Do you make life happen, or does life happen to you? This is a classic question of "what came first the chicken or the egg?" Do we make life happen through our decisions, motivations and actions, or does it just happen to us?
Conflict takes so many forms. It can be a personal conflict with a loved one, a difference in opinions in the office, as arguments between parents and children fighting, or between businesses and customers. Differences are rampant, but it's what we do with them that will make the difference between success and failure. A long time ago I published a post inspired by my mentor, Rhonda Shasteen, called "Are You Comfortable With Conflict?" My mentor's advice to me was to choose to get comfortable with it now because it is everywhere, and you need to deal with it. Have a good attitude and approach your conflict.
I received interesting feedback to my last piece about the difference between submitting and sacrificing. The question I received was, "What happens when you continue to submit and never receive anything in return?" I thought about it and decided that whenever resentment and negative emotion enter the picture, then it's time to talk because submission has transformed into sacrifice. Things get to that point because negativity has spiraled out of control, and blame is likely a huge contributor to that negativity.
It's easier to feel better about a situation in a moment when you place the blame and responsibility on another person. Have you ever stopped to consider what
portion of the responsibility might be yours? No one wants to do that because it can often be very hard to be honest with ourselves, especially when we feel like we are being attacked in some way. If you really arebeing attacked and abused, seek help and make a change if needed. It's not necessary to be a martyr to your relationship. What I'm asking you to do, is to honestly look at your situation and take any responsibility to the status of your life and relationship.
Then take the next thirty days and write down everything positive you can think of in your relationship. It may be hard at first, but choosing to think of the positive will stop the cycle of negativity and transform it into a flywheel of positivity. This can have miraculous affects on your life. Choose to be happy for other happy relationships. Be happy about a kind thing yoru partner did or does repeatedly.
When I consider the different relationships we have in our lives like those with our parents, children, significant others, friends, coworkers, and others, I think of the different compromises we make to strengthen and grow those relationships. If we choose to ignore investing in the emotional equity of our relationships, they can diminish. We often give willingly to our relationships because we want to. Other times we give because we make the choice to. Then there are other occasions, still, where we act out of negative emotions like guilt, sacrifice, and suffering.
How many times do you text message a day? Do you prefer to text or call? Do you like to Skype or talk over coffee or dinner? I remember the days before text
messaging, and I also remember the days before unlimited text messaging. Everyone talked on a land line or hogged roll over cell phone minutes. May be I’m old now, or maybe I remember a more pure way of doing things.
Texting offers so many benefits and conveniences. It is quick, simple, and gets to the point. You can read in places that are too loud to hear, and you can take time to think about what you are saying before you actually communicate it. There are many benefits to texting; however, it seems that actually talking to another person is becoming a lost art.
In the last month, someone I know very casually asked me to help him make contacts in market research and data analytics. He asked me if I might know someone at my company or at another company. I smiled and let him know that I did have a few contacts in that area. I spent a few years dabbling in market research to learn that I respect the analytics, but that processing the data was not for me. It was a wonderful learning experience, and I made some wonderful friends. Wherever I go for work, I end up doing some level of data analysis or working directly with the analytics groups. It turned out to be a huge blessing in experience although I didn't choose to pursue my career there.
I connected my acquaintance with a couple of friends after reaching out and getting the okay to make the connection. It was fun to help, and one day he asked me why I was doing it all for him. I didn't feel awkward about sharing my contacts at all. In fact, I felt blessed to be able to do it. I told him I was paying it forward.
For the last ten months, I have been on a beautiful journey of learning to make new choices of happiness and joy. I've been practicing the art of allowing and learning to lighten up and follow my bliss. All of this practice is in an effort to overwrite long-ingrained pathways of though led by negativity, self-criticism, guilt, and self-inflicted choices of suffering. One day last April, I was exposed to a new way of doing things that could lead to a life of joy and bliss, while manifesting my greatest desires. It has been the journey of a lifetime.
Do you struggle with your self-love and sense of worth? I spent a log of time feeling guilty for choosing to love myself because I believed a lie that loving myself was a choice of vanity. Then I learned there is a difference between vanity and self-love.
Now that I can distinguish the two things, I embarked on the journey of learning to grow self-love. One way I grow my thought pattern and expose myself to new ways of approaching self-love is through reading a blog completely focused on the subject called the Abundance Tapestry.
Through reading that blog and other things in addition to my own thoughts, I thought I would share a few thins you can do to grow self-love now.
1. Buy yourself a gift. Gift giving is one of the Five Love Languages, so being nice to yourself and buying yourself a gift can increase your self love immediately. That gift doesn't need to break the bank. It can be a chocolate bar or a bouquet of flowers. If you desire, buy yourself something you've had your eye on for a while.
2. Meditate with affirmations. This year I have also started meditating to open the pathways to my subconscious mind and develop my awareness, control of my mind and emotions. One meditation practice I use is to repeat reaffirming mantras. One that I use regularly as presented in The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is, "I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy." It encompasses all things and helps increase your sense of self-love within minutes.
