Sent to me by Fran Kenny, one of my Facebook friends, I share this piece of wisdom today. I have a slightly different take on some of these (imagine that!), and I also offer an eighth rule for your consideration . . .
1 – Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present. Do enough inner work – whatever makes sense to you – self-help, psychotherapy, hypnosis, coaching, spiritual practice – whatever takes you deeply inside to heal what’s holding you back from living the quality of life you desire. And remember that inner work is a process, not a destination.
2 – What others think of you is none of your business. Well, actually it is your business, because your reputation matters. You’re part of the tribe. Your participation and contribution matter.
You certainly can’t control what others think of you, but you can influence and persuade others by how you show up.
If, however, you’re preoccupied with what others think of you, to the degree that you relinquish your authenticity, you’re ultimately putting yourself at risk for unhappiness.
My brother-in-law recently publically acknowledged he is gay. In his sixties, he walked away from a marriage of decades. His family turned on him. His church banished him. He moved out of state.
He’s happier now.
You can’t be deceptive and at peace simultaneously (unless you are sociopathic, of course.)
3 – Time heals almost everything; give it time. Time, in and of itself, does not heal anything. Time is just time – minutes, hours, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries . . . passing by. Time is a form of measurement. That being said, we all prefer short cuts and quick fixes. One of my greatest concerns is that we sometimes do not give people adequate time and support to grieve or heal or change or grow. Give yourself the time you need; avoid being impatient with yourself. Trust your capacity to know what you need, and reach out for what you need.
You know what heals almost everything? Love, in time.
4 – Don’t compare your life to others, and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Every day in my office, people trust me with their deepest secrets, fears, mistakes, and losses. They trust that I will not judge them; they trust that I will support them in their healing, growth, and change. They trust that I will bring new perspective and understanding. They trust that I will help them bring their lives back on course. Believe me, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
5 – Stop thinking too much. It’s alright not to know the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it. I’ve a tendency to think too much. I’m always thinking. Always. It’s one of my greatest assets, and one of my greatest detriments. I can over-think sometimes.
Watching my new cocker spaniel, (Caramel) Macchioto, chase his tail reminds me of how I think sometimes – going in circles. It’s cute when he’s going in circles. Not so cute when my brain is going in circles…
What I have learned, however, is that the unconscious mind holds a capacity for awareness and problem solving far beyond my conscious thinking. What I also know is that if I surrender to not knowing and allow myself to pay attention, my unconscious mind will inform me about what I need to know. It can happen through a dream, reading a book, listening to someone’s experience, a song on the radio . . . the unconscious mind’s capacity for creative communication is boundless.
6 – No one is in charge of your happiness, except you. You’ve relinquished the driver’s seat of your own emotional state whenever you say, “Damn, s/he makes me SO . . . !”
7 – Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world. I like to stay relatively current on what’s going on around me. However, the bombardment of fear that relentlessly screams at us on media 24/7 is so exhausting. It takes a toll. Some days it’s important that I just watch Macchioto chase his tail.
And my additional rule?
8 – Make play a priority. Take time to chase your tail – only if you’re having fun. Otherwise, find a ball, participate in sports, or go for a swim. Play, play, play in the present moment.