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Tag Archives: Decisions

Wolves

9 Dec

As we go through our lives, we meet lots of people.  Some become friends, some just acquaintances, and some we meet once and never see again.  We see people in passing, and interact with them in lots of different situations.  Most of us think we are good judges of character but sometimes it’s not easy to know what people really are.  There is the old saying of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” meaning sometimes someone looks one way, when in actuality they are completely different.  We meet people like that from time to time.  There is always a reason they are hiding behind what we see, and often those reasons are destructive.  It’s hard to see behind a disguise.  Sheep seem so friendly and docile that even if a little dark fur is sticking out under the white curls we might not notice it until the damage has been done.

It’s good to be trusting of others.  It opens doors for us and helps us feel comfortable in our interactions.  But when we have a trusting nature, we can also be manipulated by those whose intentions are not noble.  We might befriend someone we think we can trust, only to discover they aren’t trustworthy at all.  If that happens, we may blame ourselves for falling for a lie, but it’s not our fault when someone else makes bad decisions.  We aren’t fools because we trusted them.  Until we know that someone is wearing a disguise it’s appropriate to give them the benefit of the doubt.  When that is abused, and we discover we’ve been duped, we may be hurt, but we’ll learn more and can make wiser decisions going forward.

If we get tangled up with a wolf and get hurt, we may decide not to trust anyone anymore.  But that never works.  Most people are honest and deserve our trust and respect.  If we judge everyone based on the few who choose badly, we only end up hurting ourselves.  We can’t live in a vacuum, and we need others in our lives.  No matter what’s happened, we’ll find a way to recover, and use the information we’ve learned going forward.  We can be brave enough to allow others to get close to us despite the experience.  We are in control and we can make excellent decisions and judgments.  There are a lot of genuine sheep in our lives.  There are people who care about us and want what’s best for us.  We can’t disregard our good relationships with them because there are a few wolves waiting in the wings.

Today if you’ve discovered you’ve been manipulated or in some way treated dishonestly, and you’re hurt, learn from what you’ve experienced.  You know more now than you did, and you can go forward with confidence.  You can still trust those around you, and allow them to get close to you.  There are a lot of good sheep in your world.  Don’t let one wolf turn you against those who love and care for you.

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Do This Not That

3 Sep

It seems everyone is willing to give us advice. Sometimes we ask for it and when that happens we may be glad to receive it. Other times those around us may offer it because they think we need to hear it. We may not want their advice so when it comes unsolicited we may not appreciate it. Even though we are the only ones who know exactly what’s happening in our lives, others sometimes think they know better and will tell us not only what they think, but what they think we should do. We may take from their comments whatever we find helpful, but we aren’t compelled to listen to anyone’s suggestions about our lives if we don’t want to. We are free to live each day as we choose, even if that doesn’t match what someone else thinks is best for us.

It’s natural to want to be helpful when we care about someone. If we see them doing something we think is the wrong decision, or something we think will hurt them, we may want to step in and tell them how to change things before something goes wrong. We care about them, and we don’t want them to suffer. But there are limits to what we should do, and certainly limits to what we can do. Perhaps we have a friend who makes the same mistake over and over again, and always gets hurt. If we see them headed down that same, tired road again we may want to stop them before things go wrong. We can talk to them about their decisions, and we can offer our advice, but if they don’t accept it, we have to let it go. It’s hard to walk away when we think we can help, but if they don’t want the advice, it won’t help anyway.

We can find ourselves giving advice without thinking about it. If we see someone doing something we don’t agree with, or something we don’t think will work, we might just speak up. It’s fine to give suggestions but we must remember that a suggestion isn’t an order. The receiver doesn’t have to listen to us, and we need to respect their choices. We never really know the entire story of why anyone does anything. There are often extenuating circumstances affecting their decisions, but even if there is nothing more than what we can see, the choice is theirs to make. We all get to make our own choices, good or bad. It’s up to us.

