Take Care of Yourself First

Thoughts to Ponder – September 11,2016

 “When we let what others are doing or not doing become a part of our

every day life, it is we who are not doing our own life.”

 A Window of Wisdom*

How easy it is to become involved in another person’s drama. We spend hours trying to find a solution for a friend who is dealing with a seemingly unsolvable problem. We should be concerned about our friends. However, we need to find a balance between concern and obsession. Over-thinking anything – elections, football, weather, job, friends, lovers and so on is harmful to our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.

Being concerned without becoming involved in another’s problem is sometimes difficult, but doable. When someone shares a problem, we can say “I’m sorry you are facing this dilemma. How would you like me to help?” Usually she just wants a willing listener. If she is seeking a solution, we can offer a suggestion or two then remind her that she has to decide what action to take or not. Then we let go of the problem. It is not ours to carry.

We tend to get mired in our own problems. We spend hours, days, or weeks pondering our ability to resolve the issue and how this crisis will affect our future. These valid concerns deserve our attention, but not to the point of supplanting other facets of our lives. Our personal crisis tends to swirl around in our brains at the most inconvenient times. Trying to push it out of our minds is futile.

A better option is to allot a time to concentrate on that issue. Some ways are to read about the subject, talk to a trusted adviser, write a list of possible solutions, or meditate. Even better, do all of them. After evaluating the situation we will probably have a solution or at least a step or two to take that will lead to a resolution. For example, we can decide to take this action and if that works the problem is solved. If not, then we can try step two and see where that leads. Many times the result will not be what we think it should be, but will lead us in a direction with better options.

Spirit,

Thank you for reminding us to place our attention where it belongs and that we can’t resolve anyone’s problems but our own. You’ve given us steps to find solutions and the ability to decide the proper action. We chose to use those options.

And, so it is.

*A Window of Wisdom, September 2, 2016, https://awindowofwiscome.wordpress.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, September 11, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.

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Let go and take a risk

Thoughts to Ponder

 “Processing our failures only keeps us in the past … forgive, let go and get back up … for if we remain in that negative space, we allow the shadow to win.’”

Window of Wisdom*

Hashing over old mistakes is a habit many of us learned from our families and teachers. We continue to reinforce that habit as we mature. But is it good for us?

When we do something wrong we should review our contribution to the argument, unpleasant situation or disaster. After accepting our part in the situation we apologize and vow to do better in the future. If we’re fortunate the other party will accept our apology and agree to move on. Otherwise, we’ve lost a friend or job.

If the situation is not resolved amicably, we still need to move forward. We can remember the situation as a learning experience and live our lives according to our new awareness. Or, like most of us we learn and change our behavior, yet carry the guilt around for the next 50 years. Nothing weighs more than guilt. It prods us at the most inconvenient times. Perhaps we’re starting a new job and each day we wonder if that is the day our supervisor learns about our colossal error that cost the old employer a valuable contract. Possibly, we meet a new love but are afraid to commit because that person may learn how we caused pain in a former relationship.

When we notice that our old mistake is costing us happiness in our current lives it is past time to heal ourselves. If we were truly contrite about the situation we can tell ourselves that we took all the steps we could to repair the damage and have changed our behavior. If the situation catches up to us, we must be truthful and show our remorse.

In the meantime, to grow into a better person we need to do as Martha Beck recommends:

“Every day, do at least one frightening thing that contributes to the

fulfillment of your desires.”**

Perhaps that frightening thing is merging onto the Interstate to get to work. We don’t like it, but we have to do it to feed our family. For me the most scary thing I need to do is make a phone call. The phone that weighs ounces in my pocket weighs 500 pounds when I have to punch in some numbers and hit send. I fear I may be interrupting something important on the other end. Yet I must do it to schedule appointments and visit with my friends. One event that terrified me was enrolling in college when I was in my early 40s. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

Each of us has different things that frighten us, but we’ll get nowhere except our rocking chairs if we give into those fears. We must do something scary each and every day to move forward to reach our goals.

Spirit, Please remind us each day to do something that frightens us, whether it is tasting an unusual food or applying for a new job. Only in that way can we grow into the strong people we are meant to be. And, so it is.

*A Window of Wisdom, July 4, 2016, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com

**July 6, 2016, Menu Item #5, Risk, The Joy Diet, Martha Beck, info@marthabeck.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, July 17, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Watch your thoughts

Thoughts to Ponder – March 6, 2016

 “The way to start changing your mind is not to

force it or command it but to watch it.”

Martha Beck*

 Many of us have been told since we were small children that if we want something we need to work hard and stay focused. That tactic often leads to frustration rather than to adjusting our thinking or obtaining peace of mind.

I’ve learned, the hard way, that when I want to change my behavior I do not succeed on determination alone. For example, I may decide to exercise more and even purchase a gym membership. But, I seldom go to the gym unless I have an exercise partner who keeps reminding me that it’s workout day.

However, if I say to myself and the Universe, “I’d like to get more exercise,” and not worry about how that will happen, I find that situations arise that require muscle use. Perhaps a storm comes and I need to rake the yard and carry debris to the compost pile. Possibly, I’ll need a small item or two from the store. I usually say, “That’s not worth driving the car. I’ll walk to the store.”

The same applies to eating healthy food. If I decide to diet all sorts of tempting yummies pop up in front of my face and call my name. If I say, “I choose to eat healthy,’ and release the outcome, I find that my food choices are healthier, even when tempting desserts are on the table.

