Advertisements
Archive | Understanding RSS feed for this section

Not Forgetting

7 Jun

There are all kinds of people in the world making all kinds of decisions that may affect our lives. We interact with them and build relationships with them, and they give us an anchor and offer support when we need them. Relationships are like bridges we build that connect us to each other. Trust is imperative as we develop bonds that bring us together. Without it, there is no foundation on which to build and we can never have rich, deep connections. Most people try to be honest but there are some who only think of themselves and have no concern for those around them. They may lie, or cheat to achieve what they want, and feel no guilt or remorse as they leave a trail of broken promises and broken people in their wake. If we’ve fallen into their trap, we may get hurt as they drive the knife of betrayal deep into us. Most of us will be fooled by someone at least once in our lives. Being manipulated and fooled doesn’t mean we’re stupid. It doesn’t mean we’re weak. It just means we believed in someone who wasn’t worth our trust. It’s good to give others the benefit of any doubt and have faith that they’re honest and trustworthy. If it turns out we were completely wrong, the guilt belongs to the one who lied and manipulated, and not to us. When we see everything clearly, we can learn a lot from what’s happened. We may forgive those who offended, but we need not forget the lessons we’ve learned. Every experience gives us something to take forward with us. Each step, even the wrong ones, teach us something valuable. We can gain everything possible from what’s happened, and move forward with increased wisdom and understanding. We’re intelligent and powerful, and nothing is strong enough to overcome us. With courage and confidence, we can move forward and find great success.

Love is a powerful emotion. When we love someone, we may overlook actions and patterns that may end up hurting us. Because we care, we might make excuses for bad behavior, or look the other way when there are offenses and pretend everything is fine. Our happiness and comfort are important. We never have to sacrifice what’s best for us because we have tender feelings for someone else. We can choose wisely and make decisions that will bring us what we desire most going forward.

We’re all responsible for our own lives and never have to stay in any situation that’s uncomfortable or doesn’t work for us. We can’t control what others do, but we’re always in control of our own decisions. There are countless roads to travel and we can always adjust our lives if we want something different. We learn as we go and can use every experience to guide us forward toward the destinations we desire most. We can have the lives we dream about and find true and complete happiness.

Today if you’ve been manipulated and hurt, learn everything you can from the experience and remember the lessons going forward. Learn all you can and take the knowledge with you. You are worth every happiness and nothing can keep you from it. Choose your next steps carefully. Be confident. Every success is possible and nothing is out of reach.

Advertisements

Tip of the Iceberg

23 Mar

Icebergs are very deceptive things. They may be huge floating in the water but no matter how big they appear on the surface what’s hiding underneath is far larger. What we can see floating in the water, even if it’s enormous, is generally just a small fraction of the iceberg’s total size. The bulk of it is hidden and cannot be seen. Sometimes we face a problem in our lives that’s like that. It may appear to be somewhat simple on the outside and we may make decisions for solving it quickly only to discover there is a far bigger situation lurking beneath the surface. We might have a complication that seems easy to navigate and make a snap decision to settle it only to find there are deeper issues in play and we have much farther to travel if we want to solve the real problem. It’s not always easy to see everything the first time we look. Some issues only reveal themselves over time and if we think we know everything from the beginning we may get burned. Although we understand rushing may mean a mistake, sometimes if we’re in a hurry to move on we may ignore valuable clues that give us the whole story. We have enough wisdom to understand complex issues and enough patience to wait until we comprehend a situation completely before proceeding. If we take the time to see all the information before us, chances are we’ll have a better understanding of how big the iceberg is before we attempt to conquer it.

People are sometimes hard to understand. We may take others at face value and believe the image they are portraying about themselves is true. Sometimes we are right and who they seem to be is exactly who they are. But some people may fool us. They may present themselves in a specific way to get our attention or favor when in truth they are far different than they appear. It takes time to get to know those around us and we can be open and still be cautious before we jump into a relationship. Relationships can be complicated and when based on half the facts can be very difficult. Instead of rushing we can learn a little more and take a little time to get to know others before we get too close.

Problems may have many layers we can’t see at the beginning. Sometimes they look innocent and easy to solve but once we’re involved we may discover there are many issues that must be addressed. Even if they are complicated and difficult we have everything we need to figure them out. We can take the time necessary to consider our options and find the best way forward. If we are patient and look carefully we will see the situation clearly and be able to solve it, no matter what the problem is.

Today if you have an issue you thought was simple to solve that has turned into a huge iceberg, take your time and see all the facts before you. You can find the answers one at a time and resolve the problem. There is nothing too difficult for you and you will succeed. Be strong and have confidence. Step by step you’ll find the way forward and you will prevail.

