Make it Right

Is there something that you have on your conscience? Is there a habit that you have that weighs on you because you can’t seem to make a change that could lead to a happier life?

As we go through life, we accumulate many experiences. These memories stay etched in our minds. Some situations that we have encountered in life leave us with unpleasant memories. Maybe it was a relationship with someone, the way that we left an old job, or maybe we have a habit of not being honest with ourselves and it leaves us feeling angry and disconnected.

Observations

In my life lately, I have been hyperaware of what causes me to feel anything unpleasant. I note what makes me feel angry, hurt, sad, and confused. As human beings, we don’t like the feeling of pain and unhappiness and we usually will go to great lengths to make sure that we stay feeling content.

For everything that makes me upset, I try to “make it right,” so that it has no more room in my head or my heart. I observe my thoughts and what seems to weigh on me the most. I try to look at a particular trigger or situation from every angle.

If the remedy lies in someone else’s hands, then it can be a little more difficult, but we can make peace with ourselves and offer forgiveness. If we have done something out of character and it is weighing on us, we can apologize and right our wrongs so that we can let it go from our conscience.

Lately

I noticed that as I try to make things right that cause me pain, a huge weight is lifted off of me. Even if I make them right in my own mind or heart, it offers me freedom and peace. It gives me hope that I can approach future situations and people in my life in a different manner.

Much of what we go through in life can be much less stressful with a more helpful mindset. If we can stop taking things too personally (I am so guilty of this) and if we can forgive others and forgive ours, life could be a little bit easier. As I work on addressing things in my life that don’t serve me or make me happy, I realize that my mindset is everything.

Forgiveness and Apologies

To my ex who caused me a lot of pain, I forgive you and I also apologize for hurting you with my lack of communication. To the person who cut me off abruptly while driving, I forgive you because I don’t know what you are going through, it isn’t personal, because you don’t even know me. To my old friend who ghosted me, the pain is real. I would love to know why, but I will have to create peace in my own heart. To the friend that I hurt unintentionally, I am forever sorry, and I should have handled things better.

Life is hard enough, if there is any part of it that we can make easier, it helps a lot! Think of things that are currently weighing you down and see if there is any way that you can make these situations “right.” Easier said than done, but sometimes all it takes is an apology or forgiveness. We can feel so much lighter!

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Have A Conversation

Spring has arrived. The weather has been up and down as usual for spring. We had a really warm day a few days ago and I took my kids outside to play. Nature is amazing and so healing, we spend as much time outside as possible.

My neighbor who we will call, Jenny, was out with her children as well and we got them together to play for a while. As they played, we talked. Jenny is an incredibly kind soul and a very genuine person. I feel so blessed that we are neighbors. Our children are all very young and close in age, which makes for a lot of fun.

Some other parents may know how challenging it can be raising little ones. It is an absolute joy, but it comes with its challenges for sure. Jenny and I can openly communicate our feelings and concerns about motherhood or certain childhood behaviors and situations.

We Aren’t Alone

It’s always refreshing to talk to her because I don’t feel so alone. It melts the stress away by realizing that we and many others are in this together and doing the best that we can. Had I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself, I may have not gotten the chance to realize that all that I am experiencing and going through is “normal.” I don’t like that term too much because I don’t think there is such a thing, it’s a very broad spectrum. My main point in all of this is that we can see that we aren’t alone in this life journey.

Experiences 

Have you ever had the feeling that you are so different from everyone? Maybe you feel like no one can relate to you, or that no one truly understands where you’re coming from and who you are.

Have you ever noticed how this can be wrong? Having conversations with others can really be very eye-opening. We realize that we are not alone. There are other people that think the way that we do, and there are other people that have gone through what we have.

Sure, we are all on a different journeys with unique struggles, but we are all human and we can relate to each other if given the chance. There have been things that I don’t want to bring up out of fear of being “alone,” but when someone else brings it up, it’s like “wow!” I cannot believe that this happened to you also. It’s also important to note that being alone is not necessarily a bad thing. We are all unique in our own ways, but we find comfort knowing that others can relate to us.

We are more alike than we are different. We all have different sides of us and experiences. Sometimes we may feel ashamed or embarrassed, and we don’t want to talk about certain things, but opening up and being vulnerable can really take a lot of stress off of us if we can find connections with others.