One of my biggest problems was to see certain people in the light of what they did to me. That trait caused me mental and physical anguish over the years. What we think about becomes evident in our bodies with chronic headaches, back aches, compulsive eating and other issues. So how do we reverse those situations and let go of the physical pain? We must realize that we choose to experience our life as it is. I know this gets into the whoo-whoo view of life, but I’ve found it makes sense.

For example, I was married twice – to jerks. Whose decision was that? Mine. Different people suggested that perhaps these men were not the best choice, but I chose not to listen. Unhappy work experiences – the same. Just because a job pays more money doesn’t mean it will give more satisfaction. An unhappy person tends to take it out on others. They react in kind. All these events seemed to prove that everyone was conspiring to make me miserable.

Eventually, I learned that my thoughts and actions were creating these unpleasant experiences. When I became aware that, just perhaps, my complaining caused people to dislike my company, I asked the Universe to help me complain less. When I realized that I had an option other than fearing what awaited me at home, I asked myself and if there was a way to leave the situation.

As far as my parents were concerned, well, they treated me better than they had been treated.

I repeated the “tradition” with my children. Even thought I became aware of other options, I just didn’t know how to implement them, Sometimes I was so frustrated by life that I took it out on them. Just knowing that there were other ways to raise children, gave me the impetus to change. I told myself and the Universe that I wanted to be a better parent. Parenting books came to my attention. School counselors suggested a better way. Little by little I improved my skills. I still made a lot of mistakes, but I must have changed some, because my children are now an important part of my life.

Situations don’t come into our lives to give us grief, even though it often seems that way. Events happen to help us grow into the people we are capable of being. It’s our choice how we respond to those events. We can fall into the poor me pit or we can chose to find a solution. I know this is true, because I spent many years in that nasty pit. It was only when I wanted to find a way out that I began to see a little blue sky here or a ray of sun there. I was able to start climbing up to the surface. I’m not dancing on sunshine yet, but I’m beginning to hear a few notes from the band.

I used a lot of words to say that when you want to change the easiest way is to state your problem to yourself and the Universe. Part two is to not worry about how and release the outcome. Step three is to do something else while you are waiting for the miracle. Mike Dooley expressed it well in a recent message from the Universe.

“Often the very most spiritual thing one can do is get busy. Physically busy.

Hoeing, chopping, planting. Connecting, moving, grooving. Dipping, swirling, twirling….”**

Spirit,

Sometimes we are sunk in despair up to our necks and see no way out. We ask you to show us how to move from fear and anger toward joy. We know it may be a short step or a long walk. Either way we know that if we ask for an option it will come into our awareness and prompt us to necessary action.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, February 26, 2016

**Dooley, Mike, TUT – A note from the Universe, theuniverse@tut.com, March 4, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 6, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

Anger or Acceptance

Thoughts to Ponder – July 24, 2015

 “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”

*Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

 Recently, I wrote a piece in which I described no longer feeling anger at a person who had wronged me. A friend challenged that statement, so today I am attempting to provide a fuller explanation of my thoughts.

Anger is a normal part of the human psyche. We all feel anger. We get angry at our family, jobs, the world situation and human behavior in general. There are so many things in this world that can trigger our anger button. Feeling anger is sometimes appropriate. It’s how we act on that anger that is right or wrong.

Do we shout and swear? Do we vow to get even? Do we stop speaking to that person? Do we refuse to see that person ever again? Do we carry our anger forever? I’ve seen all those reactions and done some of them. The results are always destructive rather than constructive.

Or we can focus our anger another way. If someone makes us angry, we can walk away and consider what triggered our anger. Was it really what they did? Was it a reflection of an old memory? Should we go back and apologize for our behavior? Should we just let the anger fly away in the wind?

Perhaps if our anger is at a larger situation we can become an active part of the solution. Are we angry that too many children can’t read? We can we become a reading tutor. Are we angry at a social situation? Perhaps we can take a page from Mahatma Mohandas Ghandi and lead a march to the sea. Or we can emulate one of his followers, Dr. Martin Luther King, and organize voter registration – still an issue these many years later.

I often get angry about my physical well-being. I’m not as strong as I’d like to be. I can’t do what I did when I was 18. I’m not really sick, but various restrictions and prescriptions make me angry. I’m learning a different tactic for this situation. Acceptance.

I can accept that the other person is not who I’d like him/her to be and move forward accordingly. I can accept that the world situation is not what I’d like to see and if I’m so moved, I can do as the bumper sticker says, “Think globally. Act locally.” Or “Imagine Whirled Peas.”

For many things in my life I live acceptance. However, yesterday my doctor told me to take yet another nutritional supplement, to temporarily forego donating blood, something that means a lot to me and to take yet another yucky test. I became angry. I did not accept her diagnosis and became what she called “cranky.” As the day passed, I realized that she was just looking out for my health. She didn’t tell me I had a horrible disease. She just told me to adjust my life a little for my ultimate good. I’m still not happy about taking yet another pill, but I’m glad it’s a supplement, not a medicine.

A friend recently told me how she recovered from a serious illness. She was following all her doctor’s directions, but feeling angry that she was in so much pain. Finally she reached a point where she said, “Okay, God, if this is to be my life, I accept it. Just show me where to go from here.” Amazingly, she began to heal immediately, a little at a time. She can now participate in activities that were once unthinkable. She’s not playing tennis yet, but she can do pretty much what she wants to do otherwise – work, socialize and just feel good.

“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, 
and the wisdom to know the difference.”**

© by Sharon D. Dillon, July 24, 2015

*pg 89, Pudd’nhead Wilson, Chapter X, “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar”

**The Serenity Prayer, A Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 1987, Al-Anon Family Groups

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com