Posted in Life

Notes to Strangers: Takeaway From 2019

Looking back on 2019, I have found that most of the changes that took place were in me.  There was a lot of introspect which allowed me to come to terms with certain aspects of relationship dynamics that were in trouble.

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Expectations

You cannot expect you from others.  If you accept people for who they are, then you can establish more realistic expectations, thus circumventing any conflicts.  When you know and accept someone for who they are, sometimes what you perceive as a short coming is not a short coming.  It is just not a characteristic that the person possesses.  It’s up to you to accept or reject that.  It’s unrealistic to hold up an expectation to a person who is essentially incapable of meeting.  We don’t expect dogs to quack.  It’s the same concept.  Being aware of how we may be setting someone up for failure can really spare our relationships.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be very difficult and it can get complicated when forgiveness is halfhearted.  Forgiveness does not necessarily mean everyone takes their places and reenacts the way things were prior to the transgression.  It can provide an opportunity to purge all the components that lead up to the fallout and rebuild something different, stronger and better.  Halfhearted forgiveness yields bitterness and in that regard, to deceive yourself and forgive halfheartedly is like throwing water on a grease fire; it worsens the dynamic and makes it toxic and it chokes the life out of you and others around you.   Forgiveness is more about you than it is the person or situation.  Releasing the transgression and deciding to move forward is physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.  Forgiveness replenishes you inside and out: it has very little to do with the transgressor.  Sometimes you may have to forgive someone in the absence of an apology just to heal your emotional wounds.  It’s crucial to a peaceful existence.

Setting and Respecting Boundaries

Boundaries are great to establish because they reinforce mutual understanding and respect.  Not only should you set boundaries in relationships, but it is equally important to respect others’ boundaries.  It sounds simple; however, when someone draws the line before certain behaviors and habits they once put up with, breaking said habits and behaviors can prove challenging but it is all worth it.

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LOVE

Love is more than a concept.  Love is a verb.  Love is an action.  When it comes to loving others, sometimes you just have to do it with the understanding that they may be incapable of reciprocating in the way you love.  So long as it’s not harmful, that is okay too.

Those who are worth a place in your heart are worth the effort.  Like everything in life, relationships can get strained and worn and it is up to us to maintain them by why of minor repairs.  Expectations, forgiveness, setting and respecting boundaries with love are great tools to nurture, repair and rebuild those relationship dynamics that mean the world to you.  This was a valuable lesson for me this year and I wanted to share it with all of you.  What are you taking away from 2019?

 

 

 

Posted in Life

NOTE TO SELF: FAIL FORWARD

Taking risks, trying things, taking knocks on the chin… rolling with the punches and persevering.. how many quotes and platitudes can we spit out from the top of our heads in under a minute? I have got at least 20-25! Failing Forward resonated with me today as I think about the goals I want to set for 2020 and beyond.

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ROARING 2020s

For most of us, this month is the last few pages of the 2019 Chapter, but it is a bit more than that. It is the last few pages of a decade. The Roaring ’20s 2.0 are upon us! It’s quite remarkable when you think about it that way, isn’t it? Looking back from 2009 to 2019, so much has changed – not just with society, but with ourselves.   Think about 2009 you versus 2019 you… (exactly!) The technological surge has facilitated the sharing of ideas, support, and awareness of so many crucial components to human development. This is the positive side of the rise in social media. It is also providing all of us the opportunity to align ourselves with positive people that we can learn from and help us grow as individuals – world wide! That’s EPIC!

FAILING FORWARD

What does all this have to do with “failing forward,” so far? Well, EVERYTHING! We have so many resources out there that is mostly free to tap into. Although the world is full of naysayers and haters (most of which we are well acquainted and sometimes related to), there are good positive, motivating and encouraging people out there that are willing to help you along your journey. With that being said, I’m going to bypass the platitude, “don’t be afraid to try” and say to you, from this moment on, ‘Don’t be afraid to fail’… it’s an opportunity to learn, it’s an opportunity to grow and it is an opportunity to evolve. You are also no alone!

GO FOR IT

What ever it is that you have been afraid to shoot for, just do it. Failing Forward perspective is simply accepting you have noting to lose and everything to gain. If you haven’t succeeded at the first shot, congratulate yourself – most people won’t even try: and, most importantly, you walk away with experience and a new level of awareness you did not have before hand. The first time for anything is always the hardest. What’s so unique about living in this time frame is that you can always find support and allies – a community of like minded perfect strangers willing to lend an ear and share their experience with you.