Today if you’re getting advice you haven’t asked for you may choose to follow it or let it go. Be thankful to those who think enough of you to offer their help, and then choose what’s best for you. If you find yourself giving advice, remember that your suggestions may not be followed. In either case, it doesn’t mean the advice is bad. It just means we all get to decide what we’ll do on our own. Getting it or giving it, advice is just a suggestion. Take it or leave it, it’s up to us. You know what’s best for you. Follow that.

Finding Peace

4 Aug

There are a lot of ups and downs in life. Sometimes it goes easily, and sometimes not. When we’re disappointed about the way things are going, we can find ourselves unsettled, and upset. If we’re unhappy with where we are, or what’s happening, and we desperately want something to change, it’s hard to find peace. Although we may want a change, there are times when we have no control over the issue. Nothing we can do will move it along or transform it. At times like those, it’s hard to be comfortable. We may feel impatient, and frustrated. But sometimes we have to endure things as they are, even if they aren’t the way we want, or need them to be. Eventually things may improve but until then we’re stuck. And we aren’t happy.

There is a lot we can change about our lives if we want to. We have control over what we do, and how we react. But we don’t have any control over the decisions of others. Unfortunately when someone in our circle makes a bad decision, or a decision we don’t like, and it affects us negatively, it’s hard to accept. We may fight against it. We may argue and disagree. But in the end, the only decisions we can control are our own. And sometimes that means we have to take what comes, even if it’s not what we want.

It’s helpful to remember that acceptance can bring peace. We don’t have to like a decision that’s hurting us or making us uncomfortable, but we can understand that it’s been made and we can’t change it. If we can’t change things, we have to accept them as they are. It may take time to get to acceptance, and we may have to overcome anger and disappointment, but once we decide to let it happen, we can relax, and let the stress go. We can find a way around the problem, and we can move forward. Acceptance will bring us peace – not always happiness, but peace. And peace is important in our lives.

Today if you’re struggling with something that is making you uncomfortable and you don’t have the power to change it, work on accepting the situation as it is.  Let it go, let yourself relax, and find peace. You deserve a happy and peaceful life. Acceptance will help you find it. Take a breath. Let go. And then move forward.

Changing Channels

27 Jul

Studies of the brain show that it takes very little energy for us to change our minds.  In fact, it’s miniscule.  It takes virtually no physical effort to do it, but the emotional or mental effort is another story.  When we’re in a situation we don’t like, when we’re uncomfortable and want to change, it seems like a simple solution – just change it.  But when others are involved, and there are feelings to consider, the solution becomes complicated.  If we want to change a situation or a relationship we’ve had for a while, we want to do it well.  Often no matter how we try to make that happen someone gets hurt, and it doesn’t go as smoothly as we may have hoped.

We are in charge of our lives and we get to decide what we do and don’t do.  If we need or want a change, we are entitled to it.  But usually just waiting for the change to happen doesn’t work.  We have to initiate it.  We have to do whatever is needed to facilitate it, and make it happen.  If others are involved, that may mean a difficult conversation that we may dread.  But we deserve the life we want the most.  We deserve to be on the path that’s best for us, even if it means leaving others behind.  If we take some time to plan, we can do our best to make the change as easy as possible for all concerned.

Sometimes the changes we want to make don’t involve other people, but situations in our lives that aren’t working.  We may want to move to another location because we aren’t happy where we are.  Or change careers to something more fulfilling.  Or we may want to get more involved in some activity we’ve been putting off.  It doesn’t matter what change we are seeking, they all require action.  If we want to change our lives we can do it.  We can change anything we really want to.  We just have to decide when we’re ready, and move forward.  Once we’ve determined to go forward differently, once we’ve had the conversations and made the plans, we can start again.  We can create a new situation where we’re happier.  Change is rarely comfortable, and sometimes not as easy as we’d like, but we can manage it.  We deserve whatever we need to be happy.

Today if you’ve been struggling with wanting a change in your life, whatever it is, begin now to do what is needed to make it happen.  Be confident.  You are in charge of your life, and you can determine what makes you happiest.  Today take the first step to turn things around.  Your life is precious and you deserve to have it your way.  It’s exciting to change things up.  It’s all there for you.  Don’t wait another minute to get to it.

