It’s Not Personal

In our everyday interactions with others, we experience a wide variety of responses, or sometimes even lack thereof from others.  When dealing with other people, there are so many emotions and situations that we face and naturally a lot of the time, we as humans wonder our place in it all.  How much of other’s emotions and actions are a direct result of us?

When we communicate and relate to other people, we are constantly regulating our feelings and perceptions as well as taking in verbal and non-verbal cues from others.  A lot of how we communicate is a reflection of ourselves, or how we perceive ourselves.  As human beings, we put a lot of focus, blame, attention to the things that we do “wrong,” or “right.”  In a lot of cases, we are quick to assume that if someone is upset, or is not acting themselves around us, that it’s somehow possibly our fault. 

How many times can you recall that you have said things like “I wonder what I did wrong?,” “Could I have handled that better?,” “Did I say all the wrong things?,” “Does this person care for me anymore?,”  Lots of questions like these can go through our heads when someone we know acts different towards us.  Most of the time, it actually has nothing to do with us, it’s not personal.

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Say for example, your significant other is being really quiet one day, so many things run through your head and then you start replaying the conversations that you had with them that day to see if you have somehow caused them to be upset.  You later find out after your significant other has a chance to relax and unwind that they just had a really rough day at work.  Another example, you and your best friend talk often, always exchanging text messages and phone calls, one day your texts and calls are not returned like they usually are.  Again your mind wanders and thinks of all the possible reasons why, including the fact that somehow you may be the reason why they have gone distant.  Later on that night, you find out that your best friend had a ton on their plate that day and that they put their phone away most of the day wanting some much needed alone time. 

It is really important to remember that most of the time, other people’s emotions and actions have nothing to do with us.  Even when we are mistreated, that has more to do with how the other person feels about themselves, or their life than it does with us.  We can really drive ourselves crazy taking everything in life personally.  It’s often quite a relief to find out that most of the time it wasn’t about us at all. 

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Rose-Colored Glasses

Recall the phrase “to see things through rose-colored glasses.” This positive look to life is not always to our benefit as ironic as it sounds. The phrase itself means to view, or to see life positively, seeing the good, being optimistic, being more carefree. While it is an excellent way of going through life, there needs to be a balance of seeing the good vs. seeing the full picture.

For most of my adult life, I have been more of the glass half-full, positive, happy, optimistic kind of girl. Of course depending on what life throws at me, I will definitely have my days, but overall I tend to remain mostly positive. In terms of this phrase, I do tend to see life and the people in it through “rose-colored glasses”. I can tell you firsthand that although most of the time this is a great approach in life, it has caused quite a few problems as well.

I am a firm believer in being positive and looking on the bright side of things and while this is in my nature, it is also self-taught, and was instilled in me at a young age. I feel like when I encounter situations, or people in life, I view them as seeing the good by fault. Of course, I realize that not all situations are good and neither are all people, but it is in my nature to hone in on the good so much that I tend to cover up the bad. This is something that I would like to change, so that I can develop more of a sense of what is real and genuine vs. only seeing the good. I feel like you can’t really go wrong with looking for the positives in certain situations, except maybe when you allow yourself to stay in a bad situation because you are only looking at the pluses. Where I feel this would really help me is when dealing with other people.

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When I first meet someone and start to get to know them, I of course see both the good and human sides to them, no one is perfect, or without flaws, however I tend to just focus on their good traits, so much so that I may let that overshadow signs that they may not be a loyal or genuine person. It’s almost like me telling myself “This person has been there for me in the past and just because they are doing x, y, and z now, doesn’t mean that they are not genuine.” It’s like I see signs, but I try to focus only on the good that person has done for me and that is sometimes a mistake.

My hope is to be able to see people for who they really are, good and bad, not only just focusing on the good. There have been signs thrown at me here and there, yet I tend to choose to counteract it, sometimes I even negate it. One day at a time and one lesson at a time, I will work on it. It’s wonderful to view life with rose-colored glasses, but make sure to take them off once in a while!

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The Perfect Life

I’m sure for a lot of us, we have had an image or idea of the kind of life plan, or life path that we wanted to take.  For some of us, we have had an idea of the “perfect life” since we were children.  Maybe we dreamed of going to college, getting married, then having children, or maybe our goal was to graduate high school, become an entrepreneur, and explore the world.  Whatever your ideal life had looked like, I am sure that it is somewhat quite different than you had envisioned.

I think with anything in life, we have some sort of idea of how we want, or expect things to play out.  We have this vision of what would happen if we could perfectly lay out the foundation of our own lives.  I know with my own life personally, I had a vision of my “perfect” life and what I had hoped would happen this far.  Overall, I have achieved many things that I wanted, however the way in which I obtained them, or the order in which they occurred in my life was nothing like I ever expected.  Like many, I have had some tremendous hurdles, road blocks, and detours in life.  If someone would have sat me down and told me all that was going to happen in my life, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. Life rarely turns out like we expect it to and I think sometimes we get so set on how life should be that it really catches us off guard when life does not go as planned.

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Life takes us down some very unexpected paths.  We have this vision of how we want life to unfold and in reality, our lives are nowhere near this dream or ideal life.  Nothing and no one is perfect.  While it’s excellent to have goals, visions, and plans, we must also be cautious enough to not bank so much on certain things in the event that they do not play out, or do not play out as we expected. We can make plans, but we are not in full control of what happens to us.