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CHALLENGE

Use what is available to you and give whatever it is you have been secretly wanting and suppressing for whatever reason, a real shot! Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Dreams are amazing and are so significant and special, because their yours. They are wrapped in your wonder, splendor and hope… nurtured with the purest childlike heart that we all still possess. Why not nurture your dreams in reality? Fail forward for 2020… not trying at all is failure in its purest form by default.

Posted in Life

Self Awareness Quick Check: What drives you?

How we define ourselves and what drives us goes hand in hand; but eventually, this changes as we progress in life.  We all get older.  Children grow and eventually take care of us.  We retire from our careers. Some of us downsize; and then…. What?  If we do not periodically stop and assess what drives us, we can look back and find ourselves believing our best years have passed us by.  These rites of passage are inevitable and it is okay to accept it as something positive.  We must examine ourselves and discover who we are right here, and right now.  The version of yourself reading this blog is certainly not the same you as 2009, or 1999… and your future self in 2029 will not be the same as you are now.   What is your motivator?

What drives you?

This question is a question that we should all ask ourselves.  Life is ever changing and therefore our circumstances and our roles change along with it.  What once motivated us may not be an effective motivator today.  Without motivation, we develop a void with people, places and things; all of which, are fleeting and temporary fixes.  We get addicted to peaks and valleys of “happiness” and “emptiness.”  Or sometimes, we disconnect and go through our days on auto-pilot – not really living, but just existing like a buoy in the water.

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Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Is it your career, your family, or recognition?  Is it something else?  Is it a foreign concept that you have never bothered to ask yourself before?  Or, has it been quite a while since you have asked yourself that question?  Is it a scary concept to even think about?  Introspection is possibly the most fearsome journey any of us will ever take.  Taking a look inside of us and discovering what drives us incites fear of what we might find.  Ultimately, what we find are parts of ourselves that we have forgotten, neglected or ignored.   These parts of ourselves can subconsciously influence what drives us.  It may seem harmless for a time, but when life shifts – the cracks begin to show and it can be traumatizing.

What is important to you?  Why?  What are your strengths?  What would you like to contribute to your loved ones and your community?  Do you have any dreams that you have not fulfilled?  Is it time to revisit them?

Just a few questions to self that are worth asking and pondering.  Perhaps, these answers are worth writing down.

 

 

Posted in Life

Notes to Strangers: Decision Time

We are creatures of habit.  This is what makes healthy habits so vital to us.  Healthy habits facilitate happiness and fulfillment.  When we continue on the path of “functioning in dysfunction” until we end up at a crossroads much like an addict that hits rock bottom with nowhere else to go.  A path must be chosen.  Do I go away to school?  Do actually marry this person?  Do I get a divorce? Do I reinvent myself?  Do I put myself out there again?

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These questions can debilitate us because they are loaded with with unknown.  Sometimes, this limbo can be comfortable, and other times, we tolerate the pain because familiarity is all we have left to hold on to.  The danger in doing that is, you cause yourself more pain and anguish.  You also stunt your growth as a person.  Stunting your growth as a person can cause great dis-ease in yourself.  It can lead to depression or worse, despair.

Making a move can be so scary, whether literally or figuratively.  It is inevitable, though.  Some of us are afraid of change and others are afraid of making a mistake, but how else do we learn from experience?  Being brave enough to decide which direction you want to go clears away a good amount of the anxious “what if” static in our heads.  The path becomes clearer and we save ourselves the pain of letting circumstance choose.  If we ride the fence long enough, it breaks from the weight of our baggage and we have to be reactive, rather than proactive.

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Reactive responses to situations do not bring about the most favorable results for us.  Reactive responses tend to take us the long way around the barn.  If that sounds like you, don’t fret.  There are lessons to be learned along the way, but going forward, note that waiting for circumstance to make a decision for you can cost you a lot more than you bargained for and you can save yourself all the trouble by being honest with yourself about what needs to be done.

We tend to let circumstance decide for us:

  • when we are afraid of the unknown
  • when we are afraid of what others may think or feel
  • the challenges that come along with our decision
  • faith and perspective: confidence in ourselves to take on a different direction.

The unknown and the known can bridged by taking a leap of faith.  The known has prompted this contemplation of taking a new direction.  The opinions and feelings of others is not our responsibility.  There are times where some decisions will have to be made for our own well being.  We cannot pour from an empty cup.  Challenges arise with any and every new endeavor and sometimes we may find ourselves having to be our own cheerleaders for a time.  Perhaps the support we need may come from sources we least expect, but it’s out there.  Faith and perspective is what facilitates focus.  When we focus, there is little to nothing we cannot accomplish.

Need some support in a new endeavor in life?  Drop a line.  Let’s talk.