Thursday Thought: Everything Is as It Should Be

I know I’ve used this quote before, but it’s a good one. Byron Katie said, “When I argue with reality, I lose–but only 100% of the time.” Meaning whatever happens is supposed to happen. I’ve heard quoted in a few different places, “The Universe is constantly conspiring in your favour.”

So, when bad things happen, for some reason it is supposed to happen. If your parents were emotionally distant, perhaps that’s so that when you became an adult, you would study how to be emotionally mature. Perhaps you had a traumatic experience that has made you stronger, or maybe it hasn’t yet, but you will look for answers that will someday make you a stronger person.

You definitely don’t have to believe this thought if you don’t want to. I find it very helpful and empowering. One of my go-to thoughts of late has been along the same lines, “Everything is as it should be.” Nothing has gone wrong.

God is watching over you. I may not feel it all of the time. But I believe it.

Letting Go to Make Space for Something Else

I just wanted to share this experience I had, in case it helps someone else. I heard someone say, “If you run out of hangers, don’t buy more, get rid of some clothes to make room for others.” Honestly, I don’t have a lot of clothes, but the other day I ran out of hangers, so I decided to put this into practice. I didn’t think I had any clothes I COULD let go of. It was tough, but I chose a few things. I was kind of afraid I would miss them, but I haven’t. at all.

We can do this with our thoughts, too. I started writing down thoughts that I wanted to incorporate, but then my list got so long that I wasn’t incorporating any of them. So, my suggestion is that you focus on one or two thoughts you want to become second nature. If you come to another one that is maybe more applicable, let go of some that you’ve been working on so you can focus on what’s most important right now.

Let me know how it goes!

Thursday Thought: Everyone is Doing the Best They Can

 

A little while after we moved into our house, a million dandelions bloomed in our yard. I had never seen anything like it before. Where we moved from there is a pesticide that makes it so there are hardly any dandelions anywhere, but where we moved to this pesticide was outlawed, and apparently what was available didn’t work very well. There were dandelions all over our yard, all over the city properties, and most everyone else’s properties, too. I decided to go to work and get rid of them. I spent hours and hours picking those dandelions one-by-one.

When I first started, I had picked what seemed like hundreds, but you couldn’t even tell I had worked on it because there were so many left.

This made me think about our lives. We’re all born into different circumstances. Some of us are born into perfectly manicured yards. We’re taught from the very beginning how to keep our yards weed free. It’s easy to look at others who have hundreds of weeds and judge that perhaps they aren’t even trying.

Some of us are born into yards full of weeds, and perhaps we’re never even taught that it’s possible to get rid of the weeds. Or maybe we even like weeds.

When we see what others struggle with, it may seem so easy to us. Why don’t they just…But you never know where someone is coming from, what they started with, what seeds have blown into their yards. I believe everyone is doing the best they can.

I heard Byron Katie say once on a call, “If you had the same thoughts they have, you would do the same thing.”

When you step back, it’s comical how we try to control each other. We’re all just doing our best, and instead of trying to improve ourselves, we try to get others to improve themselves in the way we think they should. We all do it, but being aware is the first step to peace.

Are you stuck in trying to get someone else to change?

More on Doing More

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the concept of doing more versus taking time for self-reflection. Later I ran into this TedX talk by Bethany Butzer. It helped me understand a little bit better about how stepping back and examining our values is more helpful than just trying harder at what we’re doing that feels so hard to do.

In Brene Brown’s example she was trying to give more to people in need in an effort to feel better. Later on she realized that she was trying to solve for the wrong problem. She thought her problem was that she felt like she wasn’t giving enough, but the real problem was that she was uncomfortable with her own neediness. Her neediness was in different areas than those asking for money, but it was need either way. If she hadn’t done the introspection then she would have always had this feeling she wasn’t giving enough, and would have just kept pushing harder and harder until she burned out.

I think the same way as Bethany Butzer, that we have to be brave to do what we feel called to do when we look inside of ourselves. Others may disagree with us, but if we all did what we felt called to do, I am confident that the world would be taken care of.

Like Bethany Butzer says, this doesn’t mean that we’ll be happy all of the time if we follow what we’re meant to do. It just means that when we step back and really examine what we’re doing, that we’ll either see that it aligns with our values and we’ll have the renewed motivation to keep going, or we’ll see that it doesn’t align with our values and we can let it drop out of our lives.

What could you let drop out of your life?

Thursday Thought: Everything Is As It Should Be

I was feeling overwhelmed with life and wanted some relief. I know that my feelings are caused by my thoughts, so I was looking for a thought to go to so that I could feel more at peace. I wanted to trust more that God was in charge and taking care of everything, because I tend to try to take over. The thought, “Everything is as it should be,” came to mind.

It reminds me of Byron Katie’s quote, “When you argue with reality, you lose. But only 100% of the time.” Meaning that if something happens, it was supposed to happen…even terrible things. How many times have you grown through suffering? When you’re not on the other side of the growth, it can feel like things have gone terribly wrong. But once you’re through it, you can see how it has transformed you.

So, if things seem to be different than they’re supposed to be, maybe try on the thought, “Everything is as it should be.” Trust that if you don’t already see how whatever is happening could be for your good, that one day you will.

Comment and share something that seemed like it shouldn’t have happened, but then later you saw how it was for the best.

Your Thoughts Create Your Feelings

Did you know this? Brooke Castillo came up with a self-coaching model that explains how our circumstances are neutral, and our thoughts lead to our feelings, which lead to our actions, which lead to our results.

