Let go!

letting go 2Sometimes we struggle and struggle to make something work and it just doesn’t. I never want anything to defeat me. When this happens I feel so unsuccessful. Failure jumps in and causes me to show my frustration with whatever I was working on. I hate giving up.

I just have to learn that in some cases I am not defeated. It is not giving up. That is so hard to see. There are some things that we don’t need to succeed at. It may not be the right thing for us in the first place. We can get caught in wanting to fix things that are not ours to fix. There are things that cannot be fixed. This is a difficult lesson to learn. We can continue struggling and get absolutely nowhere.

The prayer from AA talks about fixing the things we can, letting go of the things we can’t fix and most critical the wisdom to know the difference.

Working in the medical field shows you clearly that there are things you can’t fix. I can’t heal the child with brain cancer or stop an illness from progressing. I can’t go home and night and obsess about those things or I will not be able to help the things I can help.

Sometimes it is time to let go and move on to the next thing. We just have to learn when to do it.

 

Cherish those who matter

Life, as usual, throws curve balls whenever it feels like it. My husband has been peaked for several day and now there has been another family crisis. Nothing health wise, thank God, but the usual drama. It is something that can be dealt with and will be but it has brought about some upheaval.

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Maybe, because I am a nurse, if something bad happens but no one is going to die I am ok. Life constantly has ups and downs and we just have to learn how to cope with them. I have found that one of the things that helps the most is having a strong friend/family base behind you. If you have someone that you can count on to hold you up when you are sinking it makes all the difference.

For me, that is why my family and my friends are so important. I work at keeping those bonds strong and it does require work. If we don’t connect with those we love we are making a big mistake. Someone said “don’t let the path become overgrown between your houses.” That’s not totally accurate but close.

cherish loved ones

We do have to spend time maintaining our relationships. It doesn’t matter if they are face to face, on line, mail, whatever. People’s lives are busy and it is easy to get pulled away from those you don’t connect with.

Take the time to nurture the relationships that matter. They are your lifeline.

Use your experiences

I have learned much in my 78 years. Life has not ever been perfect and usually not at all what I expected but it has been full with everything from grief to joy. I am so grateful that I can look back and see the times I was tested and grew. I realize that my empathy for others and desire to help comes from those testing experiences.

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It is something that I have said often but here it is again. Don’t regret those times of trial.  It is in the fire that the pottery is formed. You have come out of the fire made more beautiful and more compassionate.

 

 

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Remember that and use that experience to help others. I talked with someone today about how encouraging and full of empathy are the people whose blogs I read and those who read mine. We are a community.

 

A letter to my grandchildren #3

There will be many people in your lives. Every person you interact with is unique.

Family

family-sayingsFrom your first breath you have been part of a family. It is a good family. This is a wonderful blessing. There are so many different kinds of families and you have been blessed with one that is loving and caring. That is not true for everyone. Does this mean that your family is perfect? Absolutely not! We have our quirks and failings. You will like some members of the family more than others and it’s ok. We can’t find agreement  with everyone and that is true of family too. I have always believed that family is important. When the chips are down you should be able to count on your family. From what I know about our family this is true.  You may have done something you are not proud of. You may have hurt someone. You may think no one will understand and accept you. This is not true. Members of our family may be upset but we will never turn our backs on you. You are loved more than words can say and always will be. NO MATTER WHAT.

Friends

good friendsFriends are one of the most important things in life. A true friend will stick with you through thick and thin. Take the time to make friends and keep the communication lines open between you. Friendship can last a lifetime if you nurture it. Don’t let grass grow up on the path between you.

Acquaintances

True friends are few but acquaintances are many. You will meet many, many people in your lifetime. Some will be a positive influence and some will not. Don’t let the negative ones stay. They will drag you down with them. Life is too short to suffer negative people. Sometimes you will not recognize them right away but when you feel that drag pulling you down let them go. They are not worth the trouble.

