Enduring the heat of refinement

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Enduring the heat of refinement

[Image credit: digitalart]

Sometimes we hurt the ones we love, especially ourselves. A desire may yield a “no” or “not now,” but only because timing isn’t right. Growing pains can be just that: painful. And not everyone will understand. But rest assured that there’s a purpose in the discomfort. All change includes some kind of unease. We are stretched and pulled and remolded—refined—into the individuals we were created to be. During Bikram Yoga practice, students are told that glass must be heated up in order to be blown into its ultimate shape. The same holds true for our persons—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Whether in the hot room, or in real life, we must endure the “heat” in order to allow ourselves to be perfected. I’m struggling with that part. I’d much rather skip over the ache and find myself in the land of plenty: my Someday. Unfortunately, it seldom works that way. I just have to believe it will get easier.

How do you handle the heat?

Never give up


Never give up

[Image credit: David Castillo]

Never, never, never, never give up.  ~ Winston Churchill

I ramble a lot about either changing the things we can, or quit complaining.  But what about the things we have no control over?  For instance, from the sidelines we can watch our friends and loved ones as they make choices we feel are not right for them.  But there’s nothing we can do about it.  However, when it comes to us, I think there’s (most) always a choice.  Maybe the timing isn’t right to act on change currently.  Or perhaps fear is holding us back.  Or it could be that we feel we’re being torn in completely opposite directions.  Whatever the reason keeping us from moving forward, the above quote says it all.  If we don’t hang on — whether it’s a breakthrough in our health or job situation or a struggling relationship — we’ll never know how the story may have turned out.

Are you ready to throw in the towel, or are you willing to see it through?

With a little help from my friends


Help from my friends

[Image credit: Master isolated images]

Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are.
~ Unknown

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing.
There is a time for silence.
A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.
And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
~ Gloria Naylor

I’ve written about my friends in past posts.  They truly are the mirror that reveals many of my flaws, but one that also magnifies those qualities which drew us to together in the first place.  Naylor’s quote goes beyond reflection into the hard core stuff — when we need a chance to flounder as we think and weigh and try again.  We don’t need judgment or “I told you so.”  We need someone who stands back and allows us to live and make mistakes.  But who will also be there to apply glue when it’s broken.

Are you the kind of friend who’s mastered the art of timing?

This too shall pass


This too shall pass

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I think the phrase This too shall pass requires an active, rather than a passive, approach.  For instance, my daughter’s change of residence (see Empty nests are for the birds) is not going as well as we’d hoped.  Granted, it’s only been five nights, but she’s spent 60 percent of those nights at “home,” in my nest.  Not that I’m complaining, but I know that wasn’t her intent when she made the decision to fly the coop.  I can’t be sure if she’ll be back, or if these are simply growing pains while she learns to spread her wings.  But without action, her circumstances will remain the same.  In other words, she can’t continue to keep one foot in each door indefinitely.  She either needs to stay put, confront her concerns and see if it works out.  Or she needs to accept that it’s not right for her.  Even if that means temporarily returning to the nest.

Do you believe this too shall pass with, or without effort?

Getting ready

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[Image credit: Ambro]

In yesterday’s post, When you least expect it, I talked about how I’m afraid if I don’t stick my nose into fate, then I might miss out on what I’ve been waiting for my whole life — or perhaps what I never knew I’ve been waiting for.  But then I worry that tampering with timing and logistics may alter the course of my future altogether.   Instead, I must move forward with the expectation that my limited imagination underestimates the fruits of my labor and that I will be overwhelmed with gratitude once I finally arrive.  However, I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot more patience than I think I possess, while at the same time filling the time and gaps to equip myself for Someday.  And on the days when I’m feeling discouraged and see no progress, I need to remind myself I’m not missing out.  That I’m just getting ready.

How do you fill the time as you wait for your dreams to come true?

‘Tis the season

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Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder.
~ Tia Mowry

This past week has been a particularly challenging one for my daughter.  She’s had to make some tough decisions and many days all I’ve been able to do is sit back and watch, listen and offer mama-sized hugs.  And although during the last couple of years the dynamics of our mother-daughter relationship have evolved (and I wouldn’t have it any other way), I can’t help but fight the regrets over years’ worth of selfish parenting rather than selfless parenting.  I mentioned my remorse to my best friend and she patted me on the back, then told me the timing is perfect for my daughter now.  Those words encouraged me to begin moving past the misgivings and dwell, instead, on the daily opportunities in front of me to do it right.  Or at least do it better this time around.  Second chances are a beautiful thing.

Have you discovered a new season of do-it-right opportunities?

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?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

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Last night I was reflecting on my life and how in one area, everything seems to be lining up.  Each piece of the puzzle is falling into place — except for the few stray ones that can’t be positioned until the timing is right.  But then I started to feel conflicted.  Just because something looks and feels right, doesn’t automatically mean it is right.  So I took a mental step back and asked myself if what I’m waiting for and working toward is worth the risk.  And before I even formulated my answer, I realized that in this particular situation, it’s not solely up to me to decide the outcome.  However, nothing can or will be gained if I keep my feet firmly planted, mentally or otherwise.  Consequently, at the end of the evening, I returned to my place in line … unless I hear differently.

Are you a risk taker, or do you like to play it safe?