Wednesday, May 1

Facing Unpleasantness 5/1/13

     Good morning,

I bedded early last night and now, here I am, welcoming the month of May, starting it with a challenge.  Today is the day.  It is here.  I am not looking forward to what will happen, even though it was an eventuality.

     Thanks for keeping me company, I appreciate your visits, today, especially.  A month-and-a-half ago, I was sucker punched---emotionally.  You can read more about it here and particularly this post.  At 12:00 noon, I'm facing
an individual who contributed to that bruising moment.   I'd value your prayers.  Yep, yours.

     Fortunately, time with a client yesterday reminded me of helpful principles.  They assist when confronting circumstances that set our feelings on alarm.  The following provide guidance when weathering difficult times, like the one I'm dreading today.

I. See the Benefits of Action

     Today, I am assaulted by unpleasantness of the emotional kind.  But, I'm facing it.  Confronting fears while emotionally disturbed contributes hugely to characterological growth.  Past woundings---ghosts that tormented me as a boy and young man, are taunting, big time, today.  Unfortunately, monsters from the past continue to live within this innkeeper, especially in those areas that endured repeated trauma in the past.

     When not applying healthy principles, nor leaning on God's strength, or the love of my Balcony People, these scars transform into frightful dragons.  These beasts become sources of fear and anxiety, instilling passivity towards unhealthy people, like bullies, emotional vampires and narcissists.  You know these tormentors.  They are the ones who endanger our serenity, emotional ease and the celebration of life we cherish.

II.  Go Through the Pain

      Growth doesn't happen if I go easy on myself, avoiding struggle.  Improvements result when I stretch beyond the status quo.  We cannot become the person we want to be by remaining the way we are.  Those who've left a large imprint on this world were people who lost themselves for a greater cause.

       I may not make much of a dent in the world, but I am of greater service to those I love, live and work with when I exercise discipline, instead of being lazy, when I demonstrate boundaries and grace, instead of retaliation, when wronged.

      Going through the pain necessary for a dynamic life requires introspection, spending time before God.  I know that concept is uncommon, antiquated and not mentioned, nor encouraged much in today's society.  Nowadays, when we have free time, it's easier yielding to the addictive and seductive power of the internet, video games, texting, spending time on Facebook, tweeting, not to mention spending time with friends the old fashioned way---face-to-face.

      Being with friends is great, important for emotional health. But, for us to see progress, time alone---before God, in His Presence, seeking His Will---is vital.
"Be still and know I am God." Ps. 46:10.  
Our main concern isn't determining if God is in our heart.  More important, is asking, "Are we in the heart of God----seeking his will?"  All else is froth.  Really.  Alone time with our Higher Power is when our spirits and souls experience rejuvenation and are strengthened.  It's those moments that permit us to get off the bus of the busyness of life and get our bearings once again.

     Often activity is mistaken for accomplishment. The question isn't so much, "Are we doing the job----living our life----right?"   More important is asking, "Are we doing the right job (involving ourselves with the right priorities)?"  Effectiveness must precede efficiency.  Many times this requires taking our lives to a new level, to areas where we are not as practiced, where we find ourselves challenged.

    Such will be the case at noon today, for me as I encounter someone who tapped into scarred areas where I'm vulnerable and susceptible to intense fear.

III. Disregard the Embarrassment 
Scorning Its Shame

     This, too is about going beyond my comfort zone.  Not only in terms of what I do, but what transpires within me, as my character develops, while facing life's challenges.  Sure, it's awkward, doing what's scarey.  Yes, it's hard facing fears.

      When embracing negative realities, they become opportunities for healing, strength, improvement and growth.  For more about embracing negative realities, you can read this.  Also, in that link there's an outstanding video included, midway in it, by Henry Cloud, a person I deeply respect.

IV. The Results: Rest and Ease

     Taking these steps help me be more comfortable with me.  They assist me in becoming the person I dreamt I could be.  My serenity increases when I stand in my authenticity, honesty, power, recovery and integrity.  For more about this please read here (the second half of this entry).

      As my character matures I become less dishonest.   Now, if I don't want to do something, I say no.  Saying "yes" through gritted teeth and doing something grudgingly is lying.

      I am comfortable confronting an issue when someone offends me.  I say, "I want you to stop," and I don't worry about their response.  Steps one through three, as outlined above, enable me to be real with myself and my interactions with others.  If I want to get acquainted someone, I say, "I'd like knowing you better."  Wow.  Simple words, but I could not say them before, a result of feeling undeserving.
 How freeing it is when I live life on its terms.  I'm myself, unshackled by fears of the opinions others. Those who don't agree with my values may find me unappealing; that's okay----the world does not revolve around me.

     My values include a need for authenticity, integrity, and communicating compassionately, using nonviolent communication.  I enjoy intimacy, humor and celebrating life, tranquility and harmony.   I don't mind not relating with those who are not in agreement with these standards.  And that realization frees me to be me---quite at rest, enjoying emotional safety, ease and tranquility.

Wish me well as I meet with this fellow at 12:00 noon!
The Innkeeper


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

I hope your meeting went well today. I'm sure you are in all of our hearts and prayers. And we look forward to hearing how it went, or how it is evolving, as you are able to share.

On this finally cooling Wednesday evening, I am grateful...

1. After a long, 12 hour work-day, a brief respite from the days heat, in the pool at the gym.

2. A miraculous laying-on-of-hands, healing of my laptop; email connection and all, after only one hour in the surgical care of Peter the Irish High-tech Word-wizard! And for all this, all he asked was a modest "love offering," and a to-go plate of #3 sons chicken stir-fry!

3. Being able to catch a bit of the tail-end of American Idol.

4. Being able to catch up with #2 son's life today. Discussing rebuilding character and trust via, actually being trustworthy; making words and deeds one! Some firm, honest, yet loving "tough love" guidance. He is home building a storage shed for his Mom and family. Even prayed together to close the day.

5. Just remembered a gratitude from Sunday night...Being able, at the family dinner table, to give my wife a collective gift certificate of a two hour Chinese deep tissue massage and acupuncture session.

Syd said...

Good thoughts here on how you are dealing with a difficult situation. I find things go much better when I have humility and compassion for those with whom I have difficulty.

Broken said...

Dear Pablo,

I'm saying this too late but I hope your meeting went well:)

And wow!Reading this post was like reading my own thoughts about dealing with difficult situations:)though I havent yet reached to that point of serenity in which one can rest...But hopefully with the help of God,the support of my loved ones and my own determination to overcome my fears,anxiety etc... I will learn to reach there.

Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate posts and the inn :)

Take care!

Pablo said...

Because of Broken's recent comment I see I neglected posts from Carl and Syd. I'm sorry I did not respond to them earlier.

Dear Carl,

The outcome was not as hoped. But the progress not perfection of the situation is that I am relating with this fellow, some. Your continued prayers are welcome. Thank you, for caring about this difficult situation.

What did you like about American Idol? Just curious, if you don't mind answering. I'm glad your laptop was fixed, otherwise we'd miss out on your ongoing journal of gratitudes in this inn of thanksgiving.

I love the example of your committed love for your wife!

Pablo said...


I'm in agreement with you. Life is better when I have compassion towards others and focus on satisfying the needs that are not met, rather than pointing out errors or blaming another, when in conflict.

Pablo said...

Dear Broken,

I appreciate your sensitivity. The moment captured in this post was emotionally difficult. Your support and that of my Balcony People helped me weather it.

Let me know if I can be of any help, when you find yourself being challenged or stressed. I wish I had your wisdom, when I was your age.

Your kind comments make the work I do here worthwhile.

A grateful innkeeper

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.