At times when my mind swirls with thoughts of “what’s going on?” or “what needs to be done?,” what bad things might happen or when my mind simply goes to work (instead of sleeping), these are my favorite things to do:
1. Say a variant of The Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
2. Think of each person I know who is having some sort of challenge and imagine them happy and healthy and ask that they be granted all the courage, strength, humor, faith and happiness possible
3. Sit in a beautiful place and just notice everything around me
4. Run through everything that I’m grateful for and say my thanks
5. Problem solve by exploring what I can actually do to resolve the issue of the moment
6. Write messages like this one so that I can believe I am at least delivering something valuable to others out of such moments
When I look at the challenges I’ve had in my relationships, I realize how much of them have involved me wrestling not so much with the other person, but rather with myself—mostly with my fears and expectations. I have often encountered my own hidden beliefs which have misdirected me into finger-pointing type of behavior. In quiet moments like these and in nice conversations with a close friend, I feel humbled by what life has to teach me. I realize the roles played by all of the people in my life have all served to teach me what I most need to know. This helps me see more clearly so I can choose who I will be next.
A friend said to me the other day, “that guy’s like you, so confident, powerful and arrogant.” It struck a strange chord me because we were having a wonderful meal; and we have a deep respect for each other. The word “arrogant,” for me, has a negative implication. It surprised me that I would skip his loving and admiring comment to just focus on this one word.
Yet, I know he’s right.
I can be arrogant, which to me, means I can be overly full of self-declared “knowledge”, and I take credit for that. Even though my personal belief system ensures that I don’t own my words, and that I see myself far less as the author than the scribe, I’m sure at times that can come off as quite arrogant. That’s not necessarily a condemnation to myself, as much as a pretty amusing awareness of my own attachment to certainty.