Thursday Thought: Christ performed the Atonement NOT to free us from our sufferings, but to BE WITH us in our sufferings.

A woman in our ward said this thought in her talk the other week. It has been so profound to me, especially in thinking about empathy. Sometimes we go to people, or to God and ask them to take away our pain. That’s like going to the doctor and asking her to cut off our broken arm because it hurts. Sometimes that’s the answer, but most often the answer is to set it and let it heal.

It’s okay to suffer. In fact, suffering helps us become stronger, someone who can more easily have empathy for someone else, someone who appreciates happiness and peace more. It’s not comfortable. But it’s okay.

Nothing in life is about the end result. It’s about the growing we go through to get there. It’s not about having the pain of the broken arm go away; it’s about the broken arm healing. The pain going away is just a by-product.

How is Christ with us in our sufferings even when He doesn’t fully take it away?

How can we be with others in their sufferings without having to take it away?

 

P.S. If you like what you’re reading, you’d love being coached. Just one session can open your eyes to your life in a totally new way, and it’s free! Sign-up for a free session of coaching and see how it will change your life.

Thursday Thought: What in my life is exactly how it should be?

Have you ever had the thought, “This isn’t the way my life was supposed to be?” I was swimming deep in this thought last weekend. I was actually doing thought work on it, but didn’t seem to be making much headway. I was writing down all of the thoughts that came to me about how my life SHOULD be different. Then I was going through and disproving each one. I was feeling pretty miserable, as you can imagine with all of those negative thoughts swimming around. Steve suggested that maybe it was making it worse thinking of all that was going wrong, that maybe I should write things I was grateful for.

I started a page and wrote, “What in my life is exactly how it should be?” Then I started answering that question. Sometimes we can look individually at each negative thought to disprove it, and sometimes we can just turn around the negative question and see that it’s still 50/50. Nothing is all bad. Nothing is all good. It’s always somewhere in the middle.

I give you a challenge to get out some paper and write this question on the top and answer it. What did you experience?

I’d love to hear about your experience! Sign-up for a free mini-session of coaching with me.

I’ll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want

I totally hope you’re singing that song right now in your head. If you don’t know the song, Don’t go look it up, just sayin’. It’s one of those I loved as a teen, now that I have kids, not sure it’s that great. haha Anyway, so many times we get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves, and feeling like there’s nothing we can do to change our situation. For example, for a long time I had this thought that I wanted a bigger house. I felt so sorry for myself that I couldn’t have one because we didn’t have enough money for one in the area we lived. As I did thought work around it, I realized I did want a bigger house, and there were a lot of ways to get it. I could get a bigger mortgage. I could just move into an empty one and see how long it took before I went to jail. I could move out to the middle of nowhere and buy one for the same price we paid for our current house. I’m sure there are some other options, too. So there’s what I want: a bigger house. And there’s what I REALLY want: to have what I think is a manageable mortgage, stay out of jail, live closer to Steve’s job.

You may think, “Well, of course, you want those more, but you still don’t get your big house.” But it’s true, we make choices, and it’s important to tell ourselves the truth that we’re making the choice. It’s not just happening to us. This happens in every area of our lives where we feel like we don’t have a choice. Where do you feel like you have no choice? You CAN’T have something you want, or you HAVE to do something you don’t want to do. What are the alternatives? Is someone going to be mad? Would you have to do something against your moral values?

Be sure to tell yourself the truth. I ALWAYS have a choice. Not to be mean to yourself, but because this exercise also shows us that there are other ways, and you just might find one that you like. But as soon as you tell yourself you have no choice, you stop looking for other options. Besides it feels terrible.

Comment and let me know how you found an option you didn’t know was there because you reminded yourself you always have a choice.

Living In The Gain

“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” Dan Sullivan, The Gain and The Gap.

When you’re looking over your year in 2018, what goals did you have? Did you reach them? If not, how do you feel about that?

You can either look at the Gap-the difference between where you wanted to be, and where you are. Or you can look at the Gain-the difference between where you are from where you started. If you think of your goal like a puzzle that’s not completely finished, are you looking at the pieces that are missing and feeling disappointed you didn’t finish the puzzle? Or are you looking at all of the pieces you put together? One way will make you feel like a failure-not very motivating to keep going. The other way will make you feel successful-totally motivating. Which will you choose?

Red, Green, And White All Over

Merry Christmas! These next two days will probably be filled with lots of visits and festivities and traditions. I hope you have a lovely time, and take some time to add whitespace to your life.

Visual whitespace is used to make other things more noticeable or manageable. Whitespace in art draws your attention to things that the artist wants to point out. It adds clarity, and makes things simpler and less overwhelming. If there isn’t enough whitespace things can appear cluttered and disorganized.

Whitespace in our lives are times when we stop all of the noise. Time when we’re alone with our thoughts. It could be daydreaming, meditating, praying, thinking about one thought, noticing all of our thoughts. You could be on a walk, just sitting still, even doing mundane tasks like washing dishes or folding laundry. For it to truly be whitespace, you’re not thinking about what you need to do next; you’re just in the moment. If you’re not used to having whitespace, you may try to rush it. It may be uncomfortable, but don’t rush it. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes so you don’t have to keep looking at the clock, so you can be fully present. Whitespace is all about being present.

