Decisions, Cross Roads, Challenges and Me

askvilleEvery now and then I find myself at a crossroad in life.  A time and place where you know you need to choose a direction, make a decision and that the choice you make will affect the rest of your life. 

I’ve sat at this crossroad wondering how I got there, trying to look at it objectively and thinking that once I saw the decisions I needed to make in the clear light of day, there was no debating, no wondering, no hesitation at all, the choices are simple.

You see, when I moved away from my ex husband my self-confidence was gone, my self-esteem was non-existent, and my self-worth was hiding in a dark corner somewhere.  The verbal and emotional abuse had taken its toll and it has taken a long time to get back to…me.

So, after going through a very rough holiday season where I spent a lot of time alone, grieving and generally feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was choosing to feel alone, choosing to grieve, choosing to feel sorry for myself.  I had to stop and think about that awhile.  What else have I been choosing either by doing nothing, trying to ignore things, or just not dealing with things I knew I needed to own up too?

The answers have astounded.  How did I find them?  By truly looking at where I was and thinking about how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.  If I were to die 3 years from now, what would the people in my life say about me?  I didn’t like the answers my mind came up with.  I have a lot of work to do.  There’s nothing like visualization to get your goals clearly back in focus. 

One thing I’ve learned is that it takes far more energy to sit down and put up with things, force yourself to accept things, and look the other way, than it does to stand up, take responsibility, own up to your mistakes and take charge of your life. 

When you find yourself feeling bored, unhappy, depressed, or just down, ask yourself why?  Are you choosing to feel that way?  Or are there things you are allowing to go on in your life that are not in sync with who you are and what you believe as a person?  Either way you have choices, you have options and possibilities.  Stand up and take action!  It will change your perspective and your life.

Cherry Coley (c)

Begin With the End In Mind

startHave you ever struggled trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B?  One good way to figure out how to set priorities and goals is to visualize where you want to go, see yourself there, then start thinking of what you can do to get to the place you want to be. 

What about life?  Don’t you hate it when your employer asks you that dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  How about looking even further into the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What about when you retire?

If you really want to have something serious to think about, what would you want people to say about you in your eulogy? If you can visualize your friends, family, co-workers and the people at your church or the charity you work with getting up to share a few words about your life.  What sort of things would they say?  What do you want them to say?

It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?  It did me.  It’s made me realize where I’ve fallen short, the mistakes I’ve made and all the work I still need to do.  It’s made me realize I need to invest a lot more time in the people I care about and appreciate. 

Life is short, time is precious and there’s no time like the present to get started.  Start with the end in mind and put your heart and soul into where you want to be, the influence you’d like to have and the legacy you’d like to leave. You will leave a legacy, the great thing is you have a choice what that legacy will be. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

The Biggest Mistake

l_5877c808254742e986ad6762af59ea91I look back on my life and realize I’ve made some major mistakes along the way.  We try to avoid mistakes when we can.  No one likes making mistakes, whether they are big or small one’s mistakes have consequences and no one likes the fall out.

The way we respond to our mistakes says a lot about our character and how we approach our lives.  Successful people learn that making mistakes is not a bad thing.  Mistakes can teach us what to do and what not to do.

Mistakes are choices we’ve made that haven’t worked out the way we thought they would.  However, the benefit of making mistakes is knowing we are taking an active part in life, we are trying, we are making choices and even though some may wind up being mistakes, if we learn from them then there is still a benefit.

Benjamin Franklin said, “The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.”

I thought about that statement today, the biggest mistake being to do nothing.  How true a statement is that? There have been times in my life when I was afraid to move forward, to take a chance for fear of making a mistake.  There have been opportunities that I missed because I took too long to think things through and choose to move forward. 

To live, to really live, is to make the choice to participate, to meet new people, try new things, experience life.  To experience life means to make mistakes.  It’s okay, there may be consequences, but you can learn from the experience.  Just don’t make the biggest mistake by choosing to do nothing, the consequences for that one is called “regret” and regret is a hard thing to live with.

