How often do you give people the benefit of the doubt?
You might believe there are people or groups of people in your life who ‘don’t deserve it’. We make assumptions. Our brains naturally want to sort and classify all the other humans and we choose to believe generalizations and that allow us to see how we differ on a superficial level.
You might have people in your life where you have assumed you know ‘where they are coming from’ based on past actions or words. Your brain likes to create rules about the other humans, even if those rules are based on our interpretation of their behavior. Offering the benefit of the doubt to those people would mean having to re-think our rules and your brain has an innate resistance to the extra credit work.
Consider the person who cuts you off in traffic or who is driving too slow in the left lane. You assume he is an asshole and that he has no respect. Or that he is too self-centered to care about anyone else.
A boundary is an act of self-care, self-respect and self-love.
It is something we decide to do for our own benefit. It is not about trying to control the other humans. It’s about getting clarity on what we believe needs to happen and making a decision on how to take care of it.
Far too often we allow things to perpetuate in our lives because we don’t want to offend. Or we don’t want to seem selfish. Or we want people to like us.
The pivotal moment is a realization that someone needs to stand up for us. And that we are the person for the job.
It begins with taking responsibility.
It is a declaration that we have allowed something to happen in the past that we do not want in our future.
It is not about blame. It is about creating the power to change it.
There is a simple formula I use when speaking with the person I am setting the boundary with.
When you do _________, I am going to do _________.
How often do you compare yourself to others?
Perhaps you have inspiring people in your life, and you have encouraging thoughts of wanting to emulate their positive attributes.
Or… maybe you look at others and all you can see is how they are clearly doing life better than you are.
The buzz word(s) these days are ‘compare and despair’.
Comparison was so much a part of my life, I thought it was normal.
Something everyone did.
Sadly, that is likely an accurate statement.
I still might argue that in small and heavily regulated doses it can be worthwhile. I remember as a new mom, trying to figure out if I was doing okay. There were many times where I looked to and learned from other moms. And comparing my kids progress to what their experience was seemed helpful at the time.
Until of course when I would find myself in a panic because my kid seemed to be not measuring up to others. Or when other moms seemed to be handling things so much better.
We have all made mistakes.
Times in our past where we said or did what we now see as the ‘wrong’ thing.
It may be something personal or we may have hurt someone. We may have inadvertently created a mess for ourselves and/or others. Or maybe we ‘stumbled’ in a public setting and feel as though we did ourselves harm.
We apologized. We asked for forgiveness. We did whatever we thought we needed to do to make amends. Perhaps we feel as though we learned something from it. And we have given it time to soften.
So why the heck do we still torture ourselves about it?
I am well aware of the list of things my brain goes to when I, for some unknown reason, have the need to make myself feel bad. Some of them are from 30 years ago! Heck I even have one from the 1st grade.
Sometimes they sneak up on my unguarded mind when I am (or should be) asleep.
Is this really the ‘normal’ working of our brains?
Our primitive brain is designed to keep us alive.
The year we have been pining for has almost arrived! We have crawled our way through the desert, but should we be expecting a miracle?
It is human nature to envision the future in a way that outshines our current state. We call it hope and there are many times where it is the fuel that keeps us going. But can it also set us up for disappointment?
So often we ‘arrive’ at whatever place we imagined, and we are shocked to find that all our habitual, negative programming came along for the ride.
Better-than-here is possible! But a new calendar year won’t change the way we feel, the way we think or what we do. That part of the deal is completely up to us.
Pandemic aside, if you believe 2021 is going to be the year where you lose the Covid 19-pounds or cut back on your recently acquired drinking protocol or refine your family/work/healthcare routine, I believe there are a few things you will need to consider.
Here comes the much-anticipated arrival of the last weeks of 2020.
As we stare into another modified version of yet another annual tradition, I find myself in a new state of anticipation. Not like when we were kids, on our tip-toes, wondering what magical things were to come. More like sitting quietly in my chair, curious as to how it will unfold.
I often reflect on the holidays as a time that would come and go so quickly. Full social calendars, people flying in and flying out. So much hype and anticipation and then poof! It was January.
Well, for those of us who have ever wished it could be different, I present to you the 2020 version of the December holidays.
Neither of our girls are coming home and it might just be the two of us and the cats.
But I did make a list.
All I want for Christmas is patience, understanding and compassion.
I am not sure who delivers, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t come with my prime subscription.
Are you getting your emotional needs met in life?
Needs like feeling loved, validated, worthy, important, significant, etc.
I am guessing most of you started thinking about the people in your life who you think are supposed to do that for you.
While it may be a popular theory in the world of relationships, I am not a believer. I think it is our responsibility to take care of our needs. Not our partners, not our kid. Ours and ours alone.
I wonder where we got the idea that it was someone else’s job.
Oh wait. Maybe from society in general. Or our parents? Maybe from movies or books. Possibly from a lot of advice out there from people with more degrees than I have.
So hey – call me a rebel.
In terms of our relationship with our partner, many of us live in a world where we try to focus on their needs, they try to focus on our needs, and inevitably, someone doesn’t get it right. Again.