So, I sleep on the right side of the bed.
I do my best to be joyful, optimistic, look on the bright side, speak and think with kindness, trouble shoot issues from a place of possibility and assume that no matter how mean someone seems, they are just doing their best. I complain though too, just as we all do.
Sometimes I forget that I lived a whole life before actually starting to live my life. I used to look at those years as wasted time, until I got to the most impactful thing I've learned thus far: love it all.
Difficult situations, sunny vacations, filling out a police report, saving a life, being saved, watching kids grow up, creating community, being snubbed, drinking coffee, being sick, getting married, being divorced, laughing all day, crying myself to sleep, seeing the world, being stuck, canceled flights, wild nights, falling in love, being dumped, learning something new, getting wrinkles, and the list goes on….
Everything that happens and every choice we make comes with an opportunity to move forward and enhance life, stay the same and remain neutral, or go backwards and take away from life. We are the ones who make that decision difficult and keep ourselves small. Choosing to get stuck in complaint is JUST AS EASY as choosing not to. Choosing regret and guilt is JUST AS EASY as being free and full of life. Yes, it takes practice, and yes it is possible.
I can celebrate and love it all. Today, that choice is easy.
But Baby, I Just Need One Good One To Stay
When making decisions, big or small, I’ve been obsessed with making pros & cons lists (so much so that I’ve even bought pads of paper with sections and lines clearly defined for each). Since I started doing this years ago, I’ve noticed that my list of cons always outweighs my lists of pros. I attributed this to being realistic, safe and setting myself up not to fail. Seemingly all good things, but a freaking joke as it turns out.
Listing/thinking about/being motivated by all the reasons why we cannot do something, what would happen if it didn’t work out or how things could go wrong are all ways we sabotage ourselves out of what could go right.
So, more recently I’ve done this (and you can too): Think of the reasons why you can*. It takes less time than the latter and will open up possibilities that wouldn’t happen anyway.
Do it now. With the first pending decision that comes to mind (signing up for that training, choosing to change your career, going for a run, organizing that upstairs junk room once and for all). It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you really don’t need a long list of ‘cans’.
As Lady Gaga puts it simply:
“I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay”
Locate a reason why you can and allow yourself to thrive.
*For the life of me I can’t remember who said this to me a few months ago, but if it was you, send me a shout so I can thank you again.
When you tell learning to take a hike.
Eeny, meeny, miny, blame.
Blame is an easy way out of a difficult situation. It eliminates further thought, work, curiosity, insight etc. In short, blame is a bandaid, a way of thinking brings temporary relief:
- He was wrong and shouldn’t have done that to me. *sighs with relief*
- They aren’t doing it right and ruined everything. *sighs with relief*
- The problem is her bad attitude. *sighs with relief*
- This wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t ________. *sighs with relief*
- If only I saw this coming and wasn't so stupid. *sighs with relief*
Blame can feel good in the moment as it can make sense of or give an answer to a difficult situation. But: it is limiting. Consider that the warm feeling you get when you're blaming (because you’re right and making others wrong) is actually the fire of possibility going out, flickering and signaling you to notice it. If you were to listen, you might notice the lesson, gain insight into the given situation and maybe even into all parts of your life. If you're willing to listen instead of blame, there is a next step.
If you aren't up for possibility and want to be stuck, start blaming. It’s a tried and true, one stop shop way to completely squash all learning.