“Never under-estimate your powers to change yourself. Never over-estimate your power to change others.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Being in such a state of change and self-reflection this year has proven to be a challenging, heartbreaking, sometimes tormenting, and sometimes joyful, happy, amazing experience. The roller coaster of emotions brought on by great change can seem like too much to bear at times. Yet the times like this – depending on how we choose to respond – can offer the most personal growth.
In the process I have had to seek and out and remove some words and thought patterns from my vocabulary that have been getting in my way of either seeing things clearly or creating obstacles that turn into excuses. Some of the words and phrases are:
- It’s always been done that way
- I’m nervous/scared
- It’s going to take too long
- It’s too hard
- What will my family / friends think?
- I can’t afford it
- It’s risky
- I don’t deserve it
- It’s not my nature
- I’m too busy
- No one will help me
I have been going through and creating affirmations to ward off each of those excuses, steadfastly cutting them out of my life and silencing them as they come up to block me from moving forward. The one that I came up against this last weekend caught me off guard. I honestly didn’t realize how much I was saying it and how much energy I was spending on basically, nothing. The words I have to push away now are “I wish.”
I find myself saying things to people like – “I wish you were here,” “I wish we could go to….” “I wish we had more time together,” too much wishing. It has now bled into other areas for other reasons such as: “I wish I could get my car painted,” “I wish the backdoor would lock better,” “I wish I could travel to Ireland,” or “I wish I could go spend some time with my long distance friends.”
I just realized how truly ridiculous it all sounds. Seriously? What am I doing wishing so much? Life isn’t about “wishing” – life is about “living.” If you spend all your time and energy wishing for things you, aren’t living in the present and making things happen.
It’s interesting what we wind up seeing as our limits and how we create excuses to justify staying stuck and keeping those limits in place. The truth is that the limits you are living with – you have created yourself. The person keeping you from reaching your goals and fulfilling your dreams is you.
Do some soul searching, find the things that inner voice uses to keep you in that limited frame of mind, realize that the inner voice – is you and you can learn to silence it or reprogram it to move forward instead of staying stuck. Even more important, if you find yourself constantly wishing for things to happen, realize that you have the ability to make them happen, but you have to first realize where you are and why, then take the steps to move forward. It’s time to stop wishing and start living.
Cherry Coley ©
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails“… – author unknown
For some reason when I came across this quote early this morning, I thought of Mary Poppins. I’ve always loved the show Mary Poppins, the scenery, the imagination, animation mixed with real life characters and of course the music.
I have watched in amazement and smiled as my kids were touched by “Feed the Birds” just like I was long ago while watching it. Amazing how something made years ago can still touch us today, but that is the power of movies. I too cried at the little old lady feeding the birds on the steps, begging not for herself, but for the birds to eat.
I guess my other favorite song of that movie is “Chim Chimney Chim Chim Cherrie.” I love watching Dick Van Dyke play on the roof tops, dancing in the soot, in and around the chimneys. It’s a magical moment in the film full of fun and laughter.
Mary Poppins has so many lessons to teach. She first listens to the children, and addresses their needs while getting to know them, then helps the parents to see themselves as they are and where their time is being spent. Finally, the scenario comes down to choices, which is what life is all about anyway. The father winds up having to choose between his job, where he’s not really treated with much respect anyway, and his family. He chooses to go fly a kite and reunite with his kids, but then the miracle is that the choice he makes affects everyone around him including his co-workers, who also wind up going to fly a kite and learning to have fun.
Okay, so it’s an old film and perhaps the world isn’t so young and innocent as it was back then, but the basic principles are the same. We should be careful with our time. Pursuing a career should never be more important than the people in your life. That career, whatever it may be, will be there when you are gone, either because you were just filling a position or because someone else has taken the idea and run with it, the people in your life will not always be there. Children grow up, leave, and start their own lives which will greatly limit any time they may have for you and their own family. It’s so important to love them as much as we can while they are younger. Parents and siblings will not always be there, time waits for no one, don’t lose the opportunity to show them you love them.
The only other thing I have to say is make sure you take vacation time. For too many years I have been a company girl, working late, going above and beyond what I was asked to do, and working my way up in different companies. Sure it will get you promotions and raises if you are lucky, but looking back now, I can honestly tell you that in hindsight, I would have rather taken time off and gone somewhere with my kids instead. The company – no matter where I’ve worked – would have been fine without me a few days, but the benefit to my kids and myself would have been well worth it. Don’t make the mistake of putting too many things on the backburner. After a while those things simply burn up and are gone.
Years ago I started looking at jobs much as I saw Mary Poppins look at them. When she’d fulfilled her purpose, gone as far as she could go, she would wait for the wind to change then lift her umbrella and be up and gone to the next adventure. Lord, let me always be open to the changing wind and adjust my sails as needed. Life is a journey and we are all here to help each other along the way.
Cherry Coley ©