Ok. In my last article, I wrote about how to live without being offended. Since then I’ve had a couple of close encounters. So when I was confronted by another person whether I was offended or not, I had to catch myself from shrugging it off with an excuse. Instead I took a moment and consciously decided to take a risk to be honest and vulnerable.
Fact is we’re not going to be ok with what happens to us or how people treat us. Even though we know we can’t blame others and we’re responsible for our feelings – inside we still feel crappy and angry. In the midst of this, we need to be honest with ourselves. This means recognizing our blind spots and working on them. This will be painfully hard, and at times we’ll fall flat on our faces. But that’s why we need to show ourselves grace. Grace to grow, and time to heal. With each new day we get a ‘do over’ to be a better person, to take another chance, and to be fearless. So instead of avoiding the thing that’s causing us pain or avoiding the person that’s making us feel uncomfortable, we must face them head on until it no longer has a negative effect on us. Be brave, with each moment.
©2015 Susie Lee
The other day, I was helping a friend move their parent’s stuff out of their 40+ years house. Twelve hours later, it seemed as though we hadn’t even dented their place. The next day, this forced me to reevaluate my own stuff throughout the rooms, closets, and crawl space. What am I holding on to that I don’t use anymore? And why am I still holding on to it? So I began to ruthlessly get rid of clothes, books, and knick-knacks that I don’t use, look at, or need.
Why do we hold on to unneeded stuff? I’m not just talking about physical stuff but emotional and psychological baggage in our lives such as anger, resentment, fear, regret, worry, pride, or jealousy. The consequences of holding on to these will eventually clutter our minds and occupy space in our emotional living room. It’s not easy getting rid of these destructive feelings because we’ve either grown accustomed to it, attached to it, or it’s too much work to get rid of. And we may even justify keeping our feelings. But at some point, we must honestly ask ourselves, ‘Why am I still holding on to this? Is it helpful, useful, or productive?’ If the answer’s no, get rid of it – it’s just weighing you down. For the sake of our wellbeing, peace of mind, and the health of our relationships, we must ruthlessly de-clutter our emotional baggage on a regular basis.
©2015 Susie Lee
Two months ago, I posted an article on how to unveil your 6-pack. Well, since then I’ve increased my physical activity and decreased my candy/chips consumption. And I’ve exhibited impressive self-control whenever I’ve watched friends indulge in mouth-watering treats. But during the two months, I felt as though my bouts of sugar cravings and hunger pains were all in vain as I looked the same, felt the same, and (sigh) weighed the same.
This article isn’t about losing weight but rather not to be discouraged or give up in life. Results take time. The seemingly small choices we make each day will contribute to the greater overall picture. We may not see immediate results now but we will as time goes on: our bodies will feel lighter after months of healthy eating, we’ll run longer distances without huffing and puffing, emotional wounds will slowly heal with each passing day, and relationships will grow stronger through daily sacrifice and love. Anything worthwhile will take dedication, discipline, and determination.
It seems as though time is the answer to everything – to mend, to heal, to grow, and to flourish. And it’s a lesson in developing perseverance, character, strength, and faith within us. So be patient and don’t give up on what you want in life, work, health, and relationships – for only time will tell…
©2015 Susie Lee
PS I hope you’re all having a great summer so far – whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, and however you’re feeling.
It’s Saturday and you wake up to a beautiful sunny morning. You’re looking forward to an unplanned day filled with endless possibilities. You’re happy and rested. Suddenly out of left field you’re smacked with a curve ball on the side of your head with a rant of accusations by a frustrated loved one. All before stepping out of bed.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on Acceptance | One of the Hardest Things to Do. And I asked myself ‘Where do you draw the line between accepting the person without condoning their ‘off the handle’ behavior?’ Accepting them for who they are does not mean you have to agree with their behavior. In fact, tough love will require you to have the courage to confront. The key factor to confrontation is that your intentions need to come from a place of love and the well being for that person rather than from a place of anger or spite. And even with your best intentions, it may still be received with defensiveness, anger, resistance, or withdrawal.
It’s natural for us to protect ourselves and take the path of the least resistant and remain silent. But overtime, your inner fuming and staying bitter towards them will harm you. Never make the assumption they’ll pick up on your silent cues and magically put the pieces together, or that they’ll feel remorseful for their actions and take the first step towards reconciliation. They’re not mind readers, they can see you’re upset but they won’t necessarily know why you’re upset. Plus they’re still probably upset themselves and wondering why you haven’t figured it out. This will only create more distance between the both of you and at this point, become a battle of wills. So take the initiative to clearly and objectively communicate what you’re seeing, experiencing and feeling.
It’s also good to keep in mind, that people’s frustrations usually stem out of their own personal issues, inner hurts or past woundings. So it’s not you, your actions or words that necessarily trigger them but a hurt, resentment, bitterness that might already be within their hearts. But if they’re not aware of this, they’ll think it’s you and blame you for how they’re feeling. With this in mind, it’s easier to be patient with them as you walk beside them in their journey.
Since these hurricane days come when you least expect it, it’s emotionally difficult to brace for it. Loving the person without condoning their poor behavior is very hard to practice. But it’s possible with compassion, courage, love and truth. After all you’ve said and done, ultimately it’s up to them to choose what they want to do with it. My hope is that they’ll see the love behind your words, take responsibility for their feelings and move toward healthy steps for improvement.
© 2012 Susie Lee