“The only person you should try to be better than… is the person you were yesterday”…
As I was redoing some of the aesthetic aspects of my website the other day, I realized that I haven’t written any blog entries since July. There are so many little notes I write down for myself about ideas I want to write about, but I don’t seem to find the time to do it. But, 2013 is coming to a close now, and I’m faced with a little bit of alone time after a flurry of holiday madness.
The holidays used to be an incredibly exciting and supercharged time for me when I was growing up, but over the years it seems that I’ve had a succession of losing loved ones at this time of year, or personal and family stress. Many people I speak to feel a similar sense of melancholy as well, or at the very least…that something isn’t quite right. Perhaps it’s getting older, perhaps it’s the growing commercialization of the holidays and the struggling economy. I’m sure it’s a mixture of these things, and then some for many.
But it’s an interesting phenomena that happens at holidays, for most people, that families come together, friends have gatherings and people travel long distances to spend some time together and a warmth is found on the streets that at other times isn’t usually there. Some of this is superficial — the laughter, the sense that everything is OK with the world, or with all of these people who seem to love each other during the holidays. What happens to it when the holidays are over? Is this the only time of year that you look at the people that love you and you appreciate them? Or perhaps you don’t bother with them at all anyway….
Still, I know people that in some people’s eyes, seem to give and give so much love.. to strangers around them, people they work with, people they “help” somehow, like therapists or doctors, educators, that do so much good for others that their friends, clients, coworkers and students are in awe of who they are, yet behind closed doors, they are different people to their own families.
There are articles written about people becoming envious of other people’s lives and then ultimately, depressed because just because they feel their lives are perfect from what they derive through social media or press. Things are never quite what they seem. If someone’s life is too perfect, it probably isn’t. Comparing yourself to anyone else’s life is not worth it at all. Realizing the abundance in your own life and having gratitude for it is much more worth while. I’m always grateful for the many positive websites, social media posting, etc. that does occur to offset the ranting and negative “news” that is out there.
Our everyday lives are not filled with perfection and smooth relationships. People are complicated creatures and something that I remind myself of all the time, is that we are all mirrors. That mean, this feature goes both ways, so it should make us think very carefully when we interact with others, especially in conflict. One of the most interesting things someone told me once was that when someone is pointing a finger at you, there are three pointing back at themselves. So very true. But remember…same goes for you… watch what you say about anyone. Think!
There have been some times of deep distress in my life where I finally had to dig down deep and take a look in my internal mirror. Things that upset me were often things that I had to reflect on about myself and see what it was in the other person that was really a part of myself that was being triggered. So often, the things that irk us the most, are really just that. Deep memories being triggered by something that have nothing to do with the actual situation or even the person we are dealing with at that moment. A lot of soul searching and gut wrenching honesty (and I mean ugly truth) can bring that up and heal it.
Folks that talk about not wanting drama in their lives are usually the ones that are creating it. I find that one kind of interesting…Here’s a good example. I know that my biggest pet peeve is being lied to. So it’s kind of funny when someone lies to you to supposedly “avoid” a conflict, but, you know how that goes. The Universe ALWAYS wants you to find out the truth! So when you do, the argument that ensues is WAY bigger than anything that could have occurred if the truth had been told from the start, right? Drama…yet, when it happens, you’re the one who gets called out for creating a “drama”. I’ve had this one happen both ways … to me more times than I care to count, and …
A few years ago I lied about something I didn’t need to, and when it all came out in the open about how stupid it was, I was sick over it for a long time. Like … months. I knew I had created that drama and had a hard time forgiving myself for it. But there you have it. I am human and I make mistakes. A hard lesson learned, but you can bet that will never happen again.
Words… Words have power…simple words can be cutting, or they can heal. They can bring a smile to someone’s face, or they can bring on tears. They can scar forever or be the turning point of a lifetime. You never know who’s life you can change and whether it will do damage… choose your words and the “intention” behind them deliberately. And that’s not just in person, but on social media as well.
Here’s another thing I’ve been thinking about. Sometimes, it may seem that someone you love may be doing something “to” you. They may choose to do something that has consequences that hurt you, or just seems so thoughtless in regard to you. You wonder… why would they do that to me? Why would they choose that? But think about it.. are they really doing it “to” you? Or are they just serving themselves? I mean… some people are the kind of people that need to have instant gratification all the time, or a kind of ‘self pleasuring’.. (I didn’t want to use a different term here) because it is what makes them feel good at that moment in time, without any regard for you. That is how they are wired. It doesn’t make them a bad person. It is how they operate. Some people operate on the level of needing to please themselves first, no matter what the cost. Even the cost of hurting loved ones around them. Others are not wired that way. It is up to us to accept that is who they are… or not. But it’s important to know, that their actions are not a direct assault. What we choose is our reaction and choices based on that. We cannot change people.. only our choices, perspectives and reactions to people.
I know that I’m ranting, but in the past couple of weeks I was touched by quite a few people that are going through emotional upheaval for various different reasons, and some of it could have been helped by kind words, or lack of unkind words, a gentle touch or a warm glance. Sometimes it is such a small thoughtful thing that can change the course of events.
So think about all of those people that might be alone, or suffering these holidays. Maybe they recently loss a loved one, loss of a job, have financial difficulties and don’t want to let on their issues. Try to send out some love and positive messages and think of people other than yourself…REALLY think of them. Send some prayers their way.
I’ll save my next rant for another day…..I have so much more to say and I’ve been away from writing for too long. Time to practice some music.
Ciao, and much love, joy and peace for the new year to all.