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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Really Matters?

I have been feeling a bit guilty lately complaining about what I don't have, when really I have a lot. For the last year I have struggled putting the pieces of myself together. What do I want? What do I need? What can I do? Sometimes it's become overwhelming, especially since what I want control over, I can't control; and those things I do have control over, seem trivial. It seems just as I get on top of things, something else offsets my balance, and I am back to the beginning. So instead of crying my eyes out, I have tried to find other things to do-to take my mind off things.

I have learned a few important lessons that I think may be of help to others too. I have no answer on how to be constantly happy--maybe it doesn't exist, but I have learned how to deal with change--which is really the only constant I have.

1. Communication- I have learned that I have to be HONEST about what I want. This is hard because sometimes it leads to hurt feelings. I think in all relationships it's better to be honest than to avoid resistance. I have learned that in my most important relationships I need to say how I feel and express what I need so I can be happy. Many women put themselves last in the line up of providing things and for me, I become empty and have nothing left to give. I need to speak up for myself--and I think lots of us should do it more. Why do we put ourselves last, or just go along with things we aren't comfortable with? Take a stand and let your needs be heard!

2. Commitment- whether it's a relationship, project, job or whatever--don't do it unless you are committed to see it through. I have learned that even while doing "good things" if I am not willing to go through the good and bad parts, I should not be doing it. The frustration is too great if I'm not in it 100%.

3. Cooperation-Life happens. Problems Happen. Good stuff happens too. I have tried to see problems not as "How do I get over this," but more like "What's my best option?" or "Who can help me?" It is ok, and NOT a sign of weakness, to ASK FOR HELP. On the same note "Who or How can I help others?" is another way of viewing the everyday crap we all deal with.  Very few situations are perfect. If I can retrain my brain to think win-win rather than just get it done, I learn more. Living is a daily experiment. If we continue to go through it plowing through adversity, we may miss the other great things that often surround adversity.

4. Control- You have none. Get over it. Seriously you can only control very few things, and sometimes just riding out the storm is a better option.

5. Compromise- There has to be give and take. If I am constantly giving in, that's not healthy. If I am constantly getting my way, that's not healthy either. Balance and moderation in all things can lead to contentment, and maybe even happiness.

6. Creator- Whether or not you believe in God, or a higher power, you need to believe in something. Church may not be a place everyone feels comfortable, and I am not sure it's all entirely necessary. But I do know that belief in some bigger purpose gives my life meaning. I believe if I am trying to be happy and do a good deed daily, my life has meaning and makes a difference. Enjoy your own version of whatever spirituality you subscribe to and learn to live with purpose.

~Deep thoughts --what matters to you makes a difference. Once you figure that out, happiness is within your reach.

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