3. Hug someone. Physical touch is another love language, so giving a friend or family member a hug can increase the energy of love instantaneously.
4. Exercise. Exercise increases the calmness of the mind while simultaneously releasing endorphins. Practicing some physical endurance at any level of difficulty is sure fire way to grow your inner sense of love.
5. Listen to your Inner voice and intuition. Finally, the more you practice meditation and quieting the mind, the easier it is to tune into your voice of intuition. That same voice is your best guide because it is the purest most honest voice of love within you. Just ask your intuition questions and meditate on it as you go to sleep, and you will be surprised to see the answers to your questions emerge unexpectedly. Discovering answers grows your sense of self-love and confidence in your true self exponentially.
Give any of these practices a try this week maybe if it is only to make a new choice. I encourage you to grow your selflove because you can!
My dear friends, I want to share a story with you about a friend of mine in hopes that you will revisit how careful you are being when out on the town. This story affects us single ladies mostly, but there are still opportunities for our married and spoken for friends to be taken advantage of too.
In today's world, it is just as common to meet people on-line through dating sites, as it is to meet potential dates through friends, via a hobby, a set up, or other means. I wanted to share this story with you because it made me take a second look at how careful I am when I go out. It is a good reminder for us all.
The story begins when my gal pal met a stand up looking fellow for a first meet/date from an online dating site.Things seemed to check out okay. They had exchanged several emails, agreed to meet in a public place and set up a time to meet.
Last time, we looked at how we may love another person best through letting that person go and giving your friend space. People often take the space and time to heal and grow. If you let the person go, he or she may return to your life, but the only way to know is if you do, in fact, release them from your life your mind and your heart.
This time, I want to explore a similar concept from a different perspective. I want to explore how sometimes loving yourself (rather than loving the other person) can mean letting the other person go.
We've all had toxic relationships come though our lives from time to time, and that toxicity can be death to your self-love, self-esteem, self-worth and even your life in some extreme instances.
Why do we even choose to remain in toxic relationships? Do we feel that having the person in our life is better than not having him or her? Are we afraid of being alone or facing ourselves after removing the distraction from our lives? Do we become so preoccupied with helping the toxic person that we forget about our bad feelings and ourselves? Or, are we afraid of actually facing the conflict of telling another person to leave your life? I think the final option is mine because I am always working on growing to be more comfortable with conflict.
Well, that's not love. It's not love from another, even if you sometimes feel good with that person, and it is certainly not loving yourself to subject yourself to disrespect, stress, and anything that makes you feel less than your best.
If you are clear about what you want to create in the relationships in your life, you can align each relationship with what you are looking to give and receive from them. Then you can make a logical decision (not just an emotional decision) about what you can tolerate or not. If there are huge gaps in your wants list and reality that you cannot work though, then that's a big clue to turn away and move on. There is a difference between being patient and tolerant, after all.
I have some relationships that have gone away and returned. Then, there are others that go away never to return.
Letting go can be very hard. It is sad to lose a friend. You often lose having your love tank filled in many areas like quality time and physical touch. Having those things one day and not the next can be very challenging, but if you use the pain as an opportunity to learn and grow, then it can be quite beautiful in the end.
I encourage you to make the choice to love yourself when you need to, even if it is hard, because you can!
Have you ever heard the story about the little boy who loved his teddy bear so much that he squeezed and squeezed it until it actually fell into pieces and ceased being a
teddy bear? The bear is eventually reassembled full of patches and scars that make him a better bear because he is assembled out of love. This little parable offers a metaphor for life, and I want to focus on the part where the boy literally squeezes the bear to death.
I know I have a very big heart, and I love to shower my friends with love and caring. One lesson I've learned recently is that you can't force another person into a better state-of-mind just by being kind to that person. Love and compassion are well intended, but they do not necessarily facilitate a positive outcome for everyone. You can't control another person's reactions and responses to you just by being nice. I can desire all day long that someone I care about is feeling better and not hurting. I can pray for that person and envision your riend in a better emotional state. I can do many things for my friend, when in the end, my friend just needs time and space to process emotions. I think we've all been through times where aloneness is the most precious company to keep.
Although love traditionally means thoughtfulness and caring, sometimes it can equal space and letting go. Giving another person the space and bandwidth needed to work though an emotional situation can be the best way to love that person.
That is a challenging perspective for me to understand because when I was sick and in the hospital once, the thoughtfulness and caring of my friends got me through it all. At the same time, I had a number of friends who disappeared during my hardship. That felt like being abandoned or punched in the stomach. As a result, I vowed to never let a friend go when he or she is suffering, but as I learned, in some cases, space and distance is, in fact the best gift you can give your friend.
You must take it on a case-by-case basis and evaluate the situation with thoughtfulness and caring. Ask people how you can best support them and figure out if it within your capacity to do so. If love does in fact equal letting a person go, it will end up being the only way to know if you have a real friend or not. If the person is really your friend, he or she will return to your life when the pain is gone. If not, you are both free to make new friends and be happy however that manifests in your life.
Although I still find it hard to say and believe, sometimes love equals letting go. Learn how to love your friends in the way they need it because you can!