I am thankful for the good and the bad in life and although I may not understand why some things happened the way they did, or why certain things have not come into my life, I am blessed for what I do have and excited for what will come in the future.  There is beauty in not knowing, there is beauty in the strength that comes from challenges and struggles.  There is no such thing as a perfect life, but our life is special and has a purpose even if it doesn’t turn out the way we had expected it to, it’s still a very beautiful gift.

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Adapting to Change

For the most part, humans are pretty habitual by nature.  Most of us thrive with having a routine, we look forward to carrying out our daily rituals no matter how small.  We as human beings find comfort in the known, the routine, the predictable.  There are some individuals that thrive off of spontaneity and the unknown and some prefer a mix.  For me, I am very much a creature of habit, I enjoy having structure and a routine and most changes take me a while to adapt to.

In recent events, a sad and unfortunate Coronavirus (Clovid-19) pandemic has swept the globe flipping our lives upside down.  This virus doesn’t just have a massive effect on some people, or some countries, this pandemic has effected the entire globe.  The world has hardly ever seen such a nightmare, such a life-changing event.  In the blink of an eye, life has changed for all of us.  Our routines have been interrupted, our way of life has been modified, the hustle and bustle has been halted.  

Adapting to change is not easy, like I mentioned before, we thrive in the known and in our routines.  When life changes so suddenly as with the Coronavirus, we don’t have much time to plan, process, or adjust, it’s almost like you wake up and life is suddenly different.  Part of how we grow and become stronger is dealing with struggles, change, and the uncomfortable.  When change is unexpected and we are forced into a new norm, we have to learn to adapt as hard as that may be.  Thankfully, this pandemic will end, we will take control of this, and in the meantime we have to do the best that we can to maintain sanity and normalcy.

As with many things in life, this situation can be looked at as mind over matter.  It helps to remind ourselves that this is only temporary, we will have our routines back, we will be able to go out and enjoy life again.  Adapting to new ways of life, being around family 24/7, changes in routine, work, school, get-togethers, we will get that back.  No one wants to go through this, we must remember that and be there for each other.  As difficult as it is, try not to focus on what we temporarily lost, but to know that this has an end, and our love and support for our loved ones and humanity will get us through this.

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Change has the ability to help us realize what we have, helps us appreciate and be grateful for the little things, not taking for granted coffee with a friend, having a job to go to, going to the store without wearing a mask and gloves.  Change can be very hard, but it is also beneficial. The ironic thing is that change eventually becomes a new norm.

These last few weeks I have really had to keep my mind in check.  I’ve had to remember that this is not permanent, we are all going through a trying time, we get used to and find comfort in the familiar, but it does not help us grow.  Not only is my routine changed, so are those of my family and we have to learn to really find a compromise in our new lifestyle because we are all having to change and modify what we are used to.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this entire world.  We have what it takes to get through this and one day we will all look back on this as just a memory.  I pray for peace, healing, health, and safety for each of you. God Bless.

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Keep Your Mind on a Leash

I know that this title is a little out there and what I am about to say is ironic, but by “keeping your mind on a leash,” or in other words keeping tabs and having control over your mind and thoughts, it can really make for a more peaceful life. The mind is an extremely powerful thing.

Like many people, I deal with anxiety on an almost daily basis, it is very exhausting and really can make life quite challenging and unpleasant.  Over the years I have learned several techniques to try to minimize my anxiety and they do help, that is of course if I work at it and be consistent with it!

I’m sure that everyone has felt some sort of anxiety maybe during a test, before a presentation, meeting a deadline, gathering for a social event, having a fight with a loved one, these can all cause anxiety, however for those like myself, anxiety takes on a daily and persisting form.  There are times where I feel that my anxiety level is at a fair or good place and times where there is too much going on, my anxiety flares, and it feels like it’s consuming me.  I wanted to write this blog to give you some insight on what has helped me and hopefully it could help you too.

Our minds really do have so much power.  We must take great care of our mind and what we choose to “feed” it.  The thoughts that we think about ourselves and the world around us are very powerful even when not spoken.  If we make a mistake and we think to ourselves “I can’t do anything right,” if we close off communication with a loved one and think “They probably don’t love me anyway,” these are very damaging words and if repeated enough can cause you to actually believe these things about yourself to be true.

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Our thoughts and minds can run wild very easily if we let them.  When we feel anxious, when our mind starts wandering and our thoughts start racing and snowballing, it helps to put a stop to those thoughts right away.  The best way that I have found to do this is to negate, or counteract the thought that I am having. If the thought is “I always make mistakes,” negate that by thinking of everything that you’ve accomplished so far.  If the thought is “I am not good at relationships,” counteract that by telling yourself “Relationships are hard work, but are a learning experience and I am doing my best to better myself daily.”  We can be so hard on ourselves, other people tend to put us in a much brighter light, they don’t tend to see us the way that we see ourselves.  Replace negative and anxious thinking with “I can,” “I will,” “I am worthy,” “I am a good person,” etc.  Our minds can take a thought and run with it even if it is not even true at all.  Keep a tight watch of your thoughts and feelings. 

If you are like me, you tend to focus and worry about the future, we always hear that this robs us of the present and this is true, worrying about the future is not having control of our minds, we are missing out on what is right in front of us if we are thinking of something not yet here.  It is important to think and plan for the future, but not obsessively.  Life changes so much and so often and many times what we are worried about today may not even take place, or may not even be a worry in the future.  We can really get ahead of ourselves if we let it.  

By no means are these tips easy, I struggle daily with trying to implement these, but there is some definite relief and it is absolutely worth the try! Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful week, as always thank you so much for stopping by!

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