Monday, May 15, 2017

Finding the Lesson in the Struggle

Life is the journey. We are here for a purpose. Challenges plague us all. We look at the world through the lenses of our experiences. No two people ever have the same experiences or take away from them. Perspective is an individual thing. A practical example is color. Have you ever looked at the sky or a photo and seen the most beautiful blue green, then showed the same thing to someone else and they claim its sea foam, and yet another sees turquoise, and another only sees blue? Varying perceptions of the same color. Why is that? Our eyes are as individual as we are. All of our experiences are individual, even if they happen in a group setting.

What about triggers. The word used to describe an uncontrollable (or uncontrolled, unconscious) emotional and/or physical reaction, manifesting from your psyche. There are as many ways to be triggered as their are actions. Some are triggered by words. (raises her hand) some are triggered by noise, some by smell, some by color, some by memory, some by feelings of being unsafe, and on and on for infinity. Trigger as a word, has become a trigger. seriously, words can be damaging. They can also be uplifting. I don't see how to hold one truth, without leaving space for the other.

Preconceived judgement, that is damaging too. This one is a bit self inflicted, making it harder to see the way out from the trigger. A lot of us live in this space. Things like, I am too fat to be a public speaker. People will not respect me, because I am too fat and obviously that makes me weak in their eyes. So, instead of giving a talk, that could help people,  you stay in. Maybe you beat yourself up for over eating. Maybe you starve yourself as a punishment. Maybe you sit and hate on the people you think would judge you. Maybe all of your emotions try to surface, so you eat a box of donuts. Maybe you shut down, and belittle yourself in your mind. Maybe you get mad, and yell at all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. No matter the choice or method of self deprivation. You are not helping yourself, or anyone else by letting your mind tell you how people may react, and only considering the negative effects. What if instead, you focused on your speech. You listened to your spirit and followed through in a brave attempt to bring peace to someone else? What if you got to see the light come on behind someones eyes, because your words had such a profound effect on them. What if your friends were actually proud of you, for stepping out of your comfort zone? Aren't those likely outcomes too?

I have noticed a pattern in American society (i doubt its limited to us though). We tend to gravitate to the negative more easily than the positive. Why? When something we don't like or understand happens, why do we look for a place for blame, and rarely within ourselves? It feels like if something happens, it is perfectly acceptable to us if we can take the blame from ourselves and put it on another. I am not sure that is the best way to handle our struggles. Yes, sometimes things happen through no fault of our own. Do we need to be a victim? Do we need to feel powerless? I think not. You can hold your truth here too. Mine is mine, yours is yours, but if you share your perspective with me, I am sure we both will grow in compassion, love, understanding, and perspective.

Uncomfortable events are happening to us and all around us. So how do we fix our eyes on the good? How do we leave the victim mentality behind? For me, something that has helped, is looking for the silver lining. Straight away, think, what can I learn from this and be a better person because of it? If I am afraid to speak, I shut my own worth down. I have devalued myself. And I might just hold someone else responsible for making me feel this way. More often than not, I would be doing myself a disservice by reacting this way. Now that I am aware of it. I have a new idea. I have a new approach. I want to share it with you. Maybe you will find value in it. Maybe you will think I have lost my mind, maybe something in between. I may never know. And I have decided to be sad about that, but ok with it. I'm sad because I want your ideas. That is all.

My new approach is to look at my own thoughts, and see what they are telling me. Am I projecting my fears or has someone actually said or done something with the intention of causing this negitive feeling inside of me? If I think they have, I ask. I say "When you said 'blah, blah, blah' i took it to me that you think I am not a good choice for this because I am 'whatever I feel they meant', is that what you were trying to say?" I ask clarifying questions, and tell them what I think they mean. I am usually wrong. I am way harder on myself than anyone has ever confessed to. I also know that people lie. That is ok too. I prefer the truth, but we all modify it to be more easily digested. Its ok to do that. We have to be comfortable with ourselves in order to be comfortable with others. So keeping your words kind, when you are angry, feels like a lie. BUT, when we react from a loving place, without condemnation or fear, or judgement, wow! miracles happen there!! Another helpful thing for me is the knowledge that people really do the best they can within their set of skills. We all have different strengths and therefore weaknesses too. Judgement is a door shutter. I want to be a door opener. I am working through my judgments, so I can see the beauty in everything. Its gonna take a while, but I am confident that it will be worth it.

I am sure Ill get more into this later. If any interest is shown, or if I feel the pull of Spirit to share more. Trust me when I say sharing is hard, but I think it helps too.

Thank you for reading and hopefully adding your thoughts, ideas, questions etc.

Be well. Be You. Be love. Beautiful.

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