New Year’s resolutions and blanket statements about change are just one more way to stay stuck. The idea that on a certain day we can wake up and be a completely different person is laughable when you stop and think about it. Am I saying that we should just give up on ever letting go of habits and beliefs that don’t serve us? NOOOO!!!
Just notice the moments in your life when you are really present. When life gets intense how do you feel? How do you react? Let go of judging your reaction and just notice. What is going on in your body, in your head?
I am working on letting go of gossip. To be honest, I kind of love gossip. I love feeling like I am in on a secret. It is a kind of power to have some knowledge about someone which they wouldn’t want you to know. But, that is not who I want to be any more. I don’t want to traffic in dirty secrets and hurtful, jealous whispers. I want to be proud and clean and kind.
How can I be those things and not be a pious bore? What the heck will I have left to talk about? I am finding my way, moment by moment. When I bite my tongue and don’t engage in hurtful banter how do I feel? What do I talk about instead? When I realize I have slipped up and been catty. How do I feel? I trust myself and move away from those things that make me feel bad and guilty. Is it a magical leap into a new life? No. I may be working on this forever. Life is a process not a destination.
My Hungarian sister-in-law is this gorgeous little whirlwind of a woman. She cooks with whipping cream and real butter. She drinks whole milk and has a major sweet tooth. Somehow she is only a wisp of a thing. I have begun to believe it is because she does not hold things in. I will always remember one moment in her kitchen when she really let me have it.
There was the usual family drama going on. You know the stuff that you all complain about every time you are together. This time she was done. She was furious and let us have it because she wasn’t going to sit through another conversation about the same old baloney. It was great. When she gets mad she gets this really thick accent and starts swearing like a Hungarian sailor. “I cannot take dees stoopid bullsheet anymore.” Hysterical!
The point is she was right. She had been in this situation before and she’d had enough. She changed her behavior and got a different outcome. When I get that helpless, backed into a corner feeling I think of her. What can I change about my behavior or my thinking that will change the outcome? When you start to react to someone or something in an intense way make a note. Put a sticky tab there and look it up in a quite moment. Forgive yourself if you didn’t handle it well. Focus on what you were feeling.
These highly charged moments in our life can hold the keys to some of our most frustrating challenges. Why do I always date losers? Why am I always broke? Why do I always feel left out? Whatever your questions are, you have the answers. Make the time to tune in and listen.