Cherry Coley (c)

A New Day!

100_5469I was feeling a bit down today.  The weather was a bit gloomy, hazy, wet outside, and it was just one of those days.  At least that’s what I told myself this morning.  Then I wondered why.

 Why was I just accepting that I was having a “blue” day?  Was it disappointment over something? Did I not like how someone was treating me? Was it the weather? Am I not happy about where I am or things that are going on in my life right now? What?

 Does any of that matter? The answer is no, if you are living life from a proactive perspective instead of a reactive perspective none of the above makes any difference at all. 

 Being in a proactive mindset means that I CHOOSE how I feel in the morning.  I get to choose my attitude, perspective and my approach to everything that comes into my life each day.  That’s an enormous amount of personal power if you think about it.  Does it mean if I have a car wreck in the morning I won’t react and be upset?  Not necessarily, but it is still my choice to BE upset.

 Freedom comes in knowing that you can choose how you feel about any given circumstance, event, or situation at any given time.  So think about this, if you feel unappreciated, you feel jealousy, you feel taken for granted, or you feel unloved, why not take a moment – stop and ask yourself: are these feelings and is this behavior contributing to my health and happiness? What am I getting from feeling this way? It definitely doesn’t make you feel good.  So why choose to feel that way?

 Today make the choice to take a good look at how you are responding to things in your life.  Are you being proactive and choosing how you will feel and your attitude? Are you looking for the opportunities in any given situation? Or are you living in response to things that are going on?

 When we live in response we are living with our feelings hanging out there in the open.  Emotions unchecked can cloud judgment. Clouded judgment will keep you from seeing the opportunities and choices available to you.  How many times have you felt unappreciated or unloved, had things spiral into arguments or upset, only to find out later it was a misunderstanding?

 If you’re feeling down, like I was, stop to take a moment to appreciate your blessing and the good things in your life.  When you get in the attitude of being grateful it gets harder to feel down and stay that way.  Thank God for another day, I did, then I felt much better.

Cherry Coley (c)

Share Some Love

Photo by Casey KealSpring is almost here.  Amazing how quickly time passes.  Valentines day is quickly approaching.  It makes me wonder how we allowed all of our holidays to become so commercial.  I love Valentines day candy and the stuffed animals and treats are pretty cute, but it’s a lot of hype for “showing love,” that shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year.

I like to keep my family all “loved up.”  My kids know they are loved every day, not just one.  We tell each other on a regular basis, show each other often and have fun just being together.

Valentines day is great and of course another day to enjoy sweet treats and pampering, but sharing love is something that never gets old. 

Take a moment to show the people in your life you appreciate them, tell them, do something nice, and let them know they are loved.

Cherry Coley (c)

Touched By An Angel

Aunt Marlene and Mom

Aunt Marlene and Mom

Tonight I watched “Touched By An Angel.”  I haven’t watched that show in years, but it caught my eye while flipping channels for a moment. 

It was a show about a drug addict that had a baby and Monica and Andrew worked to help her get clean.  Being television it all worked out just in time and just fine on screen.  It really was a good story.  I miss the gentle kindness of the show and inviting it into our lives each night.

I remember so well watching “Touched By An Angel” and “Highway To Heaven” with my mom and dad.  They loved the storyline with angels walking among us, helping and interacting, directing our paths when needed.  My mom thoroughly enjoyed the shows for years.  We would talk about the episode and then how it related to the bible and real life.  Sure, a lot of it was fiction, but it was a good clean show with a heart and you don’t see many of those anymore. 

So tonight, just for a moment, I was touched by another angel.  I felt the presence of my mom come and sit down on the couch beside me and share in a memory.  It was just a moment, but I am thankful for it just the same.  It made me smile and I love memories that do that. 

Take a moment today to remember some of the good memories you’ve shared.  It’s good to appreciate where we come from, it’s better to then live in the moment and enjoy the things we have and the people in our lives.  Life a gift, don’t take it for granted, enjoy every bit of it.

Cherry Coley (c)