My Turn For A Time-Out

my turn for a time-out“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self-worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.” Elizabeth O’Connor

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” Richard Bach

A person relishes compliments about their child or themselves. This helps to create bonds of friendship and goodwill with strangers your friends and family. The end result likely is an ally and a pal you can confide in.

Compliments stimulate greater achievement. They also place negativity into the background where it belongs. Seeing a gas tank half full instead of half empty encourages one to continue forward rather than stopping or worse backing up. We feel better when we hang out with certain people. They make us happy because they are happy. we look forward to a sharing time with them. They are non-threatening people. When we investigate their magic we find it is their lack of competitiveness. Competition leads  to jealousy and envy. We can be ourselves with these people. Question is why can’t we be ourselves with all people.

It is nerve -wracking to play the various roles throughout our day. We must show an in charge type of attitude at work. Most coworkers defer to us  and go along with our decisions. they are not aware of the stomach turmoil when we are not sure about a decision. If we make mistakes we will be talked about behind our backs. It worries us but the set facial expression and body demeanor tells others we are to be respected if not feared.

At home with the kids, we must be nurturing caring and a good listener even though we might be looking for these things ourselves. We half listen to the banter because our  thoughts are on the e-mails that must be sent out before morning. When our child questions us about what they just said we angrily state we were listening even though we know in our hearts that we weren’t. Of course it is followed by guilt.

Our spouses receive little attention because we have too much on our minds. The phone rings, it is a friend and we put on the pleasant carefree attitude. After all we are known for our good  humor and personality. We help with their issues and hang up the phone feeling drained and angry. Everyone else can have a time out but not us. We feel like screaming loudly, when is it my turn for the time-out. When do I get a break? do I have to schedule my time for the break-down or temper tantrum?

If we thought long and hard about the negative energy it took us to calm down we would skip it I’m sure. The alternative is to let it eat away at our stamina and nerves and contribute to health problems. At times we create our own dilemma. When we get up in the morning, do we see the same person as the day before? We haven’t changed just because we had a bad day at work yesterday. We are a capable person.  We are a good parent even if we weren’t tuned  into our child’s words the night before. We  had a headache and a deadline to meet. We can make it up to them and it goes first on our priority list of things to do. We plan to pick up our spouse’s favorite dinner. It will be a nice break for the both of us.

We are special unique and one of a kind. We have qualities no one else has. We do things to help others in ways we are not aware. We really need to attempt to be ourselves  with more of the people who touch our lives. We can’t always be the strong one, the one others lean on. we can’t always be right or have all the answers. Patience, understanding and empathy are difficult to muster when one is tired and feeling defeated at the moment. We set ourselves up as empowered perfect people who display no feeling towards ourselves. Time to uncover the human side of us which needs to eat, sleep take a break and maybe enjoy a time-out that is not always scheduled.

It is okay  to make mistakes and exhibit imperfections. it allows others to relax and even take over some of our burdens when we are overwhelmed. It is not an insult to need others or depend on them. It makes others feel less burdened because we show human qualities of imperfections. Life is a long journey. It is impossible to complete on our own. Mistakes teach us. Cooperation aids our learning. Maybe there is a better way or easier way for us to accomplish certain things. By trusting others We can receive the flame of light warmth and love when our fire goes out.

Why make life more difficult by causing more strife. One compliment can carry a person further like a feather dropped from a high building on a windy day. Enjoy the compliments others give to you and don’t be stingy with your own compliments. Showing us the areas we are being successful with permits us to appreciate our own worth and to work on the areas that need tending. Likewise when we give compliments and encouragement to our kids we promote in them, healthy bonds of love and respect as well as  confidence to never give up.

 “In marriage, with children at work, in any association-an ounce of praise of sinceere appreciation of some act or attribute can very often do more than a ton of fault-finding. If we look for it we can usually find in even the most unlikely unlikable and incapable person something to commend and encourage. Doubtless it is a human frailty but most of us in the glow of feeling we have pleased want to do more to please and knowing we have done well want to do better.” Anonymous

Deliberate Intentions

Intentions“Remember, You can’t be a smart cookie if you have a crummy attitude.” John Maxwell

Most of us do not  tread carefully when dealing with control versus diplomacy. Our preferences obviously prioritize our choices. Purchases are made with reasoning and logic, as well as consideration of others. Although final decisions do not guarantee complete satisfaction, from the recipient.

I hear it time and again how others are so inconsiderate. We all go on and on about the horrible things we receive from others. We view the gifts as meaningless. We recall the meaningful and memorable gifts we bestowed  on others. As I am speaking and listening I realize that I have been on both ends of this argument. Many times I wonder at a gift that I received. I have thought maybe it was re-gifted to me. I know that is a terrible attitude but the gifts were so fantastically awful. I began to recall incidences when the person receiving my gift was lame about shoving it aside quickly. I expected a big thank you and a few “aws”.