In the Middle

17 Jun

There are times in our lives when decisions must be made that affect others involved.  When everyone agrees on the same choice it’s easy to move forward and get things done.  But we’re all different and our ideas about how things should go sometimes don’t match.  We may feel our solution is best and then be confronted with someone who disagrees.  If the choices are vastly different, there may be conflict as the final decision is determined.  We all understand that compromises must be made from time to time but if we feel strongly about going a certain direction and someone else feels strongly about going the opposite way it may be hard to find common ground.  And sometimes there isn’t anything common within the choices.  When that happens we can find a way to go forward by looking for a solution somewhere in the middle of both directions.  It won’t be exactly the way we want it but it won’t be exactly the other way either.  We can give and take some control.  We don’t have to give it all up but we can’t take it all either.  Finding the middle allows both sides to compromise without giving up anyone’s entire choice.  It isn’t always easy, especially if strong feelings are involved, but it is the best way to ensure we continue to move forward.  If we dig in and refuse to give up anything we’ll end up stuck and that gets us nowhere.

If we find ourselves in a situation where we absolutely believe we are right and the other side is completely wrong it may be hard to hear why we should alter our decision.  Our choice may be an excellent option but rarely is there only one way to get anything done.  There are many ways to do everything and although our ideas may be great, it’s important to remember there are lots of great ideas.  If we openly listen to all the options presented and take the time to really understand another perspective we will more easily be able to compromise.  Allowing all the other points of view to be considered opens the door for new perspectives.  And those new perspectives teach us more about the situation and the options available.

Sometimes we may feel there is only one answer for a problem we’re facing.  There is only one way we can see to get through it.  When that happens if we patiently explain our position and why we believe it must go that way others will be more receptive to our solution than if we simply tell them this is the way it’s going to go.  We all deserve to be heard.  Finding the place in the middle is possible if we respect everyone’s opinion as much as our own.  Even when we’re sure we’re right, sometimes after hearing another viewpoint we may see where we could modify and find an even better solution.  Listening allows us to hear.  And hearing all the possibilities helps us find the best answers.  We are fully capable of making our own decisions but we are also capable of collaborating those decisions when needed.  Collaboration brings a more cooperative partnership and helps us move forward more effectively.

Today if you’ve made a decision and you’re sure it’s the best way but others disagree, listen to their perspective and understand their point of view.  You’ll learn more and your views will broaden.  Stretch your vision to find a compromise that works for everyone and you’ll feel more support and unity going forward.  We’re all in this together.  Join hands with those around you to get the job done.

The Illusion of Control

6 Jul

We have very little control in our lives. We can’t often control what happens to us, we can’t control what other people do, we can’t control what we get exposed to, and basically all we can really control is our behavior. That’s it. But sometimes we may get confused, and think we have more control than we actually have. We may think we can control situations, or other people. Many of us have had experiences with people who’ve tried to control us. Maybe we’ve been the one who’s tried to control other people, or outcomes. It rarely works, but it’s a pattern for some of us.

As we go through this life we gain experience. That experience teaches us, and often helps us understand things better. Because of our experience, we may think we really know what is best for someone else. We may think we have the answers to a problem they are experiencing. And maybe we do. But whether we have the answers or not, we cannot make anyone do anything. We may offer suggestions, but their decisions are theirs to make. If we start telling people what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, and we are not in authority over them, we fail. We are not in charge of the human race. The human race gets to do whatever it wants to. And even if that turns out to be something we would never do, even if it hurts others, even if it’s the dumbest thing we’ve ever seen – it’s not ours to control.

It’s hard to watch those around us make decisions that hurt them. It’s hard to see them confused, and lost, especially if we think we know how to make things better. What we can do is offer our support, and make suggestions if they are open to them, but then, we must let them make their own choices. We can’t make anyone do things our way, and if we offer advice and they don’t take it, that is their option. A lot of people think they can tell us how to live our lives, even people who don’t really know about our lives. But the control over our lives belongs to us alone. We get to make all the decisions. And the same is true for those around us. They get to make their own decisions. Let them. We can be there if they need us, but they are entitled to make their own choices.

Today if you’re struggling with control issues – either yours or someone in your life – remember that your life is the only one you get to control, but you get to control all of it. If someone is telling you how things should be, listen and take whatever advice from them that helps you, and let the rest go. If you feel the need to tell someone else what they should do, remember their life is theirs to manage. It doesn’t belong to you. Control is an illusion most of the time. Control yourself, your decisions, your behavior, and your attitude. Let the rest go. It’s a lot easier just to carry your own load. Carry that. Let everyone else carry theirs.

What do you see?

17 Jun

People who witness crimes, and are interviewed by police often have very different stories about what happened. Their descriptions of the perpetrator tend to vary widely – some say he had brown hair, some say he was wearing a hat, some say he was tall, and others say he was average height. There is always a lot of discrepancy between those seeing the same event. The event only went one way. Why are there so many different stories? We all have our own slant on things, our own spectrum through which we see things. Perhaps the angle is slightly different, or the light is a little brighter in different places. Sometimes we think we see things that aren’t even there. There is a lot going on in our heads, and during times of excitement, that can alter what we perceive.

I read a funny article about some ridiculous answers students gave for test questions. One really caught my eye. The question was posed as a statement, “Define hard water.” The student’s answer was “ice.” I laughed because although this was not the answer the teacher was looking for, it was accurate. Ice is, in essence, hard water. The student’s understanding of what was being asked was skewed by their perception of the question. Our lives are that way. We understand things depending on where we are, and what we’re doing.