Work and People

inspiring happy workplace quotesWherever you work there will be a variety of people. Some will make your work easier and your days better….some will not. It may be harder to shake off the problem people in that environment.. You may have a bad boss or a co-worker who tries to stab you in the back. Work is necessary in this life and some environments are difficult to live through. Remember to keep your eye on the big picture. If things are bad…Can you change jobs? Can you move departments? If not function in the best way you can. Kindness with others is always the best policy even if they don’t reciprocate. Meanwhile keep your eyes open for a better place to work.  Your relative, Jenny, says you need two out of three things (at least) in a job. 1. A great salary 2. A wonderful work environment 3. A job you love. If you don’t have at least two it is time to move on.

Are there still good people?

People are always interesting. You never know what you may find. I have learned that getting to know what is inside a person can make an amazing difference. Sometimes we think that someone is a terrible person only to find out that they are living with some really difficult things that have caused them much pain. Their behavior may be a reflection of that and not what you see on the surface. Don’t judge until you know the truth.

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We hear so many bad things today and it makes us think there is no good any more but this is not true. So many people are loving and giving. You just don’t hear about them. It is our love for our fellow humans that makes the world a livable place. Continue to reach out with caring and goodness will follow.

Kindness?

detectiveI love reading the stories about the “No 1 Ladies Detective Agency” by Alexander McCall Smith. Not only are the stories wonderful but there is enormous wisdom contained in each one. He writes about a time, in Botswana, when the “old ways” were being eroded by new ideas. The wisdom of the old culture is being replaced by less caring and courtesy….less connection with your “brothers and sisters.”

The loss of that kind of culture has been left behind a long time ago in my world. I am sure it is the result of many changes…..people leaving the land and moving to cities, not knowing your neighbors, having no relatives close by….etc. etc. It is unfortunate that this has happened. Things were not perfect in the past but I do think the world around me was more courteous.

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My daughter spent time in Japan as an exchange student. She became aware of the courtesy of the people and their respect for others. Their world is also not perfect but I think living so close together has created an environment of an awareness of personal space and respect for others feelings. I hope that it is not eroding there also.

Courtesy is a gesture of kindness to others. Saying please and thank you are not outdated. Respecting others feelings shows caring. I see so many acts that express an attitude of thinking only of oneself. Cars drive in our neighborhood with radios blaring so loudly it surely damages the ears of the driver. People step ahead of you in line and glare at you when you seem surprised.

It has become quite common for cell phones to ring in places that are not appropriate. People answer their phones while eating with others ignoring those they are with.

Singa_the_Courtesy_LionI know I am seeing things from a different perspective but courtesy improves our environment. As the population grows we will be living even closer together. Will we end up hating each other for our attitudes or will we finally learn how much kindness matters?

 

Share yourself

Our society expects us to maintain a facade. We must never seem broken or fragile. Society sees this a weakness. Underneath all of that the reality is that it is frightening. If you are shattered maybe that will happen to me.

Think about how we greet people. “How are you? I’m fine.” We may be suffering but oh dear we better not share it. I have heard people respond “not okay” and the other person doesn’t even acknowledge what has been said. Too often we don’t want to hear it. It might draw us into the pain and suffering that we don’t want to see.

In truth, most of us are balanced on a precipice and feel that a little shove might push us over. We wouldn’t want anyone else to see this as that would diminish us in their eyes.

Most of my life people have sought me out to share their fears and their pain. I don’t think I am at all special. It is because I have never hidden my own wounds and am willing to open myself to others. I’m not sure why I am this way but it is who I am. Being this way is not always comfortable but it has given me the opportunity to show compassion and love.

Never be afraid to share your true self. Some will turn away but it is their own fears that cause that. Showing others how you have learned and continue to move on will give them hope.

 

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Discernment

Finally got to a computer at my daughter’s house. I can’t blame them it is my own relaxation that has stopped me from writing. It is nice to take a break.

I have been doing a lot of reading and just being. Spending time with this family is a boost in intellectual conversation and different foods. My son-in-law is a great chef and we have been indulging.

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It has also been time to consider my life in the scheme of things and I am mostly content with where I am. Sometimes there is that nudge to stretch out and do something more but my sense is that what I have is enough. Overextending can leave us with not energy. Then our ability to be creative is stifled. I have had to wean myself from some of my former passions and learn to be comfortable with where I am.