It proves how different we are in our likes and dislikes. Sadly it also verifies how wrong we are in our assumptions. Our intentions may be honest but we never get a chance to explain why we did gave or said something, It gets so misinterpreted. The more one tries to explain something, the worse it sounds and it sometimes comes out like an apology. Then  we are embarrassed and start talking gibberish as we dig a deeper hole for ourselves. We chalk the whole ordeal up to “that’s life” and we go on from there.

I have concluded that no matter how outrageous or careless a gift appears to be, somewhere inside of the giver there was a solid reason for their purchase. Grant it the idea may be lost on us but the intention was pure. So when the gifts are given away or stored in the basement of one’s home I am satisfied that the giver meant well and the gift  was sent with all good wished.  It makes me feel better and keeps the relationship intact without any bumps or scars. It also teaches me that I reallly didn’t need the gift and my concern for a friend or family  member transcends a silly token. I am being the clown if I believe in my heart that people’s love depends on my constant indulgence of pleasure items. When I need a friend and I dial the phone  I am not recalling  any previous items given. I am recalling the kind familiar voice at the end of the line that magically helps me to cheer up.

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” Theodore Isaac Rubin

Below is a true story, hope you enjoy it.

Sarah loved to cook. Her mother-in-law (MIL) hated to cook. Sarah invited her MIL to dinner often because she enjoyed how much her MIL appreciated good food and her MIL did a lot of babysitting. Her MIL, Karen, especially loved and would comment on Sarah’s bread. When Sarah’s mother-in-laws’ birthday rolled around, Sarah decided to buy a bread machine for her MIL. She could hardly wait for her MIL to open the gift. Upon opening the gift, her MIL was extremely disappointed and appeared to be offended. Her MIL bluntly stated, “Keep the machine or return it because it isn’t something I will use. Sarah was heartbroken and offended. The once strong bond of affection was strained. Both women retreated to their own thoughts.

After a few days, they talked. Karen said she understood that Sarah would like her to start making her own bread so she didn’t depend on Sarah’s invitations to dinner. Karen also explained that Sarah should understand how much she hated to cook and would thus never use the machine. Sarah stated that she knew how much Karen loved homemade bread and she wanted her MIL to enjoy it whenever she wanted without waiting for an invitation to dinner. Sarah also explained that the machine was easy to use.

Both women were so surprised at the confusion the gift had caused. Don’t measure the gift in terms of love. Many husbands have royally failed. One of my husband’s first gifts to me was a recipe card holder. I have told him many times he was lucky I went through with marrying him. It helps to think about the gifts of time that others have given. It is a much more valuable gift,. It makes one think about the times we have viewed our gifts with disdain. We assumed others weren’t even thinking about us. On reflection we were totally on their mind we were just a little out of sync. We should remember that  love is unconditional.

“That best portion of the good man’s life – his little shamelessness, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” Wordsworth

“Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.” Albert Schweitzer


Broken People

broken people“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”   Albert Einstein

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”   Albert Einstein

As we reach various ages, we begin to perceive ourselves as broken. Many of us suffer through difficult relationships with husbands wives siblings in-law, kids bosses friends home environment moves illnesses births deaths job losses etc. Sometimes we struggle through problems alone with little or no support. As we emerge out of a hurtful experience we feel fragile and broken. We believe we are used up and no longer new. We  can’t ever remember what it was like to be innocent and with high expectations.

As we encounter greater issues, little by little we feel defeated and diminished even more. if we wallow in the mire of defeatism we can’t see the finer objects being offered to us. They are almost within reach. I guess it is sort of like giving up on doing  any better with our life, We accept it and refuse to get up and get moving. It is an easy thing to do and requires less strength than digging ourselves out of our hole.

Even if we made the mess in our lives, we still can overcome our brokenness and put ourselves back together better than a finished puzzle. Life is not without problems which teach us to do better and to be better. The original model of ourselves, the one without any marks or scars or disfigurements, is not the  model of the best of who we are. It is the cocoon or covering of what is inside of us that is growing and transforming into the real us.

Working  through our difficulties helps us to grow even when we might have to suffer defeat ridicule and a total loss of self and ego. Emotional scars are present but unseen by others. We may have to encounter a short or long term illness that has a huge effect on our lifestye and is misunderstood by most people  who have not  encountered anything like it. The pain and scars physically, and mentally are huge. Many of us suffer relationship problems that are not always supported becasue of the social attitudes of others who blame us for bringing it on ourselves and asking for problems. These scars we keep hidden because no one sympathizes so we hide the emotional and physical and spiritual rebuffs.