Just like visual whitespace, whitespace in your life will make things less overwhelming, give you clarity, help you see what’s most important, make your life more manageable. Tell me how you create whitespace in your life.

Word to the Why’s?

My friend told me about this concept called The 7 Layers of Why. It’s super helpful to figure out what you’re thinking. If you want to bring to light thoughts that you didn’t even know you had, that may be causing you problems, just ask, “Why?”.

Here’s an example from my experience:

  1. I don’t want to work on my program. Why?
  2. Because I don’t know where to start. Why?
  3. Because I’m waiting for someone to tell me how to do it. Why?
  4. Because I don’t want to waste time doing it wrong and then having to re-do it. Why?
  5. Because I don’t want to fail. Why?
  6. Because then I’ll feel bad about myself. Why?
  7. Because I’ll think that I should have known better.

Well, I can see that that last thought is ridiculous. I may have that thought, but it doesn’t even make sense. How would I know better if I’ve never written a program before and no one is telling me how to do it. The only reason I’ll feel bad is if I think that thought. I know thoughts are optional, and that was seems ridiculous to me, so I’ll just choose to think, “Good for me for trying!” If I know that’s the thought I’ll have no matter the result, then it’s easier to get started writing my program.

Give it a try! Let me know your 7 Layers of “Why?”.

 

 

Thursday Thought: It’s Possible I Could Love Winter This Year

Around the beginning of November, I could feel myself getting down. I grew up in the States, but I live in Canada now. Growing up we didn’t start getting ready for Christmas until after Thanksgiving in November. Now we have Thanksgiving the beginning of October, so after Halloween the lines shade of when you can start getting ready for Christmas. Usually, I’m ready to go just after Halloween, but this year I wasn’t even looking forward to Christmas. I was dreading Winter. All of it. November until May. My coach helped me see that I was thinking, “I hate Winter! I loathe Winter!” over and over. No wonder I was filled with dread! I came up with this new thought that was believable to me:

It’s possible I could love Winter this year.

Every time my thoughts wanted to go to, “I hate Winter.” I would redirect to, “It’s possible I could love Winter this year.” It didn’t take long. I am enjoying the cold on my face, the snow, the quietness when you go out and the sounds seemed to be subdued by the snow below and the clouds above. I’m looking forward to sledding, possibly snow-shoeing and skiing, even flying kites when it’s still cold and windy but there’s no snow. I’m totally believing that, “It’s possible I could love Winter this year.”

How are you thinking about Winter?

 

Wanting Other People To Feel Better

When I was learning to speak Spanish, my trainer would correct me. every.single.time. That was her job right? One day I finally told her, “I want to learn Spanish. I want to know when I’m getting it wrong, but not all of the time. Sometimes I just want you to listen to my story.”

Can you relate? You know you have a problem, and you DO want to solve it, but sometimes you just want to talk about it. Sometimes you just want to complain about it. Sometimes you want to feel bad. You may not realize that you want to feel bad, because that’s crazy, right?? But we do. We WANT to feel all of the range of emotions. Talking about it can help us process the emotion, and understand the thoughts creating it.

However, sometimes we have a huge intolerance for negative emotion. We don’t even want other people to feel negative emotion. They’re crying and we say, “Don’t cry!” They’re mad and we say, “Don’t be mad!” We want to fix the “problem” that’s making them feel bad. We give advice so they can get over it.

We think we’re just trying to be kind and help them feel better, but what we’re saying is, “You’re feeling wrong.” What if they need to feel bad? What if the best thing for them is to feel a negative emotion? If we try to stop their pain instead of just listening to them talk about it, it could be like giving them a pain killer when something is really wrong. They won’t realize there’s something they need to pay attention to.

What if you were just there to help them feel their feelings instead of change them? What would that be like?

Thursday Thought: …And It’s Okay

Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? I think that’s a thought I’ve had a lot of my life. It’s not all of the time, but it’s kind of a go-to thought that hasn’t served me well, and doesn’t feel very good. While getting coached on it, I realized that when I think I don’t fit in, I then decide there must be something wrong with me.

As I was getting coached, I was having a really hard time letting go of the thoughts that I’m different and there might be something wrong with me, so instead of changing it, my coach offered to just add on “…and it’s okay.”

Now when I have that thought come up, I add on “…and it’s okay.” “There might be something wrong with me, and it’s okay.” That thought makes me feel so relieved, instead of sad and desperate. So what if I’m different? So what if there are social skills I could improve on? It’s okay! We’re all different and quirky and have skills in different areas, and it’s okay! It’s nice that we’re not all robots.

What thoughts could you add this onto? Try it, and leave a comment to let me know!

Thursday Thought: It’s Okay To Feel This Way

We receive messages everywhere telling us that we should always feel good. We can get the idea that it’s wrong to feel a certain way, or even that there’s something wrong with us to feel a certain. But the only reason we feel an emotion is because of a thought we’re having, and subconsciously or consciously we’re believing.

When I start to worry that there’s something wrong with me, or that I have done something wrong to feel the way I’m feeling, I like to remind myself: It’s okay to feel discouraged. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to feel judgmental. It’s not harmful. I can just feel it. It may not be a helpful emotion, which I can figure out later, but for now it’s okay to just process it. It doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, or that there’s something wrong with me.

Breathe. Feel.