This is my response to Anyone Else Feel Like a Total Screw Up? | Doug’s Scribbles and Ramblings https://gleanermansblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/anyone-else-feel-like-a-total-screw-up/
Today’s words of wisdom stem from a conversation with a dear friend and co-worker. She is working hard on trying to improve herself and her situation so she asked me for my honest opinion on something. She asked, “Will you give me 3 areas in my life you think I could improve on?”
The answers to this came way too easily. You see, this girl is 10 years younger than me and is also a single mother. We’ve been there for each other through a lot of stuff over the last couple of years. She reminds me a lot of myself. So I realized as I was typing these things, I wasn’t only speaking to her – I was speaking from my own experiences, what other wise people have taught me, and I was speaking to myself on the things I constantly need reminders of.
So today – here are 3 areas in life I think we could all improve on . . .
- Love yourself. I know that we hear this a lot, but many of us have been taught that loving ourselves is selfish. The issue is, we spend so much time trying to do for others, that we have nothing left to give. We were given these bodies and these lives to TAKE CARE OF. We have to meet our own basic needs if we want to reach our full potential and have the capability and energy to love others.
So . . . GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. You have overcome so much in your life! SO MUCH. Maybe you had a horrible childhood. Or maybe you survived the severe mental illness of a family member. Maybe you survived a horrific accident and had to learn to live your life all over again. Maybe you survived an unhealthy marriage or learned to move on after a betrayal. Maybe you’re a single parent who struggles to make ends meet. Everyone has a story and everyone has a struggle, whether they admit it to others or not. The important thing to remember is – YOU ARE STILL HERE. You haven’t given up yet!
Learn how to “teach others how to treat you.” Meaning, if you continue to allow people to treat you badly, they will continue to do it. Set clear boundaries on how you are okay with being treated and what you will absolutely not allow. And then let people know when they are doing a good job or when they are not. This applies for families, friends, co-workers, and yes, even bosses, managers, superiors, etc. We all need to be able to set personal boundaries in our lives.
Pay attention to your body and your emotions. Notice when you start to feel stressed and prepare for it. Preparation includes scheduling guilt-free alone time to pray, meditate, sleep – whatever you need to get through it. (Don’t think you have time to meditate or just spend quiet time alone? Check out this article on Pattern Interrupts.)
Start a journal. Even if it is as simple as writing down what you eat and what your emotions were that day – it is a step to learning more about yourself and what you need to survive.
Another tip, especially if you’re an emotional eater like I am, always have a favorite healthy snack nearby to devour in times of need.
The more you learn about yourself – the easier it will be to notice things and make the best choices for YOU.
I also wanted to share one final thing (okay, so actually it’s FOUR) that has been a huge help in my own personal growth. I’m still working on each of these in my own life – but the second agreement was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. I dealt with so much fear and shame in my own life, all because of what I was afraid others thought of me. (And I was probably making wrong ASSUMPTIONS anyway.)
So, Congratulations to everyone who is doing their best every day and making steps (no matter how small) to better themselves. YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Any of my followers who might wonder where I have been, I have been busy stepping out of my comfort zone. I was kind of forced to do it – but am glad that I did. I am not going to go into detail just yet – but let’s just say that this 40 year old body aches every night, but is getting more activity than it has in a very long time.
I used to be so fearless, and I lost my confidence along the way. I’m slowly gaining it back and having a blast doing it. So I thought I would stop in long enough to encourage each of you to step out of your comfort zone and do the thing that scares you. I think it is worth it.
I have known for a long time that I come from a long line of storytellers. Writers, musicians, poets, thespians, and artists abound in my family tree. However, I was unaware that my paternal grandmother was not only a brilliant seamstress and artist, but she was also an aspiring writer.
This week, a gift was shared with me by a cousin: folders of written pages by my Grandma when she was taking Composition classes at our local university a couple years after my Grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack. I have so enjoyed getting to know my Grandma a little bit more (she died of cancer when I was in high school) through these yellowed handwritten (and a few typed on a TYPEWRITER) pages. I thought it would be fun to share some of it here on this blog.
The following was written during an in-class free-writing exercise.. I am sure many of you will relate to her words as I did.
Why must I write this essay?
by Martha Williams
I am handed two sheets of clean white paper, along with the rest of the English composition class, and told to take my pen and free write for about twenty minutes. The topic is on “The Persuasive Theme” and my mind is as blank as the paper before me.
Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I am an argumentative son-of-a-gun and will take sides at the drop of a hat, any side, both sides, up one side and down the middle.
The girl next to me who has been writing steadily, suddenly crumples up her paper and tosses it in the wastebasket and the class gets a laugh and I agree, out loud, that “that is how I feel, too.”
Surely in my head, that has been crammed with ideas and knowledge since childhood, there must be something I can write about with some intelligence, presenting one side clearly and yet showing the opposite side for reasonable doubt. What does one do on the days when no sensible thought appears?
