Tag Archives: Burn

Uncovering Truth

13 Jun

As we go through our lives we experience many things. We have bad experiences, good ones, difficult times, easy moments and a huge spectrum of emotions. We feel everything we go through and whatever we experience involves some sort of emotion. Some people are stoic and it’s hard to know what they are feeling and others wear everything out in the open for all to see. Whether we display them or not we will feel a broad range of emotions every day. They help us understand what we’re going through but we must be careful that our emotions don’t deceive us. Feelings can lie to us and make us believe things that aren’t true. They are often reflective of experiences we’ve had in the past and if we have unresolved fear, unsettled disappointment or uncertainty our emotions may bring it to the surface again. They may color our interpretation of what we’re going through now even though they have nothing to do with our current situation. When we feel unsure or afraid we can take a moment to think about what is triggering the emotion. Does it pertain to what’s happening now or is it just a memory resurfacing? We can uncover the truth and take control of our lives. Emotions are complex and deeply ingrained in who we are. We can manage them effectively by looking at them objectively and seeing them for what they are.

Our emotional memories are very strong. Someone may say something or we see something that reminds us of a difficult time and all the emotions we felt may come flooding back. We can’t control the response but we can control what we do when it happens. If we’re suddenly overwhelmed with sorrow or fear we can take a breath, let the flood wash over us and then objectively determine how we will go forward. We don’t have to crash and burn because a difficult memory has momentarily overtaken us. We can resettle ourselves and remember the past is behind us and need not control us going forward. Every day brings new opportunities for growth and learning, and we can let the past go and keep walking.

Everything we experience changes us in some way. We are all the sum total of our experiences and each experience teaches us something we can take with us going forward. Even our worst trial gives us some value that benefits us. When old emotions take us back to the struggle, we can find the lesson we learned to help us going forward. Feelings may lie to us and tell us we haven’t moved at all, but we can uncover the truth and continue forward with confidence. We are amazing, capable and strong. There isn’t anything we can’t do or overcome.

Today if you feel bad over something in the past and it’s affecting your ability to move forward, look at the situation clearly and see everything you’ve learned. You can take the best lessons forward with you and leave the rest behind. You have everything you need to find happiness and success, and nothing will hold you back. Take control and move forward. The best is there for you and you will be happy.

 

Burn Me Once

12 Jun

There is a saying, “Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.” The meaning is pretty obvious – when someone hurts us the first time, it’s on them. But if we let them hurt us a second time, it’s on us. That’s true sometimes, but not always. It’s generally more complex than this. As people, we aren’t really that predictable, and there are always complications. We can be in situations where we get hurt, but because of the relationship dynamic, we allow the person who hurt us to remain close enough to hurt us again. Sometimes it’s because they are related to us, and cutting them off isn’t really a viable option. Sometimes it’s because we love them, and have faith in them. Sometimes it’s because we have a relationship with them that’s important to our lives. And sometimes, it’s because we’re afraid to let them go.

People make mistakes all the time. I make them, and you make them. We aren’t perfect, and we falter. It’s the normal course of things as we learn. We run into problems when we make the same mistakes over and over, or we allow others to hurt us the same way again and again. Relationships aren’t always easy, and the decisions we make in them are not always black or white. Sometimes it’s unclear how we should proceed. Sometimes we aren’t sure. We don’t want to be hurt again, but we don’t know how to go forward. And sometimes it’s easier to pretend that everything is okay even when we’re not happy. The problem with pretending is that it isn’t reality, and eventually that catches up with us. When that happens, we have to face the true situation head on.

We deserve the very best from ourselves, and from those around us. We won’t always give it, or get it, but we can try to do our part. If we offend someone we care about, we need to recognize what we’ve done, and make it right. And the same is true for those around us. However, sometimes those who have offended us are not aware of our feelings. When that happens, it’s up to us to tell them what’s going on. We can do it calmly, and politely. We will get the point across more effectively if we are not angry when we have the discussion. Then if the offense happens again, if we are hurt again, we can decide if we want to continue the relationship. It’s not easy to change relationships, but it isn’t impossible. We are the ones in control of our lives. If we are getting hurt, and we do nothing, we will be unhappy. We deserve to be happy. We deserve the very best.

Today if you’re being hurt, speak up. Explain how you feel, and do your part to improve the relationship. If nothing changes, and you continue to be hurt, remember that you are valuable. You deserve to be happy. Make the best choice possible to ensure that you will be. Happiness is a gift we give to ourselves. Give it to yourself today. You deserve it.