None  of us want, or enjoy hurt and pain. At times the pain can cut so deep we do feel blown apart and definately not whole. We totally believe that wholeness is impossible for us now and the ideas of having a broken mind and body  and spirit are loathsome.  We do have a lot of hope in store for us. We have simply  gone through fire and we have survived. We are complete in a way that is pure and wholesome and without the flaws of ego, superiority, pride, jealousy, competitiveness, anger, and frustration. Most of us dump such items when we are in such crises. We are not armed to fight but to recover and make ourselves whole with the pieces of ourselves that are left and altered.

We have learned disappointment, fear, our own strength to survive against all odds, and love on a level that those without issues  never reach. Throughout our lives, problems are tossed at us. When we finish dealing with the problem we have already started to put the puzzle of ourselves back together. After each episode a more advanced form of ourselves  emerges. Sometimes it takes us awhile to comprehend the new us. It makes us  nervous because of the changes. All of our challenges create a transitioned copy from our original self.

We are not worse but better provided we learned the lessons along the way. If we can admit what was correct and what was wrong and when we can not only forgive others but ourselves we have advanced. Accepting the support of others and understanding why the lack of support was not  apparent is enlightening.  The caterpillar must  find a tree and crawl upwards as high as he can go to feed and make a cocoon. He must endure the weather and animals that want to eat him. He must have the strength and determination to make his way by crawling and avoiding being stepped on by larger creatures. It would be easier for him to remain a caterpillar and live his life on the ground. Those that choose the unknown, with trust in the outcome, emerge one day with total knowledge of the meaning of life. They are triumphant in the knowledge that they would never have acquired it, if they had given up in their worth.

We don’t want scrapes. We don’t want poison  ivy. We don’t want a bee sting. We don’t want a snake bite. We don’t want to encounter an irate coyote, bear or fox. We for sure don’t want to suffer a bad sunburn. We don’t want a cold rain soaking us. We don’t want to get lost. When we are climbing a mountain sometimes those things happen, but if we want to make it to the top, we must endure all the obstacles that get into our way. The hilltop is much sweeter when we finally reach it. We simply must not give up on ourselves but look ahead and keep trudging.

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out–The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit– It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”- Edgar A. Guest

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Living Up To Expectations

expectations“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles, possesses the only strength to overcome adversity.”  Albert Schweitzer

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having expectations is a good thing but when we allow another to have ecpectations of us it can become a challenge. It is not fair to have lofty expectations of another. We might offer a few options. From a child we might want a decent report card. A fair grade may be received on the next report card. If we want it to be all A’s then we have defeated ourselves and crushed our child.They can’t meet our expectations and may stop trying. In the end we all lose.

Of course we want our child to be able to compete and make the grade. It is how we go about it that will determine if they will do it. If the bar we want them to reach for is too high, then it will lead to  frustration. The shutdown of attempts is inevitable. Most of us realize what we can or cannot do. Of course it is desirable to strive for more and try to go further than we expected. This is more  like never giving up and continuing our effort forward. If we do better awesome but if we attain our goal that is also awesome.

Even our children should be involved in their own goal setting. It is not unusual as a parent to expect decent grades. Our child is knowledgable about the amount of time they devote to studying. When we are disappointed in their effort we can discuss the issue and demand better. They can determine the amount of extra effort they will give. If there is improvement we need to exhibit our pleasure. Upon seeing our satisfaction and their own results of working harder they gain confidence in the power of cause and effect.

If we force our agenda on them and send them to  their room to study for two hours, the chances are they are not in their room working. All of us need to have our own objectives and reasons for fulfilling  them. Power and force is never a good thing. If all of us are a part of the solution then we all have a  stake in the outcome and feel a satisfaction with the results. You just can’t make another person desire what you desire. You can’t force your expectations onto another even if it is your own child.

When any of us attempt to please because another is  controlling us,  it is a weak attempt and can cause us to become depressed and alienated. Kids feel they have let us down. they begin to believe they are not as good as the next person because they didn’t get the great report  card or score a lot of goals in soccer. they feel mom and dad are disappointed and they can’t change it because they can’t do it. It is the same for adults only we think it is different.

When the boss expects the impossible, it causes us stress and tension. At first we try but then give up becasue we know we can’t physically or  mentally accomplish the task. The anxiety we feel is overwhelming and it reflects in our bad mood and behavior towards others. Husbands and wives need to question and beware of the aspirations they set for each other. How perfect we must be in our babysitting skills or housecleaning or dishwashing efforts should be contemplated. Take into account having a cold, an ache or pain, tiredness, pressure from work, or simply a bad day or mood.