For two days, and longer, this essay has been on the edge of my mind. I’ve known the whole semester that I would have to do it some day and I still am here, stymied, dumb, no thoughts at all in my head.
Would the teacher accept a note with the explanation that I just couldn’t think of a thing to write about? No – I don’t think so. She might be sympathetic, but since she’s passed this way before, she’d expect me to come up with something. After all, she did it, didn’t she?
“The Zoo at Glen Miller Park is Shameful.” Now there’s a really good subject and I can get into it with both feet. I love animals, especially exotic ones; lions, tigers, peacocks, and all the little woods animals; the bear, the silly monkeys that look like members of my family tree; they are beautiful, cuddly, and soft. Or are they? Out at the Glen, they’re dirty and cross and smelly and evil looking and who wouldn’t be? Now the other side of the argument – there isn’t one. Well, scrap that idea.
My little friend in the next seat is going through a painful period of finding her worth in a world of people whom she thinks have everything while God has somehow passed her by. I could write on that theme. I certainly know a few things about that. Some day she’ll learn that the pain she’s going through is her growth in body, mind, and spirit and she’ll recognize it and be thankful for it. Her sorrow is only one of many kinds, but I can’t tell her that. When you hurt, you hurt and no one else’s pain compares at all with yours. She’s OK and she’s going to be better. I don’t want to get into that subject anyhow. I can solve my own problems and no one ever is popular who preaches one way or another on any phase of religion. Who wants to be told, “just forget it, it’s happened before”?
It’s time to pass papers around for editing and ideas. Good, that always helps and if I need anything at all today, I need help for this paper.
The first gal doesn’t really think I’m serious because I’ve been so silly today. She is kind and laughs at my silliness, but the young man is trying to help and makes me a list of good reasons for why I should write a debating paper. Bless them both.
Well why should I? I’m working for credits for this course. I have to earn them, no one’s going to say, poor little old lady, we’ll give her good grades as our good deed for today. At least I hope no one is going to do that! And then, even with earned credits, I’ll be a freshman for thirty years at the rate I’m going. As kind as the good Lord has been to me, I don’t think He’ll be that patient. So why do I work so hard?
Well, what if I do have time to earn a B.A. degree; to take all the subjects I’ve yearned with all my heart to take for 42 years? To fill my self with the knowledge that this little gal has got a lot on the ball after all these years? Wouldn’t I crow? From the top of the highest tree I would!
So I’d better stop foolin’ around and get busy.
written sometime around 1980 for Composition I at Indiana University East
I was so touched to know that my Grandma would be proud of me. Although she never got to finish her B.A. degree, I did; and now I know that when I was handed that diploma from Indiana University East 25 years later, she was smiling down on me.
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman
Check out this interview with author Carole Parkes by Doug Lafuze.
Interviewing the Author, Carole Parkes
I was born in Liverpool, England in 1945, after the war had ended. Seventy years later, I can look back on a life that is mainly a happy one.
Question: What is your impression of your childhood?
I had a happy childhood. When I reflect on it now, I know that was mostly due to having a really loving father. I never realized it when I was a child, but my mum suffered depression which led to often repeated bouts of crying. It was my dad who we went to whenever we needed anything. He put plasters on our cuts and grazes, rocked us on his knee while he sang a lullaby, and gave us a donkey ride up the stairs to bed. It was only in later years I began to ask why mum never cuddled us or took us to bed. Now I’m…
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I grew up in the same community as Rich Mullins and was a huge fan of his music. He graduated from the same high school I did. When I was in 7th grade, he came and spoke to a group of students during our activities period. This was the first time I’d ever seen him “up close and personal”. He sat at the piano in the band room and just talked. He would play something every now and then – but he spoke from his heart. I don’t remember a lot of what he had to say that day – but I do remember that he said some radical things, because I watched the teachers in the room cringe. I LOVED THAT. He wasn’t afraid to say what he thought. I know a lot of what he said at the time went over my head, but his love for PEOPLE, the “everyman” was apparent. And he was very open and honest about the fact that he was not perfect, just another human trying to do the best that he could. I think that is a big part of why I always connected with his music.
Rich’s brother Lloyd wrote the following about comments he has received regarding the movie Ragamuffin and I loved the post so much – I had to share it.
“I really believe that [Rich] believed his job was in pointing people toward heaven, and he tried to do just that. We all wanted the movie to try to do the same. Schultz could have painted him as some kind of saint, kind of a Christian Yoda who’s got it all figured out, but that movie would have only glorified Rich, and Rich would have hated that (of course, he probably would have loved it too). Schultz took a braver approach: to show the other side, the private side. The side that only a few ever saw. I almost said were privileged to see, but frankly, there were a lot of times when it was no privilege, I’m sure. The movie Schultz made shows him as we all are; flawed, fallible, and frequently a complete asshole, but a complete asshole who never stopped loving God, who never stopped trying to please God. His struggle was not with God, but with himself, just like the rest of us.”
Please read the entire post here: