What goes around comes around

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[Image credit: zirconicrusso]

In my posts Getting to the root of it all and Regaining your balance, I ramble about addressing our own set of “ickies” — the imperfections each of us struggle with on a regular basis.  Over the past week, I’ve begun the arduous first step: pinpointing a few of my own deep-seated character flaws.  My habitual tardiness is a trait I’m not proud of; however, it is just that: a bad habit that typically doesn’t harm anyone else (and one I continually attempt to improve upon).  But the other ones — shortcomings that can’t help but hold me back from the person I strive to be — may also hurt others in the process.  Selfishness, for example, is self-serving, benefiting no one but myself.  But if I’m truly honest, even that is questionable when my actions so often backfire and bite me in the butt — to the point of altering the course of my Someday and possibly yours.  Perhaps this is true poetic justice.

Are your “ickies” exclusive, or do they affect others, as well?

Getting to the root of it all

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A couple of weeks ago, the weekend started out on the wrong foot.  First, my plans were derailed, and then a dear friend and I experienced a big miscommunication.  At the same time, I was fighting a major post-vacation funk and feeling sorry for myself.  Add to that some off and on stomach distress, as well as hurtful words volleyed back and forth with a close relative, and I possessed the Rx for a disastrous two days.  Even though they were all symptoms of a deeper malady, it seems it’s oftentimes easier to dwell on these surface things that can bring us down.  But the next day at the gym, I poured myself into strengthening my body and disciplining my mind.  And when I arrived home an hour and a half later, I was energized and determined to put on my big girl panties and get to the root of it all.

Do you focus on the surface things, or try to find the cause of the greater problem?

Wanting more time

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[Image credit: healing dream]

Prior to last month’s getaway, I promised myself I’d be thankful no matter how much time I was able to spend with family and friends.  But not surprisingly, after picking up where we left off, I always wanted more hours in the day to catch up, share our hearts or simply hang out.  So instead of appreciating what I did have, the collective moments were cloaked in a film of bittersweet.  Someone once told me that wishing you had more time — on a vacation or outing or whatever it was — is a good thing because it means you didn’t overstay your welcome.  I’ve been back from my travels for over two weeks now, and I still wish I had more time to reconnect and relax in the presence of those who have shaped me.  And although I plan to visit longer on my next trip, I’ll want more time.  But that’s a good thing.

Are you typically ready to pack it in when your time is up?

Owning the truth

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[Image credit: thepathtraveler]

This past week I found myself struggling with a backseat mentality again (see Never settle for second best).  It doesn’t help that recently someone close to me also called me a derogatory name.  In that instance, the choice was mine to “own” the label or not.  Although it has taken me several decades to realize the only thing I do own is my reaction to life’s circumstances, it’s still hard to put that notion into practice.  However, the way someone treats me has no bearing on who I am — or my contribution to the little slice of world I reside in.  So if someone tells me with their actions that I’m not worthy or someone else calls me a name, I can either accept and live out these perceptions and words as truth, or I can shed them and move on.  It just takes a little faith and a whole lot of courage.

Do you choose to own the hurts, or leave them behind?

Regaining your balance

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It can be a rude awakening when the rug is suddenly pulled out from under you.  It can shatter that vulnerable part of you, the side of you who lives transparently and trusts fully.  You may be left with shattered hopes and dreams, as well as feelings of stupidity, betrayal, confusion or worse.  Perhaps the hardest thing isn’t the brokenness, but that you’re forced to take a good hard look at yourself.  And you may conduct an honest assessment of your entire belief system and discover you don’t like what you see.  There may be skeletons lurking under the surface called selfishness or greed.  However, instead of dealing with them, you might be tempted to stuff them into the back of your closet and ignore them.  Of course, overlooking these “ickies” will not make them go away.  But once you address them, you can right yourself and begin to regain your balance.

How do you regain your balance when the rug is pulled out from under you?