We can discuss some targets for our kids. Taking into consideration their wants and reasons for their own ambitions is important. A child who wants to play a college level sport may not realize they need to have good grades. Awareness of this may encourage them to work harder on their grades.You might consider a compromise regarding your ends and their aims. We should involve them and help them to own the goal.

Accomplishing any goals is uplifting and gains them a sense of self and security. They know they have parents they can count on for support yet they have input into challenges and pride in the results. We are teaching them how to seek opportunities and reach their potential. it gives them confidence to make an effort at an enhanced ambition and establish more targets for themselves to attain. The more any of us succeed at something, the more we will attempt the impossible.

As adults we should not allow others to set our goals. It is a shame that so many people do or attempt to control others. We are not machines and shouldn’t be treated as such. Machines don’t think or feel or take humanity into consideration. For this  reason humans should never be replaced. Keeping our focus on what can be done is vital. We can’t feel defeated every time another sets up a duty for us to do which is in the impossible realm.

What we can accomplish for ourselves is understanding what is and isn’t possible. Knowing this we can attempt assignments, but release the burden of finishing the goal on someone else’s given time-frame. Bosses get over it and go onto another project  or item. Spouse’s fail in their own agendas. The stress we have saved ourselves is tremendous. Let the bars that are set by other people fall back on them. Soar upward toward the loftiest intentions. The further you get from your own aims are cause for celebration,

Only we know in our hearts what is doable. Accomplish what we can and let the stress go. Remember that other people who are setting your purposes,  probably haven’t even attempted to accomplish such goals themselves. They have no idea what they are asking you to do. Don’t worry about failure and don’t let it define you. You haven’t failed if you gave it your best effort.

If I have never painted a house and ask someone to complete it in a day then most likely the sole worker is going to fail. they might know from the start that they can’t do it in a day yet they may attempt it. They know it was impossible, while I am the loser who hasn’t a clue about the length of time it takes to paint a house.  So the bottom line is to think of those people who set lofty goals for us, as children who need to learn more about life.

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”  Albert Einstein

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S.Eliot


Build Your Confidence

build confidence“Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman.” Marian Anderson

“It is the trouble that never comes that causes the loss of sleep.” Charles Austin Bate

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein

I believe that in all of our relationships we allow fear to enter. This fear causes us more pain than we need to assume or experience. Most of our pain is of our own creation. Husbands and wives doubt each others love or motives. Friends feel let down when their expectations of us are not met. Family members have the greatest burden next to spouses. We expect so much more from them and become inevitably disappointed and pained as well as angry when they don’t meet our expectations.

In all of this we must question our fear of loss. We prefer to keep our friend to ourselves. Sharing might find our friend enjoying another’s company more than our company. Husbands and wives are jealous at times when another person might interact with their significant other. Spouses also question each others desire to spend time with any other friend or relative or activity. Siblings resent each others pleasure with friendships while they ignore each other. Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law fear losing their son/husband. In all of this the main idea is that none of us care if another has a good time. What we fear is the loss of time and affection from someone we love and care about.

We don’t like to share anymore than a three-year old child  playing in the sandbox. There is a need in us to perform, improve and be better than the next person. We believe, even if it is unconsciously, that we can’t hold onto another’s love and or respect unless  we continually define our worthiness. Where is the confidence in ourselves? Where is the faith in what we are? How is it we do not respect ourselves?

Every day we have plans. We sometimes dress to impress, empower or compete with another person. We may not always be aware of our motives but they are within us. The challenge of facing a cold world is frightening and we lack confidence on any given day. Each day in essence becomes a battle. Will we be able to control an argument, propose an idea with confidence, or simply feel the power within us to keep our heads erect for the entire day no matter what transpires.

The only way to stop the tension is to have belief in ourselves. To trust our worth and value is the release of fears and our freedom to stop doubting our own presentation to the  world. Of course it is easier said than accomplished. Half of the solution is acknowledging the manner in which we ease our fears. Once we recognize the time we spend worrying and preparing we can refocus our energies towards so many other intentions.

If we spend so much time preparing our debut and then a tremendous amount of time in reviewing what went right or wrong for the day. It leaves us totally exhausted when we arrive home and settle down for the evening. Our minds are busy filtering through the many questioning thoughts swirling in our heads. Did I overstate something? Should I have said more and put someone in their place? Why did that person degrade me? How come I got the intense stare? Why was I ignored when I arrived on the scene? Were people talking behind my back?

The answers are numerous and varied. We sometimes speak more than we should, we don’t always state issues in a constructive manner, people have their own agendas and do get jealous so they degrade us to feel better themselves. Recall times when we wanted to put someone in their place. Others do talk behind our backs. It is a national pass time. People  are almost as concerned with what we say do and wear as much as they worry about what they themselves say do and wear. No wonder they quickly judge us as we enter a room.