A Childhood Experiment Taught Me A Lesson

Growing up, my sister and I were always into something. We loved creative play and we spent most of our days either inside using our imagination or outside soaking up nature and all that it had to offer. We had many toys, electronics, and games, but somehow, we always turned to creative play. We wanted to make up our own games and we thrived on the newness of what we came up with.

Most of the time, our play revolved around the toys that we had and sometimes items that were lying around the house. We weren’t children that ever really got bored, there was always something to do or create, and our minds never stopped wondering.

The Importance of Money

My parents taught my sister and I from a young age to save money in our piggy banks. We knew that we could use some of the money for candy or toys, but that we should save most of it. My parents instilled the importance of saving money from a young age.

I remember all of the times that we tried to make money for fun as many kids do. There were lemonade stands, yard sales, and even helping to pet sit. Our minds were always turning to see what we could come up with next.

An Idea!

I cannot remember whose idea it was because we were so young, but we had this great idea to see if we could “trick” the tooth fairy into leaving us money. We had recently lost teeth and thought that it was amazing that we were able to get money in return. No other teeth were loose, so we thought that we would make some! Yes, you read that right, we wanted to make some teeth and put them under our pillow to see if the tooth fairy would bring us money.

We searched around the house to find the perfect thing to use. After a while, it dawned on us that we could use a bar of soap to make “teeth!” Kids sure have vivid and creative imaginations. We got a bar of white soap and started carving away with smiles on our faces. We talked with such excitement as we made several teeth to lay under our pillow. We were thrilled with the way that they turned out. They looked so real; we eagerly showed our parents and told them the plan.

Nightfall

The day had come to a close as night fell. My sister and I put the “teeth” under our pillows and went to bed so excited to see if the tooth fairy was going to notice if the teeth were real or not. We couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive!

Morning came and my sister and I were giddy with excitement to see if we had been left any money under our pillows. We peeked under the pillows and to our surprise, there was no money! The only thing that was staring back at us were the teeth that we made out of soap. We were bummed!

Life Lesson Learned

Kids are naturally curious about the world. They love to experiment; this is how they learn! I do remember feeling guilty the next morning. I felt bad that we had tried to trick the tooth fairy. We realized that when she didn’t give us money, we were not given it because we were not “honest.” We didn’t lose any teeth; they were fake teeth. Yes, striving to make money creatively is wonderful, but it needs to be done honestly. I learned that rewards come by doing things the right way. Deceit does not come with a reward. Everything that we earn should be done the honest way.

My sister and I were too young to try this experiment maliciously. We always had fun being creative and experimenting as young kids do, but at least for me, it really made me sit back and think. I could directly relate the lack of money under my pillow to not being truthful. Our curiosity was the drive in this experiment, the result was not what we had hoped for, but it was a learning experience.

As we age, there are many different experiments that we might try. We are all learning about life as we go. Along the way, we realize that life is one big experiment and test. We learn a little bit more about ourselves and the world around us every day.

Walking on Eggshells

Some of you may know my goal for this year is to be authentic and not be afraid to just be me. In most ways, I feel like I am doing better in this area, and in few ways, I feel like I am slipping back into my same old patterns.

Thankfully, I know what stops me from being authentic, but sadly I don’t know how to work through it. The two things that stop me the most are fear of rejection and being perceived incorrectly.

Experiences

As we go through life, we accumulate many different experiences, some good, and some bad, but they all shape us in some way. These experiences become part of us and it’s hard to shake. Our beliefs and thought patterns are tied closely to what we have gone through in life.

I have been guilty of this too, but I feel that we live in a world that is full of judgment and people making assumptions. Oftentimes we see a person, or a situation and we have instant thoughts that come to mind. This is natural, we automatically think of many things when we see something. Much of the time, our perceived view of a person or situation couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is why looks are deceiving.

There have been times when I could have put money on a situation that was unfolding, or that I knew something about someone. I can tell you that I was floored many times by how wrong I was. As ironic as it is, most things in life are not what they seem.

My Thought Process

I always feel the need to censor my thoughts and actions. That I need to go through the motions in my head before I allow them to be free. I try to examine how each thought or action could be misconstrued or misinterpreted. I know that much of this is my anxiety talking, but a lot of it is due to unfortunate circumstances and past experiences.

