I sat on my bed with my legs folded. A large piece of cardboard covered my bed and upon it was brand new box. Inside this box was ““ to my delight ““ a 2,000 piece Victorian puzzle. My heart skipped a beat as balmy hands dumped the delicate pieces out of the box, and I began to sort.
The adrenaline that charges through my veins to see a masterpiece come together is the same driving force that influences the broken pieces in my life. Perfectionism. Pretense. Approval addiction. Obsessive compulsions. Anxiety. Just when I think I’ve conquered an area, and I can see the picture coming together, life happens, and the puzzle fall apart leaving me to put the pieces back together.
Do you ever feel that angst of defeat? Does your M.O. come in the form of over-achievement, cynicism, self-reliance or pride? Does it manifest itself in the form of self-indulgence, depression, anger or addiction? If so, it’s no wonder you may feel tired, alone and frustrated.
If you are ever going to experience triumph over your trials and tribulations in life, you have to let go of your fears of failure, disapproval and disappointment. Then you have to step into freedom, forgiveness and fortitude. Discard the pieces that belong in your life and embrace the ones that will complete the perfect picture designed just for you.
My ten-year-old self looked forlornly into the bathroom mirror with my shoulders slumped. Why, oh why can’t I be fun and popular? Wistful, shy and reserved, I practiced smiling. It needed to be bigger. I forced my eyes to open wider and made them twinkle. From now on I’m going to be outgoing and people are going to like me.
It took two decades for me to realize that I can’t be someone else. Have you lost yourself? Stop competing for attention and comparing yourself to others. Don’t allow one more moment to steal the precious gift of your unique personality, gifts and talents.
Control Your Emotions
Slowly I entered the board room and lowered myself onto the cold chair. Two quivering hands found each other under the table. The previous week at work I had let my emotions get the best of me. In one hot moment I had undermined authority and stirred up turmoil with my coworkers. I felt so ashamed of what I’d done and the hurtful words that had been spoken. I had made a spectacle of myself.
Learning how to manage your emotions takes a lot of work. But what happens when you do flub up? When you completely lose your cool? Make a scene at work? Yell at your kids? Bad-mouth a friend? Do you feel unworthy to remain friends, to be called a good mom, to keep your job? You don’t have to bury your head in the sand, pay penance or live in condemnation. Just reflect on how you can gather the strength to reign in your emotions and use them in a better way next time.
Sometimes it feels like time stands still. The world is spinning around, and you are left standing in the center of it all still waiting for that one thing or several things. What are you waiting for? Financial freedom? Peace in life’s storms? Children to listen and obey? Relationships to be restored? Better results at work? A clear medical report?
How you respond while you are waiting is important. Your attitude and behaviors reveal your character and integrity. Cares and concerns can cloud your mind and affect the way you handle yourself, your children, your spouse, your friend and your work. You may have to remind yourself daily, sometimes hourly, to transform the way you think. Just because you feel a certain way ““ stressed, worried, or emotional ““ doesn’t mean you have to let that feeling take over your day. Pinpoint what is causing those negative feelings and deal with them.
Why is it so easy to love your children and cheer them on? When they were learning to walk, you clapped your hands and waved them to the other side of the room. When they fell down, you helped them back up and enthusiastically said, “You can do it!”
Yet when it comes to your own life, are you that optimistic or are you constantly putting yourself down with negative thoughts? What you have become is because of what you have been thinking. Your current behaviors are a result of your thought life. Are you living in freedom or are you focused on your fear and failures? Transform your mind by thinking of the positive opposite you want to see in your life.