Remember if you are looking or acting better on any given day, that is the time you will experience the stare or snub. Also recall the few times you responded in a negative way towards another without any legitimate reason. The person just annoyed you but thinking it over you don’t know why. We are all looking for pride and definition of who we are. Our egos are fragile.

I would suggest that we inspire a confidence in our children about who and what they are. The definition cannot be related only to what they excel at because even the best athlete must retire in time. Better to encourage innate qualities that one never loses and can increase with use and age. The satisfaction of this endeavor is limitless. the power of knowing who they are lies within them. It is therefore never defined by outside forces. They will enjoy a greater sense of pride. Yes they have their own talents but they also have their own multitude of innate gifts which are so much more to relish and appreciate. If we appreciate and love them unconditionally we might inspire them to unconditionally appreciate and love themselves.

It is not difficult to teach  one to have a concern for others. It leaves us less time to worry about our own misguided and troubled thoughts. The more we live outside of ourselves, the happier we become. The mind is an awesome creation but it can misguide us. Once we travel down the road of doubt and fear, it is difficult to go back. We remain immobilized. Question our fears. Put them to rest. Most of the time it is wasted energy. There are many people out there that we perceive as enemies who are waiting to be friends.

 “You can’t change the past but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.” Anonymous

“The purpose of human life is to serve and to  show compassion and the will to help others. Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer

Develop Confidence – Discard Fear

change is gradual“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Many times we allow others to dictate the rules and pass judgment on us. Of course at work our superiors do it all the time. The problem is bosses are not always correct in their conclusions of our work or behavior. Why one boss finds our work very good while another condemns it is frustrating. It is because like everything else, it is subjective. My idea about how to go about building something will most likely differ from your ideas about a structure. The person who gets to dictate is the person with more power. This does not mean they really have a better plan. It simply means they have the control over the rules. When one dictates the procedures, one also dictates the desired result. Even if we follow someone else’s guidelines, there is no guarantee of the outcome. The only guarantee is that we will take the blame if we are not successful. The truth is many people are diminished and insecure because others fault them at work or in any group project or situation. The result is devastating to the person blamed, who begins feeling inadequate about everything they attempt.

We might think about the child on a sports team who is rarely played, so his job is to warm the bench. He loses precious time to improve his ball skills while the players who get more field time advance impressively. What happens is the athletes playing regularly build their confidence while those players who frequently sit out most of the game, build their self-doubt. At times this can carry over into other areas of their lives. Adults who have trouble getting along with the boss are in the same situation. They can’t seem to get it right or improve whatever their boss is recommending. It would occur to any thinking person that it is not deliberate and the person is attempting to please their boss. After all they don’t want to lose their job. Curiously the insecure person doesn’t know how to get off of the damaging path they are treading.

The person becomes subordinate, has self-doubt and low self-esteem. These feelings add to his or her dilemma. What this person might have attempted before their insecurity fills them with fear. They are already under scrutiny and can’t afford to make any mistakes. They begin doing everything by the rule book without any thoughts of good or bad. In the end they fail totally because the odds have been successfully stacked against them. The sorry part is that they are now diminished as a person and innately feel like a failure. They have lost their self-confidence and desire to try anything new. It carries into all areas of their lives and we now see a depressed person.

At one time this person was relevant and viable and had some self-worth. They felt competent at making decisions. The point is they are still the same person. They simply allowed themselves to be defined as a person, by somebody else. This definition is far removed from who they really are and what they truly are capable of doing. They need to understand this or they will dive into a full blown depression. It is amazing the power one can wield over another without permission. It is astounding that people would hurt another so deeply without a care. If a boss is upset with someone’s work, they might simply get a mentor to intervene. They also might help the person with suggestions in a kind manner. Firing someone or ripping them apart is loathsome. There are other ways to deal with a person that would yield better results, keep their confidence intact and aid the workplace in the process.

Our attitudes, looks, age and personalities unfortunately enter into decisions others make about us. We may not be able to control these matters. What we can control and must control are our own beliefs. Our character is known to us and a higher being. Just because another person ranked higher in the job sphere does not mean they can dictate who or what we are. We must believe in ourselves and our abilities and leave no room for doubt. Having confidence and feeling adequate does not mean we can’t accept criticism and input from others. Even the boss has crossed the line if we feel subordinate, stupid, incapable and immobilized. It really is our choice to refrain from believing this defines us. We are so much more than that. We are so much more than others even know about us. We might have to learn new things but we are capable of learning. Given the correct tools advice and help, we can accomplish much.

If we are uncomfortable in a work situation, we might think about switching areas within a company, switching hours or teams or attempting to find employment elsewhere. We always have choices. We should never feel boxed in. When we believe we have no alternatives, that is the time we shut down. We might have to look around and search for our answers elsewhere. We might team up with another worker. We should be comfortable asking others for help or we might take a refresher course. What we cannot do is lose our value in our own eyes. All the wonderful things we do, can do and will do are lost if we give up on our-self. One person or one group’s interpretation of what we are is ludicrous. Step back and put the whole scene into focus. Sometimes change is good and might be the right thing to do. We can’t be afraid to step out into the unknown and take the chance. If we reflected we might realize things would not be any worse and they might just be better. Build your self-confidence and trust your own delineation of who you are.

“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if needed. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” Anonymous

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Dr. Martin Luther King

Image Of How It Should Be

how it should be now“Excellence is

Caring more than others think is wise. Risking more than others think is safe. Dreaming more than others think is practical. Expecting more than others think is possible.” Unknown

We strive struggle scrimp, save and at last expect things should turn out the way we planned. How pitifully naive we are if we believe that to be true. What we create in our minds is more important and by working towards that outcome it is equally important. The hard part is accepting the finished product which never appears the way we figured. It can be disappointing or it can be an awakening depending on how we  look at it.

We decide to have a  baby and can’t get pregnant. We follow all of the rules and finally it happens. We want a certain sex and of course find out it will be the opposite sex. We look forward to the shower we expect to receive and endure cramps and breathing issues throughout the day of the shower. Those of us who already have kids argue for weeks about getting the yard cleaned and ready  for the graduation party. We work in the garden and plant new flowers. The grass gets cut and we leave nothing undone for the special day. We  wake up early the day of the  graduation to the sound of rain pelting the windows. Glancing out the window we notice our flowers hanging over the grass.

We have an interview which we waited a long time to get. We are exciting knowing the boss finally noticed our great work. We are full of  pride and anticipation. We take our seat and notice two other people arrive to take seats beside us. We assume we will be called first. The boss comes out and mentions he will take this other person first because he has looked over his resume already and the boss has an important meeting to go to right after the interviews. They are behind closed doors for a very long time. We look at our watch and discover there is only one half hour left until the boss  needs to go to his meeting.

Finally the door opens and both men are laughing and shaking hands. It went well obviously. You are called next and you are thankful for this small gift. The boss is cordial and polite but allows you little time to answer. you are desperate to get everything you wanted to say spoken. Before you are finished the boss explains he must give his last candidate some time and he sends you off with a quick handshake and a mention to tell the next person to come in. You mumble to the next person and drag yourself back to work knowing  you have been defeated. What we imagined would occur didn’t happen. We feel like a loser and hold back the tears.

Our kids do well at school but never place first. Our son is a basketball star but finishes second to the key player who knows the  coach. We hope he will have a chance at a scholarship but we save our money just in case. We lament with our daughter about the difficulties of relationships when her idol asks another girl to the prom. We almost begin to believe we contaminated our own family with our loser mentality.

What is  wrong in all of this is how we are looking at our life. We are missing so much. After the baby  was born and lay in the mother’s arms, that mother would not for all the money in the world change that baby in any way and would lay down her life  for it. We understand the importance of patience better than anyone. We also appreciate the new child as a gift.

Our rainy day left us a less prideful attitude. We were not swelled up with pride in our house which left us  open for conversations with more meaning. It also taught us to remember to prioritize the important things because we obviously spent a lot of time fighting with our spouse about getting the yard in shape.

The lost job showed us how shallow people can be regardless of their important title. People are people. Who would want to work with a boss such as that. it also gave us the determination to attempt to find another job which we now enjoy. It was a tough year but all worth it when we look back at the results of our changes.

The agonies of growing up with some disappointments has taught our kids a tremendous amount. When things don’t come easily, we learn to dig in, work hard engage tenacity and grind our way into succeeding. When we are bested we learn to have regard for those we vanquish. Our kids are further along in their studies of character, empathy morality and truth. We can’t learn so much of this through school but only through life and living.

Being thwarted in our endeavors is not always the worst or end. Sometimes it brings out the best in us and make us more real. After all we don’t all like to be out with the ants and the bees so the gorgeous  yard is probably not as noticeably beautiful as we think. The gracious  host and animated company of people is so much better. We need to instruct our kids in the knowledge of accepting what comes their way as something to embrace and understand. We are learning that defeats are pushing us in the right direction even when we resist going. The real surprise is at the end of the journey we rejoice that we were sent in that direction which proves to be the correct path.

