“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Is it me, or has this entire Covid-19 pandemic made everyone a bit on edge, quick to anger, and much less patient with every aspect of their daily lives? I mean, I’m not normally the Buddhist monk version of patience, love, and tolerance, but lately it’s been so amplified I don’t even want to spend time with myself!!!
A friend of mine shared with me the 90 Second Rule, a term applied by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientists Personal Journey. Ok, stay with me here….it states that the body physiologically only holds a negative emotion for 90 seconds, and after that, well, basically, we are choosing to be a bunch of drama queens and re-thinking or re-stimulating that fear, anger or whatever.
DAMN!! That’s just mean, telling me that I’m the one holding onto the anger.
But wait, maybe there IS some truth to this.
Have you every stubbed your toe in the morning getting ready for work (when we used to do that) and it snowballed into an awful day? Or someone asked you how your day went, and you tell them how bad it was? When, it was something negative that happens which lasts just a few minutes and you choose to make that the focus of the entire day?
Truth be told, there is plenty to be grateful for in my life every single day. The days I choose to focus on my health, my family, a roof over my head, my pups, my friends, fresh air to breathe, this computer I am typing on, the internet to post these blogs, the electricity to power said electronics and internet…well, you get the picture…then I find myself in a place of extreme gratitude. On days I choose to focus on 105-degree temperatures, the partisanship in politics, extreme poverty, high crime rates, slow drivers…ok, I’ll leave it there…then I’m not in appreciation and can find myself spiraling downward quickly.
So I guess the question is: at this moment, what will I choose?
"Educating yourself does not mean that you were stupid in the first place, it means that you are intelligent enough to know that there is plenty left to learn." Melanie Joy
I must admit, the first thought that comes to mind is not always the best. I have the type of mind that likes to attack from all sides, so it takes work to make sure that the crazy doesn’t spill out over everyone and everything. I jokingly like to say that the committee in my head usually meets before I wake up, takes 4 of 5 votes, and I lose every single one!!
The difference today? I don’t have to act on my first thought. I can choose to respond to situations rather than react.
Now let me take a step back, because truth be told I don’t ALWAYS live my best life and not spout off when I should take a breath and hold my tongue or choose a better way of expressing what I think or feel. And let me tell you, it gets me into trouble quite often when I do. But today, I can learn from these lapses in judgment, when my mouth is quicker than my mind. And I can forgive myself for being unkind, or immature, or falling back into old habits allowing character defects to flare.
Today, I don’t have to be perfect, or pretend to be.
Today, I don’t have to pretend to have it all figured out.
Today, I don’t have to mask my errors with lies and the ‘blame and shame’ game, but rather take responsibility (respond with ability), make amends for harm done, and most importantly, not repeat that same behavior again.
Today, I am grateful that this is a lifelong journey of learning. So, educate me, and help me to continue to be open to learning anew.
‘I want to see you be “Brave”’ –Sara Bareilles
Sometimes we just can’t find the right words, so we remain silent.
Should we ask them how they are feeling? Should we say we are sorry? Should we speak up for what we know is right when it might put us in the crosshairs? What if we say the wrong thing? What if my ignorance shows in the question I ask? Should I know better? But what can one person do to make a difference when the problems are so great?
All around us we see opportunity do something. I’m not just talking about social injustice, or wearing a mask, or stepping in when someone needs a hand up, not a handout. But these are the present moments that scream to us behind muffled cloths begging for our interjection.
I’m talking about simply finding our own voice.
This is my story….and it needs to be told.
I found my voice years ago. I was on a path of authenticity, discovering who I was and expressing it for others to see. I was sharing my journey and allowing others to come along for the ride, blogging weekly for a few years. Then fear, doubt, uncertainty, and old demons crept in, so I crawled back into my shell, and shut it down. I let others take my power….no that’s not true, I gave it away. And it’s taken me nearly 5 years to get the get the courage to take it back.
Have you ever felt that way? Like you don’t have a voice? Or just needed a little mmph to get going again? To overcome an old fear that keeps creeping back into your mind wanting to drag you down.
Well I say screw that, come with me, and let’s do this together!!
I am going to take Sara Bereilles’ advice. I am going to say what I wanna say, and let the words fall out. And I encourage everyone to do the same. Because honestly, it inspires me when I see others showing me their brave.
So please, “don’t run, stop holding your tongue...maybe one day you can let the light in.”