Refining

19 May

Trouble. It comes to all of us. Just when things are sailing along, bang, a wrench in the plans. It’s often unexpected, usually annoying, and sometimes devastating. None of us wants to deal with trouble in our lives. Problems are something we’d rather never have, but this is life. This isn’t paradise. And so, we have problems. Things go wrong. People let us down. Situations change. Promises get broken.

It’s easy to feel frustrated when our plans have gone awry, and we can be angry when there are disappointing changes. We can have all the pity parties we want, but in the end we have to face the new circumstance, whatever that is. If we are hurt, we may spend time wondering why this happened. Why us? Why now? Those are good questions, but they don’t help us deal with where we are. We have to re-group, re-plan, recover, and go on.

When metal is being refined, it is placed in very hot ovens. The fire has to be hot enough to melt the metal, and separate all the impurities from it. As the impure contents pour off, what is left is the refined, pure ore. It takes time, and a lot of heat for this process to work. But if we want pure gold or silver, we have to burn off the other elements that are undesirable.

We are the same way. We are not perfect. We have things in our personalities that need to change. We have imperfections we need to eliminate. Problems and troubles challenge us. They give us an opportunity to experience the heat of discord, the fire of turbulence, and the clarifying process of coping. If we can think of our trials as opportunities to burn off the chaff, opportunities to refine ourselves, we will be able to handle them more easily.

Today, if things go wrong, a little or a lot, try to remember that whatever has happened can work in your favor. You can refine yourself by being put to the test. You can become purer by experiencing a little heat. Think about that before you fall into despair. This is your chance to become clearer, nobler, stronger and more courageous. Let the fire burn, let the problems come, let things get hot, and know that you can handle it. You have everything you need to handle it. You can take this. There is nothing you can’t manage. Remember that today. There is refinement in the fire.

Burning Bridges

16 May

Bridges are great when you need to cross over to get somewhere else. We can’t drive through the river, but we can drive across the bridge over the river to get to our destination. Our relationships with others are like bridges too. We need the people in our lives to make the connections that take us where we want to go, help us get to our goals, and bring us happiness. Sometimes those connections are personal, sometimes they are professional, and sometimes they are emotional. Without our personal bridges, we stand alone.

I had a friend several years ago who had a great job. He liked what he was doing but got involved in a romantic relationship with one of the founders of the company. Things didn’t work out, and their relationship ended badly. After that, he said nothing he did was ever good enough, and then one day during a big meeting, he lost his temper, said some horrible things to her and the others in the room, and walked out, never to return. Afterward he regretted what had happened, and I asked him if there was any way to repair the situation. He said, “Nope. I’ve burned that bridge.”

As we navigate our lives, there will surely be times when others will hurt us, and damage our relationships with them. They do things we can’t accept, or they say things we can’t forget. Sometimes we decide the damage is too great, and we decide to end all contact with them. We are too hurt to allow them to stay in our lives. So, we burn that bridge. We cast it up in flames, say goodbye, and decide we’ll never come back.

But life is funny. As we go forward, we may find ourselves looping back around to where we were despite our best efforts. Our jobs change, and suddenly that person you severed all ties with becomes your co-worker, or worse yet, your boss. Or you move to a new location, you start over, and then you see that person who hurt you so badly is your new neighbor. What will you do now?

Burning bridges is a dangerous game. We never know where our lives will take us. We cannot read the future. We don’t know what developments lay ahead. It’s possible that the bridge you’ve burned will return to your life in a way that you’ll need to re-establish the connection. And if you’ve really turned away, it may be hard to reconnect. People come and go out of our lives all the time. It seems wiser then, instead of burning a bridge, to simply take a step back away from it.

Today if you face a situation where someone has crossed a line you cannot tolerate, where someone has gone too far, and you feel like extricating them completely from your life from here forward, you may want to burn that bridge. You may want to tell them off, tell them you are done, and tell them never, ever, ever to come near you again. Before you do that though, take a moment and think carefully. Perhaps the better choice is just to keep your distance from them for a time. Just walk away for a while. You don’t want them in your life as they are now, and you need space from them. But don’t burn the bridge – they may change, your lives will certainly change, and you never know what the future will bring. Leave the door open a little for now. Then if they return back into your life, you can decide how far you will let them in. And the bridge to allow that will still be there. Burning bridges is a dangerous game. Be careful how you play it.