“What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to experience? What do you want to contribute? What do you want to become? In other words, what does success look like for you? If you don’t define it, you won’t be able to get where you want to go.” John Maxwell

“I have learned that it is  not what I have in my life but who I have in my life that counts.” Albert Schweitzer

Self-Destruct Is Not An Option

self destruct is not an option“Using guilt as a tool to coerce your son or husband diminishes growth in relationships. Your son/husband possesses the capacity to love both his wife and his mother.”

“Forgiveness is the final form of love.”  Reinhold Niebuhr

I was at a park the other day, and overheard a daughter-in-law, ripping her father-in-law to shreds. Her acquaintance appeared to be the unwilling victim, as she tried to diminish every incident the woman discussed. In between her angry testimony, the distraught woman mentioned, that she was at the moment, living with her in-laws, because she was having a house built. She also mentioned that she’d lived with them before, when pregnant with her, first child, because of the painting being done at her house.

In all of this, it never occurred to her that the house of her in-law’s had been opened to her and her husband. They and their two children were welcomefor as long as they needed. Her The mother-in-law was barely mentioned, which I would say was a good thing. If we only see our side of any situation, we will never find the truth. It’s never easy to live with anyone, without having some disagreements from time to time. Living with ones’ in-laws may open a can of worms.

On the other hand, one must observe the situation in its entirety. If you are saving money, time and aggravation, you are well ahead of the situation. To accept with dignity, the small irritations which only become huge when one dwells on them too long, is a consequence. The rewards outweigh the minor failings. I say this all the time, but by walking in someone else’s shoes, we become more aware of the other side to an issue. The in-laws may not be relishing the situation any more than she was, but chances are,  they are not experiencing any appreciation in the matter.

Most likely they are doing it because they love their son and his family. It doesn’t mean they are not totally inconvenienced themselves. Making the best of a tough situation, as well as perceiving the gains and benefits to our children and family in general, should cancel out problems. Life is made easier when we come to realize, the world is not about us. There is a world of people totally self-centered. Many of us work at jobs we don’t like, but it puts food on the table, and money in the bank if we are lucky. We care for our family, even when we are tired and in a bad mood, because we love them. Everything has a price. We make the choice of the disposition. Look for the positive and be happy. Perhaps seeing only the negative causes us misery. The choice is always our own. What will you choose today?

“It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.” John Steinbeck

“Gratitude conserves the vital energies of a person more than any other attitude tested.” Hans Selve

Rid Yourself Of Parental Guilt

guilty parenting“Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much.” Erich Fromm

“It’s not the things you get but the  hearts you touch that will determine your success in life.” Mac Anderson

I can’t believe how many parents worry about whether or not they  are doing a good job. They pour so much anxiety upon themselves that they find it difficult to observe how many things they are doing correctly. Listening to what other parents do is almost detrimental. You hear about three to five group involvements their kids have. discussions about art classes, soccer teams, music lessons and the latest and greatest toys. Many buy the newest toys but just as many receive them from friends and family.

It is still not enough. We worry that we missed something and most likely we have  if we compare what our kids are doing to what others are experiencing. Stopping the comparison shopping  is the key. After spending time with a group of mothers who are discussing all the wonderful activities their kids are involved with makes us rethink our schedules. We begin planning our next move.

So many parents have no faith in themselves or their parenting skills. They want their kids to have everything as any parent would and to experience it all. I would agree it sounds like the ideal but not completely. Most of us are doing just fine but we can’t accept it. The grass is always greener wherever we look. Maybe our kid will get the soccer scholarship if we simply get them more involved or give them private lessons. the minds begin to twirl as we regard the money and time it will cost us.

As more seasoned parents realize it doesn’t work that way and in the end what kids want more than anything else is our TIME and unconditional LOVE. We probably feel that it is too simple to be the answer. The amazing thing is that it is that simple. Kids will climb a hill roll in  the grass and do all kinds of silly things with their parents that require only our time. Of course we only agree because we love our kids.

Explaining to kids in a simplistic way, your  financial situation supports their comprehension of needs and wants. It isn’t about jealousies but understanding. We must not dwell on what we can or cannot provide in material worth. Focus on the numerous items you can give with the cost being your own time and energy. The close bonds you create are worth more than any outside teacher of anything. Love is always the dominant  playing card.

Don’t doubt yourself or your power. It is never about the big house or massive yard or numerous activities we sign our kids up for. It is about spending time and talking to our kids. It is about sharing our thoughts and having conversations about the world  they see around them. It’s about reading books and discussing far away places, sharing opinions answering questions diminishing fears acknowledging insecurity and recognizing moods and feelings. We can share our various hurts and difficulties as well as our triumphs. We become  more real to the kids and we allow them to fail. Making mistakes is part of learning and growing. By offering ourselves we give them pride and knowledge for never giving up and struggling through even when things get difficult. Growth and positive advancement is possible.  Without parental backing, a child doubts their onward movement. With parental support they have belief and hope that all things are possible. We give them  faith in the future.