This may help you understand where I’m coming from when I write these posts.

Is this new to you?

Thursday Thought: “I am Wonderfully Weird”, and I love me anyway

I was sitting in church on Sunday in a very grumpy mood. I couldn’t put my finger on why I was feeling so grumpy. The person speaking read the poem “Hello World” by Dan Coppersmith. The line that struck me was “I am wonderfully weird”. I love that thought. Depending on who you are, if someone called you weird you might take it as either a compliment or a put-down. That’s why I love this. Can we accept all parts of ourselves and love ourselves anyway?

I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down:

I am normal and weird

I am selfish and selfless

I am rude and kind

I am oblivious and aware

I am untalented and talented

I am wrong and right

I am doubtful and full of faith

I am nitpicky and gracious

I push and I inspire

All of these are true. We are all of these at some point and in some way. I realized I was so grumpy because I hadn’t been my best self that morning. I had nitpicked my kids and my husband. I had pushed instead of invited. I was weary. But as I listed these opposites, I realized that I was letting one morning define who I was.

I don’t always nitpick. A lot of times I am gracious. I don’t always push. A lot of times I invite and inspire. I’ve heard many times that we need to accept our whole selves, but didn’t quite understand what that meant. But this day, it was like a light bulb went on for me. We are the good and the bad. Of course, we’re always working on improving, but we’ll always have room to improve. And that’s okay.

So, I nitpick and I am gracious, and I love me anyway.

Is this helpful to you? Comment let me know how you understand this.

 

 

 

 

Shoveling the Iceberg

We have had a lot of snow lately, and haven’t exactly kept up on shoveling our driveway. The car can still get over it, so it’s fine, right? A couple of days ago, though, the pile of snow/ice at the end of our driveway got high enough that it was scraping the bottom of the car. It needed to go. A couple of days later it warmed up to above freezing and snow was melting quickly. I decided it was time to tackle the iceberg at the end of our driveway.

It was really thick where the driveway met the road, so I got out a hole digging shovel instead of just the snow shovel. (I know it probably has a name, but you know what I mean, right?)  I was working hard at the ice at the end of the driveway, when a man (we’ll say a grandpa) walks by on the other side of the street. I stand up and say ‘hi’. He smiles and kind of shakes his head, “You’re doing a man’s job.” He had an accent so it took me a minute to figure out what he said and he had already passed. I wondered what he meant by that. Was he saying, “Shame on you for doing a man’s job.” or “Shame on your husband for not doing his job.”? I like to think he’s a lot like me and just couldn’t think of something to say, so he spurted out something awkward, because he really wanted to say, “Wow! You’re so strong to be able to do that! I wish I was that strong!” haha

It did bring up some questions in my mind, though. I’ll admit, I have grappled with some of those feelings of “Why am I doing this? This is a man’s job.” I think we tend to get some of those gender roles from how we watched our parents. My dad can fix pretty much anything, and likes to fix things himself. When I got married, I was surprised to learn that not all men are like that.

While I was shoveling, though, I thought, “Maybe he meant that someone stronger should be doing this. Why not me? Obviously I’m strong enough. I want it gone. And most importantly, I’m available and willing.” My husband was at work, and I definitely would have asked him for help if he had been home, because not surprisingly, he’s a lot stronger than me. He can shovel about 3 times faster than I can. It would have been easier for me if he had done it or helped, but he wasn’t able to at that time, so I did it. I got it cleared away.

This makes me think about when we’re struggling in relationships. So often we want the other person to change. “If they’d just stop being so annoying, then I wouldn’t have to feel so annoyed.” or “If they would stop being so grumpy and depressed, then I wouldn’t have to feel so grumpy and depressed.” Why wait for them to change, though? For one thing, they probably won’t. For another thing, I’m the one who doesn’t want to feel annoyed, or grumpy, or depressed. Most importantly, I’m able to redirect my thoughts so that I can feel the way I want to. Maybe it would be easier if people just changed to be the way we think they should be. Just like it would have been easier for me if someone else had cleared the ice from the end of our driveway. But we can’t control what other people do, so “Why not me?” Why don’t I figure out how to change my thoughts so that I can feel the way I want to? It’s not easy. And sometimes it feels like chipping away at an iceberg. But it’s totally worth it.

Comment and let me know when you were able to change your thoughts and feel good, rather than wait for someone else to change their behaviour.

Thursday Thought: What if _______ hadn’t been brave?

I keep getting these feelings of inadequacy when I think of becoming a coach. The other night, I was reading in Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong. She talks about someone sending her an email trying to shame her. She said, “…I sat there staring at this email and fighting off the pain of feeling like an exposed impostor…” She had already written several books, has a PhD, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. People pay her to come speak to their companies and organizations. Yet, she still fell prey to feeling like she’s not enough.

I am so grateful that when she was contemplating what to do in her life, that she was brave. I’m grateful when she fell, that she got back up. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the great work she has done and is doing. It has helped so many people, including me. I feel the same appreciation for every person that has influenced me, even my parents. They aren’t perfect, but they keep going, keep trying.

Maybe I won’t end up becoming a life coach, but it won’t be because I got scared and decided not to try. When I feel nervous, or scared, or am faced with someone telling me, “Who do you think you are?” I will think this thought, “What if Brene Brown wasn’t brave, and gave up when she got scared? What if she gave into those thoughts of ‘Who am I?'” There are numberless people who have influenced me that I could insert their name into that line. So, I will be brave. I will follow the voice inside, even when others might question whether I’m good enough.

Who’s name would you put in this thought? Comment and let me know.