Sometimes the advice our mothers give us is priceless... not always... but there are very often gems that are worth carrying and following for the rest of our lives. My mother, as much as I hate to admit it, was an excellent judge of character and had no problem walking away from an interaction and making a snap judgement. I believe that everybody deserves a chance and I'm damned if I'm going to make snap judgements that could turn out to be wrong. As always though, there's a middle road... a scenic route between the two extremes. I'm learning to enjoy that scenic route.
I know this for certain. I value sincerity over effusiveness. While I understand how important it is to be kind and loving in a world that too often forgets that concept, I also understand that the love shouldn't be fake. It's so important to reach out and touch lives but it's even more important to do so with no hidden agenda.
Unfortunately we're surrounded by people who lay it on thick and, in doing so, cover up the fact that their interactions and words are far from genuine. And just maybe we fall for it because we are humans and we want to be loved.
I'm at a point in my life where I take pretty words with a pinch of salt and watch the ensuing actions instead. I've learned the hard way that even though people may tell you they love you, sometimes those words mean very little to them. I watch for people who gush too easily and I treasure the people who think before they speak and consider implications before they act.
A person who is sincere isn't afraid to step into their authenticity and to speak their truth and those are the people I want to surround myself with... not the ones who stroke my ego on a temporary basis. Who is it that you want in your circle?
There comes a time when you have to walk away... from people, from relationships, from situations. I believe the measure of a man or a woman is not in walking away but in how they do it.
Have you noticed how many people tell you that they can't bear drama? And yet, they tend to veer onto the dramatic side of things when it comes time to accept that walking away is the thing to do. There's seldom a calm acceptance of things and a gradual distancing. It usually seems more like a volcanic eruption.
I'll tell you a secret though... I've reached an age or a stage in my life where drama is intolerable for me. I've seen enough of it that I don't want to see any more. I've learned that those people who seem to always be in the midst of drama are the ones who generate it in the first place. Maybe I'm judgemental but I've learned the hard way that most people don't want to be a part of your peace unless they have a peaceful core themselves.
It's an exercise in observation really and it comes down to identifying the common denominator in situations. We all have been in the thick of moments that were unpleasant. I'm hoping that most of us don't experience unpleasant moments with everyone we come into contact with at some stage. You see, that's the part that I find fascinating. If you take the time to listen to a person's stories, you'll notice that some people are able to balance the good with the bad. Others, on the other hand, will have a story for every person they've met that involves conflict, strife and heartache. Those are the people you should probably pay attention to because very soon, you might find yourself wrapped up in one of those tales that they tell so readily.
Life lesson... you cannot love someone out of their own drama. They need to decide to change the way their stories play out. You can choose to love them until they do and you can choose to love them from a distance until they do. It's about deciding how much your own peace is worth to you.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be amazing at whatever it is that you do. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the best that you can be. I start to worry when the measure becomes less focused on what we as individuals can achieve and more focused on what we achieve in comparison to somebody else.
When we start to compare ourselves to others we're doing two things. We're acknowledging competition and shifting our focus from what we're doing to what others are doing. Secondly, we're assuming that the Universe with all its opportunities is limited... that there isn't enough for anyone.
The concept of opportunities being scarce is at the heart of all competition. The minute we embrace that concept as being true, we tend to shut down everything that the Universe so desperately wants to give us. We assume that if someone else gets something, we get nothing. Have you ever noticed how the opposite is true?
The people I know who have an abundance of wonderful things in their lives are the same people who don't hesitate to reach out and guide others. Let that sink in for a bit.
We are the creators of the environments that we live in. If we create an environment of competition, it leads to people trying to one up each other... it leads to misery and worry. When we create an environment in which we share our successes, our troubles, our abundance, we live in a space of peace and love.
It comes down to choice, doesn't it? How do you choose to live? How do you choose to experience the Universe?
There's such a huge difference between being alone and being lonely and all we have to do to see it is take a step back and look deeply. I think humans are pack animals by nature but, unlike most animals that congregate in groups, we actually do really well on our own too.
All this leads me to question my belief that we are meant to be in groups altogether. Is there a possibility that this is a case of nature versus nurture? We are raised to believe that the family unit is vital and that having heaps of friends is a good thing. And it is wonderful to have all that. Our real growth doesn't happen when we are surrounded by people though, does it?
Maybe one of the reasons we are so terrified of being alone is that we are, in actual fact, terrified of our own growth. The idea of becoming something so much more, of becoming someone who stands out in their difference is daunting. It flies in the face of the conformity that we are taught to strive for.
I can't help thinking that we add so much more value to society on the whole when we become that something more. Our aloneness causes us to dig deep, to analyse, to lose ourselves in introspection and it's often through that introspection that we morph into beings who are more compassionate, more kind and more real. We accept all of ourselves and in so doing, we learn to accept others too.
So revel in being alone... stop rushing to distract yourself with others and learn to love yourself right now, right where you are. You'll discover that being by yourself isn't lonely... true loneliness comes when you are surrounded by people who have no urge to understand your journey. So set out alone if you need to, embrace it, become more and then spread that beautiful, accepting love to the rest of the world.
I wonder how many brilliant ideas have been lost to humanity because their creators lost focus. Let's face it, idea generation is something that happens naturally... it's the follow through that takes a little bit of effort.
This applies to so many parts of our lives. Think about your new years resolutions. Think about all those times you've sworn you're going to start meditating daily... or doing yoga... or practising gratitude.
What sets most successful endeavours apart is not the brilliance of the person behind them but their persistence, grit, determination and focus.
Have you noticed how easy it is to zone in on things that you truly enjoy? Focus isn't a problem there. It makes me think that all those things we know we should commit to would be easier to follow through on if we just turned them into things we enjoy. Instead we follow a formula dictated by someone else.
Meditation becomes a chore because we're doing it the way we're told and not the way that our own souls dictate. The same goes for all those spiritual resolutions we make.
Just a thought... how about committing not to specific tasks but rather committing wholeheartedly to spiritual and personal growth and then allowing our souls and Spirit to lead the way?