Life: one big trial and error

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

As a rule of thumb, a good portion of my life follows the precept of trial and error.  Whether it concerns my new diet, parenting, relationships or even my job, if my attempts at a particular outcome fail, then I try to readjust my thinking or approach for the next time I may be confronted with a similar situation.  Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of trial and error, however.  We must make the right decision the first time without the benefit of a “do over.”  Although I ramble a lot in my posts about fear holding us back, perhaps it also keeps us from making a wrong decision.  Or maybe it’s the right one, just the wrong timing.  Either way, if we don’t take a chance one way or another, we might never know if that one choice could have shaped — or altered — our own personal Someday.  The trick is figuring it out before it’s too late.

Are you the trial-by-error type, or is a sure thing required?

Surviving the tough decisions

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In my post Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I talked about a particular situation where the outcome was not solely in my control.  However, a couple of days ago I received direction loud and clear in the confines of one or two sentences spoken between friends.  This resulted in the absolution of a figurative pinky promise and a mutual dream … for now.  After following through with my decision, I’ve admittedly experienced a heap of warring emotions: remorse, disappointment, sadness and failure, as well as a double dose of second guesses.  If not for my resolve to do the right thing, I may be stricken with grief, as well.   But if I peel back the layers and closely examine the myriad feelings, I just might also detect a small amount of relief on both sides of the equation.  At this point in time, it’s this latter emotion I must passionately cling to in order to move forward with my heart intact.

What is your secret to surviving the tough decisions?

Happy Independence Day

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[Image credit: nixxphotography]

Fireworks commonly commemorate the holiday, along with barbecues, parades, street dances and picnics.  As a nation, we’re celebrating freedom.  Individually, we can also observe our personal independence.  Perhaps you’ve recently flown the proverbial nest and are finally on your own, or you appreciate the ability to cast your vote, speak your mind or possess enough financial resources to live a comfortable life, or maybe all of the above.  Personally, I’m thankful I can freely pursue my hopes and dreams, looking forward to the day when my hard work and perseverance pays off.  That is when I believe I’ll truly be free … free of living with one foot rooted in the present and the other planted in what was once an unknown future.  Until then, the fireworks that light the night sky with their dazzling display of colors will be my own celebration for surviving — and thriving — another year and taking one more step toward Someday, whatever it may bring.

How do you plan to celebrate this 4th of July?

Traveling light

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[Graphic image: anekoho]

If running away would somehow “make it all better,” I’d be the first one packing my knapsack.  But I imagine once the novelty wore off, reality would set in and I’d still have to deal with whatever caused me to run in the first place.  Or maybe it’s not what we want to escape, but what we desire to race toward headlong.  Either way, one door needs to be closed before another can freely open to let us through unfettered.  If you have a score to settle or an obligation to fulfill, make good on your word first.  Once you’re released from the baggage that weighs you down, the thought of running away will most likely be just that — a distant suggestion no longer necessary to entertain.  Running away won’t change our circumstances.  But if we satisfy our commitments in the present, we can confidently move into our futures with the freedom of only a carry-on or two.

Do you travel light, or pack every burden that weighs you down?

How low can you go?

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[Graphic image: Stuart Miles]

Prior to my trip last month, I conjured up “high road” expectations to include more time with family and friends.  Unfortunately, this was a route I had little control over.  I could make myself available, but if others were tied up with their own thing, then a detour was necessary.  However, without my typical back-up plans in place, I found myself disappointed and on my own more often than I would have preferred, sometimes casting blame and finger-pointing with no just cause.  In the past, I’ve blogged about maintaining expectations more on the low road to avoid discontent, although still always hoping for more.  And while finding a happy medium between the two roads is not always easy, this time I’d like to think I learned my lesson.  When I have little control over the outcome, I’ll attempt to adjust my expectations accordingly.  At least that’s the plan.

How do you maneuver the two roads in order to find a happy medium?

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