Mixed messages: how to make sense of it all

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Mixed messages play havoc with logic. Just when you think you understand a simple concept, doubt creeps in and you begin to question your sanity, your ability to reason—everything you thought to be true. In the publishing world, there is frequent interaction between publisher and advertisers, authors, sales reps, subscribers and so on. As concise as one can be through email, there is often room for interpretation on both sides, which may lead to miscommunication, lost time and, not uncommon, bruised feelings. With the majority of business and social communique handled via digital means, it might require an old-fashioned phone call to right a wrong or lend clarity to a situation in order to move forward. It isn’t necessarily about the mistake or misunderstanding, because we are human and they happen. It’s how we react in the moment, mindful that relationships—business or otherwise—are always hanging in the balance. And that pride goes before a fall every time.

How do you make sense of mixed messages?

Photo courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Understanding the root of pride

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root of pride

Pride is concerned with who is right.
Humility is concerned with what is right.
~ Ezra T. Benson

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, “For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” In my own quest for happiness, I discovered that self—once removed from the equation—makes room for joy. Both of today’s quotes, I think, revolve around self as the root of pride. Recently, I felt disconnected to a close friend and tried to share my feelings. Rather than attempt to understand my heart, however, this person blew off our relationship. My friend’s actions played out louder than words but, although the outcome saddens me, I believe that humbling myself will destroy any self-imposed stumbling blocks and release a bounty of blessings going forward. Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing, but the possibility of love, contentment and common sense is worth it.

What do you believe is the root of pride?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

What *not* to do while hiking

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What not to do while hiking

 

My post ‘Responding to life’s challenges…,’ proved a bit too real during a recent hike. You know the saying, ‘pride goes before a fall?’ After an almost six-mile trek in the mountains up to Inspiration Viewpoint, I felt invincible. I never enjoyed athleticism as a younger person—exercise consisted of mandatory gym class, playing tag or riding bikes with neighbor kids, swim lessons on Saturdays and performing on my senior high pom-pom line. Yet over the past half dozen years I’ve become enamored with working out, practicing Bikram yoga, hiking. Since celebrating my half-century birthday this past December, I cannot get enough of: living. And I’m in the best shape of my life. So, as I jogged the final stretch of trail that morning, I got cocky. Bruised and battered the left side of my body, both knees. A challenge I met with humor and, hopefully, the grace I lacked when I tripped and fell—a lesson that didn’t break me.

When have you learned a painful lesson?

A happy soul

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride,
and something to look forward to with hope. ~ Oliver G. Wilson

Unfortunately, when I stop to look backward, it’s easy for me to get stuck on the poor choices, the lessons it’s taken me countless re-tries to learn, the selfishness that held me back from being a better mother, daughter and friend.  But then I realize that there are twice as many wise decisions that have come out of the eventual lessons learned.  And I understand that time has afforded me a second chance time and time again to get it right.  With that insight, my soul is happy as I look forward with hope.  Because the pride, for me, comes in picking myself up and not allowing myself to dwell on what I didn’t do right, but what I improved upon.  After all, life is practice, not perfect.

How easy is it for you to look backward with pride, and forward with hope?

You’re so vain (you think this song is about you)

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[Image credit: Boaz Yiftach]

Although my ankle appeared to be slowly healing since last week’s mishap, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I tried wearing boots to work a couple of days ago.  In my defense, the bruising and swelling had decreased, as well as the limping.  However, apparently the two-and-a-half-inch heeled variety of footwear (with pointed toes that scream Chic!) — and a sprained ankle — do not a (successful) partnership make.  With each agonizing step I took from house to car and from car to office, I winced as my ankle objected to the torture of not only being bound in an Ace bandage, but gagged in a tight pair of faux leather.  Needless to say, I spent most of the morning at my desk for fear of adding insult to injury.  When asked by a co-worker what I had been thinking (clearly I hadn’t) with my choice of footwear, I said my outfit wouldn’t have looked as stylish in tennis shoes (or flats for that matter).  Duh.  The saying pride goes before a fall quickly flashed through my mind and the thought of a longer recovery time — or worse — sent me hobbling home at lunchtime to change out of my boots and into something less fashionable, but a lot more comfortable.  And after the swelling started up again last night, it looks like both my vanity and my trips to the gym need to take a backseat for a bit longer.

How often does your pride get in the way of your well-being?