and a hopeless phony. boundaries and conflict are the major contributors to these rough spots. turbulence is just one aspect of taking a flight. and i know i need to fly to get somewhere different.
Sometimes, we all need to ascertain whether we’re inadvertently contributing to the struggles and challenges we face.
When we have to deal with a tough issue, it can be hard to decipher whether it is truly an objective problem, or if we have (at least some) subconscious ownership of it.
This is especially hard since the biggest challenges in our lives are typically intricate and complex. Human nature leads us to believe that other people are at fault when we experience conflict, that we have been “wronged.”
If we look closely, we’ll see that our actions and reactions are useful tools, as they provide insight into our own perceptions and can fuel personal growth and development.
I am a glass-half-full person. I operate under the belief that the more I take care of myself, my life, and my own happiness, the more I can give to others, especially my loved ones.
But recently I hit a wall. It entailed a series of events over a two-week period when every part of my life seemed to be straining under the presence of a dark, erratic storm.
I had been very busy in my job and had stopped enjoying it. My relationships with my colleagues had become so tense that I was close to jumping ship. My patience had practically disappeared, leading tostress and anxiety.
I was struggling to keep my (sometimes) short temper in check. Even when dealing with small challenges, I was seeing red at every opportunity. I was arguing with my partner, interpreting his every move as a threat to my already delicate and vulnerable state of mind.
What was wrong? Put simply, I just wasn’t right. There I was, brought to my knees by an emotional hurricane charging through my life and everything in its path, and I just couldn’t understand why.
Was it a twisted coincidence that all the areas of my life were simultaneously conspiring against me? Was life simply testing my patience, strength, and resilience? Or was there something personal going on?
After avoidance, quiet contemplation, and then much careful thought, I had an epiphany—the kind of realization that completely floors you, a “eureka” moment, if you will.
The wall I faced was actually a mirror.It forced me to confront things that I had been ignoring. I had stopped doing the things that I love, the things that keep me strong. Basically, I was in need of emotional, mental, and spiritual TLC.
I had outwardly projected my internal struggle onto my surrounding world, and it was being reflected right back at me, compelling me to notice—refusing to let me bury my head in the sand for the umpteenth time.
Because I had tunnel vision regarding my external difficulties, I couldn’t see the real source of conflict: I had neglected to nurture my core. Even though I did this for a brief period of time, this still affected me in a profound way.
We all have different levels of “holistic care and maintenance.” Mine happens to be high.
I love being independent, spending quality time alone, enjoying and exploring my creative strengths, connecting with my loved ones, living life fully and joyfully, and appreciating the small things that make me happy every single day.
But during this particular time, I settled for a poor level of emotional holistic care.
Realizing this reminded me how delicate and vulnerable each of us can become when we forget about ourselves and our needs.
When daily life and all its trappings take over, we can sometimes lose ourselves and neglect to do the things that help keep us strong—and that can lead to conflict all around us.
If you’re struggling with various challenges and wondering if the root may be something internal, these tips may help you find out:
1. Be brutally honest with yourself.
This is hard.It’s the kind of honest that is scary, but ultimately liberating. This will help set you free from blinkered thinking and open your mind to new perspectives on what you are really dealing with.
Try writing down your feelings. Have a brainstorming session and write down anything that pops into your mind. You might even be surprised by what comes up.
This is a great opportunity to really explore and process your emotions. This freestyle approach can help lead you to identifying what is really troubling you.
2. Ask yourself: What is my mirror showing me?
Is this immediate problem really the issue, or does it highlight something else that you need to pay attention to?
This is built on the previous step of honesty. Take a good look at that mirror and don’t let fear prevent you from receiving its message. Have an open heart and mind, and welcome the opportunity to learn from this experience and grow into a stronger, more aware person.
Of course, there will be times when the problem does not reflect any internal struggle or conflict. You’ll only know if you get radically honest with yourself.
3. Ascertain your ideal “holistic care and maintenance” level.
This is very important. What do you need every day to support you in being the best person that you can possibly be?This is different for everyone, and yours will be as unique and individual as you are.
Try making a list of things that you love doing every day, which support you in being a strong, empowered, present, happy person.
These things don’t have to be grand or fancy. They can be anything that reminds you who you are, why you are amazing, and why you love yourself. For example: being a great parent, appreciating the great outdoors, or indulging in your hobbies. Extend your list when you discover something new.
We all strive for peace, purpose, and happiness in our own unique ways, and this is something we must never lose sight of.
At the end of every day, if we have lived in accordance with our personal beliefs and principles, taken care of our emotional needs, and nurtured our hearts, minds, and souls, there is little room left for conflict or struggle….reposted from tinybuddha.com
The change will do you good
I always knew it would
You know the change will do you good
You know the change will do you good
Damaged goods, send them back
I can’t work, I can’t achieve, send me back
Open the till, give me the change
You said, would do me good
Refund the cost
You said you’re cheap but you’re too much
Your kiss so sweet
Your sweat so sour
Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you
But I know it’s only lust
there is a story about me that my mother loves to tell. she heard it from my babysitter. i guess mrs. iverson (my babysitter) was watching me play on a swing set while she was in the kitchen. i was wearing a ball cap and i was just loving the swing. i was about 4 years old or so. an older boy, 7 or 8 years old maybe walked by and went behind me and knocked the cap off my head.
i stopped the swing, got off, went over and picked up my cap, put it back on my head, and went back to swinging. the older boy repeated his action and then i repeated mine. this happened about 4 times total.
the older boy knocked the cap off my head again. i stopped the swing, got off, went over and picked up a plastic wiffle ball bat and hit the older kid in the head. he screamed, cried, and left our yard. i picked up my cap, put it back on my head and got back on the swing.
i imagine she loves to tell this story because it illustrates my nature. my nature which remains true to this day. i have patience. prolly a lot of it. but there is a point when patience runs out. and when it does, i quietly take action and then just as quietly go back to what i was doing.
i believe i am cresting this point in my life right now. i find myself directly in the middle of taking action to address the perturbance i have been enduring for some time now.
i find it fascinating that i am still the little boy craftily and succinctly swinging a wiffle ball bat to get someone to stop interfering with my simple enjoyment of the life i am leading. damn bullies. they seem to have always found their way to me.
when i lived in san francisco, i worked part time at an italian restaurant at fisherman’s wharf. i would take the “l” taraval train from outer sunset downtown and transfer over to the wharf area. i would have to walk about 8 or 9 blocks to get to pier 43 where a sabella’s restaurant was located.
for 3 years i would pass a best western motel located along my path to the water. and for 3 summers as i passed this motel, there was a seagull who was nesting on top of the awning of the motel all-the-while protecting her eggs and attacking and shoo-ing any passers-by on the sidewalk. it was amusing and almost cute at first, but soon became annoying and intrusive, causing me to walk on the other side of the street or cross over if i forgot.
i have encountered a situation with someone in my life who has a mental health issue of some sort and continues to attack and squawk whenever people are in the vicinity just as that overlordly seabird near the bay. i have lost touch with any empathy i might have had for this person as i have become immune to its survival mission. i have been crossing the street to avoid encounters as many times as i can think of it, although i continue to forget once in awhile. but i think a situation has occured that causes this bird to be pushed outta the nest.
whew! seems like a small gift from the gods.