Sometimes we misunderstand messages that others give us because our perception isn’t in the same place as theirs. A simple gesture can be misconstrued to be something entirely different than it was intended to mean. A word can be said and taken out of context, and misunderstandings happen. We are complicated beings. Our lives are busy, and our minds are actively processing a lot of information all the time. It’s easy to miss a cue, and misinterpret something. It’s important to recognize that, and get the clarification we need before we make judgments.

Today if you think someone has said or done something that has offended you, clarify the situation before you accept it. You may have misunderstood. Ask questions, and find out if what you think happened is accurate. Sometimes the sun is in our eyes, or there is something blocking our view. Clarification will correct the situation. Don’t make assumptions. Get answers. Understanding what is really happening is important. Understanding is the key. Use that key to unlock the truth.

Truth is Truth

1 May

My brother is very smart. He has a high IQ, and he knows a lot of things, but he’s somewhat lazy. When he was in college he took a complex class in physics, and the professor had a policy that if the students were taking an exam and could not answer a question, they could write “Truth is Truth” in that space, and enter something related to the course that had some theory of physics involved in it. Needless to say, my brother used this option a lot. He told me he figured he could learn some basic physics concepts, and use those to get through his exams. So he did that, and it worked. He passed the class. How much he really learned is anybody’s guess, but at that point learning wasn’t his focus – passing was.

Truth is truth – it’s a simple concept, and it’s correct. The truth of any situation is the basis of its existence. And yet sometimes we forget this basic concept of life. We sometimes pretend that the truth doesn’t exist. “Don’t look over there, look over here. Don’t listen to that, listen to me.” We do this when the truth is uncomfortable, or when we are having trouble facing it. We dodge, we hide, we camouflage, we ignore, and we pretend, and all of those things are effective in distracting us from the real truth of the situation. But they can never change it. It’s still there. It’s always there. Nothing can stop the truth from coming out. It can be hidden for a while, but eventually it will rise, and force us to look at it straight on.

Accepting the truth in our lives isn’t always easy. If we want something very much but for reasons out of our control cannot have it, we may convince ourselves that we can still get it. We just need to wait a little longer, be a little more patient, or try a little harder. Sometimes that works, but often it doesn’t. The trick is to figure out what we can change, and what we can’t. And once we’ve determined that, then we know the whole truth. And that’s what we must face.

There is a lot of dishonesty in the world. It seems that everyone is selling us something. It’s easy to be distracted by the glitz, the promises, and the thrall of something new. We have to be careful to look closely at the entire picture, and discern the whole truth of the situation. But there are times when we don’t want to know the truth, we don’t want to face it because it’s too hard. We don’t think we can handle it. However, whether we want to see it or not, changes nothing. It’s still there. It will not change. So the best we can do is to face it, accept it, and go forward.

Today pay attention to what you see and what you hear. Take a moment to think about it. Are you seeing the real truth, or is it a version of the truth that has been modified to fit someone’s model? Dig down. Get to the bottom of it. Truth is truth. And that never changes.

Reply, Reply All or Forward | More

Do you dance?

28 Apr

Our lives are busy. We have families. We have jobs, and friends. We have hobbies we enjoy. You might have a dog, or a cat, or a pet turtle. We’re busy. People expect things from us, and we try to accommodate them. Sometimes though it seems like people expect a lot from us, and accommodating everyone can become a burden. So we learn to adapt. We learn to dance. We do a little bend here, a slide there, maybe a dip next, and the notorious two step when it’s needed. Dancing can be fun, and sometimes it can be tricky so we need to be careful. If we dance all the time, we can lose ourselves while we perform for others.

Maybe your boss expects you to portray a certain image. It’s a good image, maybe not who you really are, but you play along for the sake of getting along. Or your family wants you to do something that you really don’t enjoy, but everyone else wants to do it so you go along. You want everyone to be happy, and it’s not like you HATE the activity so you adjust. Maybe your companion wants to go somewhere that you don’t want to go. They are pressing you to agree, and you eventually say it’s fine, you’re happy to go. But that’s not exactly true – you aren’t really happy to go, but you’ll go because it’s easier than saying no. You take a little step to the left.

We learn to dance. We do what is expected, we turn where we’re directed, and we partner up when needed. There is a saying that we should “dance like nobody is watching.” If we were truly dancing like nobody was watching, we probably would be doing things a bit differently. We might throw our arms in the air, tap our toe, smile and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” And then happily sashay away in a different direction. If we danced like nobody was watching, like nobody expected certain steps, we could move our own way all the time, and we might be happier.

Life isn’t really like that though. Sometimes we need to accommodate those we care about or need in our lives. But if we accommodate everyone else all the time, at the expense of our individual choices, eventually, the dance catches up to us, and we lose our footing. So, we need to find the balance. Sometimes we give a little, and sometimes we hold firm. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we say no. It’s okay to turn down requests. It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means that this time, we’re dancing to our own music. We’re choosing our own steps. Maybe a tango isn’t right for us today. Maybe everyone else is doing the tango, but today we need to waltz. We’re still dancing, but today we will choose our own steps. You can always choose your own steps. Do you feel like waltzing today? It’s a perfect day for it!