“”The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen,not touched but are felt in the heart.” Helen Keller

Passive Aggression

passive aggression“Life is simply time given to man to learn how to live. Mistakes are always part of learning. The real dignity of life consists in cultivating a fine attitude towards our own mistakes and those of others.” Anonymous

“We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks but by his actions.”  Isaac Bashevis

I heard from a couple of Mothers-in-law (MIL). One stated how her son had asked her over to look at his latest work done on the house. Apparently her Daughter-in-law (DIL) was not aware she was coming. The MIL took the brunt of the anger through passive aggression. Her DIL never looked at her when she was talking or when her MIL was talking. She smiled a forced smile but was quick with her moves and stiff with her body language. We call it passive aggression.

We all know what it is but nobody knows how to stop it or why it is so irritating. MIL or DIL as well as people in general are guilty of passive aggression. If we really don’t attempt to hide it then I would assume it is out there in our faces and meant to hurt. When we snub or make faces at another’s remark or sigh, we are practicing passive aggression. We get the message across to others bluntly. The victim is at our mercy because on the surface everything appears complacent. Only the person experiencing the aggression is aware of what is really happening. If the victim complained the aggressor would deny what they were doing and state nothing could be further from the truth. The victim in a sense would become the complainer and one who imagines things that are not there.. We all know when we are getting the proverbial “Cold Shoulder.” We don’t know how to respond to it.

What do we achieve by doing this to another? We hurt the person at the receiving end. It is demeaning and usually, the receiver is confused and trying to figure out why they are a target. They try to recall what their mistake was. How sad to spend quality time with loved ones or friends in total reflection about the past. Maybe we assume too much. We think another has done something that they most likely didn’t do but we make them guilty until proven innocent. Sometimes we can’t prove our innocence.

If we simply look for the best in others and assume they are never deliberately trying to hurt us, we all might thrive a lot better. Sometimes it seems that the people who think others are guilty of saying or doing something negative to them are the people who are doing these things themselves. If we live our lives complaining about others and talking about others and perpetuating a “Cold Attitudes” towards them, it’s time to ask ourselves if we are the guilty party.

We all will play many roles in our lives. We are the teen who becomes the parent, the brother or sister in need to the brother or sister who can lend a hand, the shunned worker who rises to become the boss. If we are out for revenge then it will come in many forms to those who have hurt us. This includes those who remind us of those who hurt us. Are we any better? If so then it is time for an attitude adjustment. No payback involved only forgiveness. This allows us to  live a more honorable life.

Even a small hurt may wound another and affect them for the rest of the day or week. In the same way a small gesture of kindness without attitude, may cheer a person for a day or a week. We always have the choice not only to increase our happiness but the happiness of others. That holds more power than the quick infliction of pain. I would rather be remembered for the small kindnesses I do for others rather than for the tremendous hurts I was able to inflict.

Most of us forget to carry the nice gifts of kindness with us, that we received throughout the day but it is obviously displayed in our good mood. The unhappy experiences are taken to heart and shadowed from the light where they fester within us for a long time. Our mental, physical and emotional attitudes are hampered.

If company appears unexpectedly be honest by stating your surprise. Cordially laugh and mention your tremendous workload and you may receive help with it. That is far better than making company feel totally unwanted and  intrusive. When your made to be the intruder, and someone hurts you try to remember some reasons involved. They are having a  difficult day, They are shifting their anger with someone else onto you. They are not feeling well or anticipated a project and are disappointed at your arrival but don’t want to send you packing back home. Alleviate your anxiety about the situation with positive thoughts.

It is important to step outside of ourselves and go with the flow. If you are  receptive to the company, you might just have a better time than they do. If you are the intrusive person, you might win the person over with your charm, kindness and love. It shrinks down to “I want what I want even though I am an adult.” We can modify that to “I can always work on my project another day and maybe I’m going to have a more interesting day or a challenging one that I will remember I overcame.

Either way it will make you a stronger person and one who is governed by thought and appreciation rather than anger and frustration. I believe there are moments that interfere with our plans that were ordained times. Maybe we were saved from an accident we’ll never have. Those stupid incidences that annoy us may be the life altering events which would make more sense if we could  see the results, which we can’t,  if they did happen. Loosening our agenda and expectations makes us a better friend and companion. In the end when we disturb our friends’ plans maybe they will extend us the same kind courtesy.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” George Washington Carver