I feel like trusting in today’s world is very minimal. We place trust in people every day without realizing it. When we drive a car, we are placing trust in the other drivers being responsible and safe while sharing the road with us. We trust that when we go to the store someone will be there to help us find what we are looking for and serve as a cashier when we are ready to check out.

When it comes to true trust as in relationships, I believe that many of us have trust issues due to our pasts. I feel like it takes a lot for someone to trust someone else, myself included. Past hurts spill over into our future and it’s hard to start over with a blank slate even though everyone deserves that chance to prove themselves as trustworthy.

Life Lessons

One thing that I learned the hard way is that one has to be careful when interacting with others. There are many instances where people perceive what is happening as something that it is not. Sometimes people take actions the wrong way. It’s at no fault of their own, everyone perceives things differently, however, it can make for a very difficult situation.

Even though I am much more introverted than I used to be, I have a very friendly personality and I love to talk and engage with other people. You can usually find me smiling even when that smile is covering up the pain. People take my laughter, smiles, and genuine concern for others as me flirting with them or being interested in them in some way. Of course, this is great if this is the case, but I often find it heartbreaking for me because I feel that I can’t be myself with others without creating an awkward situation. Someone always sees my personality as a step further than it really is.

Baby Steps

Sometimes I feel like I need to scale back, hide, repress, and not put my true self out there. Part of me wants to clam up because I never want someone to see me in the wrong light. I strive every day to be seen as the genuine and trustworthy person that I am.

In the end, I know that one is not supposed to care what others think because we know what is in our hearts and our minds. We know our intentions and it’s not up to us to make sure that everyone is on the same page. We all see things differently and that’s where open communication comes in.

These feelings leave me walking on eggshells daily, but I won’t give up. I won’t allow fear to hold me back. I have the power in me to take control of a situation instead of it controlling me. Life has enough stress, there’s no need to add to it! I am not responsible for other people’s thoughts or actions, only my own. I aspire to live a life where I don’t have to rehearse everything. One baby step at a time, I will learn to just be me…to just be.

Take the Compliment

What is your first response when someone compliments you? Do you take it and say, “thank you?”, shrug it off, or maybe you are like me, and you’re truly grateful for it, but you negate it. Why would one negate it? It is because the receiver may not always believe the compliment to be true. This can be detrimental!

When someone compliments us, most of the time they are being honest and genuine. Most people will not take the time to compliment someone just for kicks. There was something that they felt was special about you and they wanted to let you know. Compliments are a great way to break the ice and bond with another person. We all love to hear a good word about ourselves, it makes us feel great inside.

Examples

Try to imagine yourself in the following scenario. Picture yourself as both the giver and the receiver of the compliment:

Mark: “I really love your writing; you are very talented.”

Travis: “Thank you, but it’s nothing special, I am really just an average writer.”

I can only speculate about how others feel but given that I have been in this situation on both sides, I know how I felt. Mark is happy to express his love for Travis’ writing, but Travis responds to his compliment by saying that he’s just average. Mark may feel like his feelings have been shot down, or that Travis disagrees with him. Travis may be happy on the inside after hearing the compliment, but he is not letting it build him up, he doesn’t own the compliment and take a moment to make him feel boosted and happy! Both most likely walk away feeling disconnected.

It is hard to take a compliment if we don’t believe it, but if we practice accepting compliments and the kind words that others give us, it can really positively impact us and others. 

Imagine yourself in this scenario now as both the commenter and receiver:

Shelley: “You work really well under pressure; I truly admire that about you.”

Christina: “Oh, thank you so much! That makes me happy, I try hard to stay focused and relaxed.”

Shelley has given a nice and motivating compliment to Christina who graciously accepts! Shelley is feeling so happy that she could positively impact Christina by sharing her feelings and Christina is happy and feeling boosted that her efforts are paying off. Both walk away feeling happy and bonded.

The Mirror Lies

What we see in the mirror isn’t what everyone else sees. We often don’t see ourselves in a bright light like everyone else sees us. We see flaws and failure; they see strength and confidence. I love compliments, I think that most of us do. I don’t always believe the compliment being made about myself, but I am trying very hard not to negate it. I try to own it, to embrace it, to let it bring me and someone else joy.

The next time that you are given a compliment, try to embrace it if you don’t already, and see where that takes you. I am willing to bet that it will leave you feeling confident and lifted!