Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thank you all for a Happy Life

Image result for happy birthday to me
It's not only my birthday, it's my 62nd birthday. My how that time has flown by. I blinked and now I am way up there in the years. But I refuse to feel old because I truly believe I am as young as I feel (please don't burst my birthday balloon bubble).

One of the memories I have about my birthday from my childhood is being disappointed (let's be perfectly honest, I have done my share of whining even as an adult). I remember having birthday pity parties because people weren't nice enough or thoughtful enough. Wow, a big sign of entitlement. Somehow I felt entitled and expected people to make me feel special.

I have come to realize that feeling special is an inside job.  It is simple too risky to put that responsibility on a flawed human being because we are all flawed.

If I want to have a special day I can make that happen both in my attitude and planning. I don't have to wait for someone to make my day special. I can do that for myself and if other people do nice things for me then it is just icing on the cake. But baking my own cake happens when I feel gratitude for the life I have been given.

That gratitude for life starts with all the gifts and blessings I have been given from my Father in Heaven. The gratitude continues for my parents who sacrificed to provide me a life in a happy and comfortable home. And finally, gratitude swells in my heart as I realize that everyone in my life has offered so much to me already, so I really don't need to expect my birthday to be extraordinary because my life already is. I have a happy life. Thank you to all who have made my life special.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

We seek sameness but should value differences

I have come to know that when I am feeling insecure about myself and my beliefs and behaviors, I seek out people with the same beliefs and behaviors. If I am having a hard time keeping my house clean, then I love the slob next door. She is my soul sister. When I am down on myself, the woman who has a clean and organized home I automatically want to assume is neurotically OCD. No, not just more on top of things than me, but a psychotic overachiever. We wouldn't have fun together because I assume she is looking down at me all the while I am going to accuse her of neurosis to be able to stay on higher ground myself and feel better about myself.

But when I feel grounded and confident in what I believe and how I am behaving (okay, that rare moment), I am more accepting and can enjoy people who are different and yes, even people who are better than me. In fact, I want to seek them out.

In my pursuit of personal growth, I know how valuable it is for me to be around people who stretch me beyond my current comfort zone. It is comfortable to be with people who are the same as me. I don't see any need for growth.  But it is challenging and fun to be with people who are more adventurous than me. It is inspiring to be with people who are more creative than I am. The list goes on. It is true, however, if I am feeling pretty lousy about myself then I can't appreciate those inspiring examples. I see them as a reminder of how I am lacking. I see them as a threat and assume the people are purposely trying to diminish me thus I want to diminish them first.

It just boils down to whether we choose to see people as a threat or as an inspiration. I think it starts with humility. When I am humble (which begs the question, can you really declare humility and be humble? food for thought). Humility and insecurity are miles apart. One is ready for growth; the other is threatened.