Because I Can

10 Jul

We can do anything we want to in this life. We can make good decisions, and bad decisions. We can be wise, and we can be foolish. There is no limit to what we can do if we want to. Perhaps when someone has done something you didn’t understand you’ve asked them why, and their answer was, “Because I can.” Well, we ‘can’ do anything. But the big question really isn’t can we do it, but should we do it. Just because we can do something isn’t always enough reason to justify actually doing it.

Mistakes in judgment are part of the human experience. We all make them. Unfortunately we don’t have a personal manual to read every day to alert us when our judgment isn’t quite on target. We make decisions where we are, and we learn as we go. Even when we try to be wise, we may falter. But we will falter more often if we go plowing through things not thinking at all. If we just follow our noses around, and make decisions because we can, we may find ourselves in situations that aren’t exactly where we want to be.

Having the ability to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for us. For instance, a Maserati is a very nice car, and we may find a dealer who will gladly sell us one even if we can’t afford it. We could buy it, and be the envy of our friends. But if we do, we may not have money for our essentials as we struggle to pay it off. But we could do it. However, if we can’t afford it, the purchase will likely bring us hardship. There are countless examples of things we could do just because we can. But that doesn’t guarantee the choice will bring us what we want.

It’s best to remember that even though we can do whatever we want, we need to take some time to evaluate the choices we are considering. There are two sides to every coin. It’s wise to look at them both before choosing the side we want. We need to ensure that our decisions are not just what we could do, but also what we should do so we can be successful going forward, and don’t create unnecessary stress.

Today before you jump on a decision just because you can, take a moment to reflect on whether or not it’s a move you should make going forward. You can do anything you want, but it’s wise to make sure your choices bring you happiness, and not hardship. Think about your decisions. Look at both sides of the coin, and then choose. You’ll be wiser if you do, and happier with the results. And happiness is the best thing you can give yourself today.

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.

Do it for me?

15 Jun

When our close friends or family ask us for a favor, most of us will likely try to help out. Sometimes they ask for advice, sometimes they need help with a task, and sometimes they may ask us to do something we aren’t comfortable with. We may even be asked to do something dishonest, or not in keeping with our values. Since they know us well, they already know this goes against what we feel is right, but they may ask us anyway. How can we handle that? We value the relationship, and don’t want to cause an issue, but how can we do what we’ve been asked to do if it goes against our personal beliefs?

It’s a difficult situation to be asked to compromise ourselves. We may feel angry that they would do this, and feel upset to be placed in this position. We may be concerned about saying no because we don’t want to negatively impact the relationship. At times like this, we need to stop and think about what is most important to us. Is our relationship more important than our personal beliefs? Is it worth breaking our values to protect it? What will happen if we agree this time? Will they feel comfortable compromising us again in the future? Will this set a precedent? How will we feel about ourselves if we agree to do this?

Relationships are important to us. They connect us to others, and those connections are valuable. But it’s also critical that we make decisions that are most important to us. We have to decide carefully in situations like this, because either way we choose, there will be consequences. If we choose to do as we’ve been asked, we may feel weak, and hypocritical. If we don’t do it, we may hurt the relationship. It can seem like a no win situation. But there are ways to handle it.

If we don’t want to comply with a request, we can explain our reasons carefully, and show that we value the relationship, but state that we want to hold firm to our beliefs and standards. We can express our understanding for the situation, and perhaps offer alternative methods for solving the issue. We can be kind and supportive, and still be firm in our decision to decline the request. If the requester cares for us, and they probably do, they will understand. And they will respect us for holding firm to what we believe in, even though we aren’t doing what they wanted.

Today if someone has asked you to do something that you don’t feel is appropriate for you, make the best decision for going forward. Be open, and honest when responding to them, and show you care but cannot do what they’ve asked. Be confident in your decision. Make the best choice possible so you will be happy with yourself going forward. You are the only one accountable for your choices. Choose wisely.