Reflect, Learn, Strive

The Power Within —

Blog day. Trying discipline. Feeling fresh. Should be good. Dive in. Okay, here goes.

Self-talk pep talk – it really helps. Have you found yourself doing that? Have you heard yourself trying to talk you out of doing something good for you or for others? We can invent lots of excuses. Combat those excuses with, “Not today!” So, let’s get the boots on and do some walkin’.

I walk through my life inside my head. Sometimes I run; don’t want to tarry too long on that memory. As I visit times past, I see myself as Scrooge when he stood off to the side, unseen, and watched people living their lives within the choices they had made for themselves; within circumstances forced upon them. He heard them speak of him and make faces when his name was mentioned. He observed himself from outside himself, an instructive, educational vantage point.

As I walk through the memories and see myself in those times, I pull myself to the present, drawing comparisons and learning from the past, sincerely trying not to repeat mistakes. In the now, I try to create circumstances that will end positively. Even with that effort, dealing with people is a risky business.

People can be extremely judgmental. You can be drastically misunderstood. There are people who sing my virtues and others who would cheer at my funeral. How can one person be described in opposing viewpoints such as these? It is true, the old saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. (I recently submitted a flash fiction using that as a title, starting with the word “in”. I set myself inside another creature and saw something as he would see it).

Do this experiment the next time you are out doing something casual, like shopping, so you will have the time and direction to consciously address this little exercise. Put yourself inside another’s eyes. Try to visualize how that person is seeing you, sizing you up. How are you acting toward him? Were you unintentionally (or intentionally) sharp in response to a kind word or even a frown from him? Are you acting aloof? What is your persona? If you weren’t performing this little test, would you have been intent upon meeting your schedule and not allowing that person into your life for a short visit? That can be very off-putting to the one seeking a gentle shelter, however brief.

Practice makes perfect. Be yourself but be aware of areas that need improvement. Then work on those issues using hints such as mentioned above.

Of course, then there are those who want, desire and need to hate you. They are living an agenda oftentimes even unknown to them. While you want to not tread on toes, these people see you as a lumbering hippopotamus with large, heavy feet; flattening the feigned, self-proclaimed innocent into the ground. These same self-appointed victims don’t remain self-flattened. They rise up against you, spread rumors and cause others, who are perhaps weak and certainly ill-advised, to join them.

This is sad because they are the ones who have drawn lines to keep themselves out of your life. Have you heard the old expression, “draw a circle that brings them in”? In public and professional life, I can do that. Contact with a difficult person in those venues is limited and so demands less of me to attempt to include them while swimming upstream against their entrenched opinion of me. In personal life, I can’t manage that. It requires too much of what little time, strength and effort I have left to continually play their doormat until they grow up or heal or face their demons. It is that part – the sacrifice of the rest of my days to their foot scraping that I cannot, am not, willing to allow.

One must accept the fact that when traveling through life there will be those less than flattering days and people you just can’t win over no matter what you do or how good you are as a person. There are those who damn you if you do and damn you if you don’t. Some future memories are being created today that you will choose to briskly run past when moving down your memory lane, on those shadowed curves that menace you as you pass.

These encounters in your life are inevitable. Just try to be the one who rises above the fray; who is introspective and honest with oneself; who strives for betterment. A good motto borrowed from medical personnel, “Do no harm”, may be a working motto for you.

Try it and let me know the results.

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