This is a difficult thing to do. There is always the pull wanting to go back but different times in live require different things of us. It is so tricky to discern what is called for. Life always throws us curves and makes us take a few steps back and reevaluate.

Image result for discernment quotesOne of life’s challenges is knowing what is called for at each stage of our life. To do that we have to take a hard look at where we have been and where we need to go. Sometimes we don’t want to take the time to do that processing and we end up in a quandary. We can be too hard on ourselves.

We must spend time “centering down” and living with quiet. it is crucial to our well being.

The importance of touch

I am now in Texas visiting my family. I is nice to reconnect. Not everyone has family for that kind of connection. In my life family has always been my rock. I was brought up to believe that will everything else fell away family was there. For most of my life this has been the case.

 

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One of the most difficult things about how we all live today is we are so separated. Yes, we can fly to visit family but it is not the same as being in the same town. When families lived close to each other it always seemed that there was someone that you could relate to. It might be crazy Aunt Lily or weird Uncle George but we were able to find someone who understood us.

The world is wider and narrower today. We are physically separated but can communicate easier. That helps in some ways but there is nothing like a hug. As humans we are wired to need touch and the fears we see with inappropriate touch has made us draw back from even simple gestures. I don’t know how we will fare if we are unable to receive the physical contact we need. Babies who are not held are at greater risk for a diagnosis of “attachment disorder” which can lead to serious antisocial behaviors. I wish I knew the answers but I don’t.

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Find the people in your life who are willing to share touch in a positive way.  We can’t live without it.

 

We all see differently

One day, a while back, I was at the beach and in the bright sunlight I happened to look at something with only one eye open. I saw the color of the object clearly. For some reason I closed that eye and looked through the other one. The object’s color was a different hue. It could still be called the same color but there was a remarkable difference. That’s when it hit me that not only do we each see color differently but our eyes can see things differently.

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None of us sees things in the same way. Each of us brings with us our lifetime of experiences. The things we have seen and been through have given us our own perspective. So how can I expect someone to grasp a problem in the same way that I do?

Years ago my husband and I went to marriage encounter. It is a wonderful program to enhance good marriages. We were taught a tool for getting closer to what someone else is feeling. It is hard to describe but is like bouncing back and forth “Does it feel like” until you find a common emotion to describe an event or issue.

For example I might say: does it feel like going to a friend’s funeral and the other person might respond no but it feels like your beloved dog died. I might then say I know what that feels like. It is frequently is a longer process but that is the idea. The whole things is based on discovering feelings.

I once knew someone who had great difficulty accepting a male image for God. I later found out she was abused by her father.

Getting to the root of someone’s feeling helps us to understand them. We can develop a bond with those who have suffered similar problems. That is why support groups work.

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Here on Word Press we find support from others who really understand. The community is important. Thank you to all those who share feelings openly and offer support and understanding. You are important!

No labels allowed

People often don’t want to admit to a mental illness because of the stigma attached. One of my physicians said “I don’t want to put down anxiety on your chart.” It made me think that until we are willing to take on that diagnosis the stigma will not stop.

“Don’t-be-ashamed-of-your-story.-It-will-inspire-others.” (1)

There are so many people with mental problems. There are so many who know they suffer with it but cannot reveal it. If we could accurately count the people who are out there I’m sure the numbers would be staggering.

Maybe some problems are longer lasting (maybe forever) and other are transient. I almost wonder if there is anyone who has not suffered in some way. I mentioned before that my daughter, when working as a psych nurse, was asked how you tell normal said: “Can you get up in the morning, eat, dress, work, sleep some and start over the next day? If you can you are normal.” All the trials and peculiarities of each life do not affect the ability to function. Yes, there are those who can’t and God willing, they can find help. The rest of us may feel that our life is erratic and up/down but still manage to get through most days.

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We continue to live and will not let our issues define us. Who, from the outside, can know what transpires in each person’s life? Who is arrogant enough to label anyone else? Only those who think they are “better than.” Their opinion does not define anyone at all. It only let’s us know the shallowness of their own psyche.

Never let other’s labels define you. Every person is valuable and important. Every person’s life has meaning. Show the world that everyone matters!