Friday, October 25

Creating a Better Today, Revisited 10/25/13

         I'm bumping this up.  I wrote this 5/31/11.  I'm taking it easy tonight. I'm preparing for my trip tomorrow, heading out to Napa, cycling.  Keep this place open with your posted gratitudes. I'd love hearing yours.

        A friend I've know for several decades-----a Balcony Person in my life, and I got together for lunch the other day.  We discussed moving beyond pretense, the freedom when facing our vulnerabilities, overcoming them with healthy alternatives. The following are a few suggestions.
      I. If we're angry:
          A. We can go for a walk
          B. We can process it by writing about it in our journal.
          C. Go to a local sports event and scream like the dickens.

     It's a socially acceptable place to do so.  The fans next to you will think you're amazingly fanatical.  I have a dear friend in her 70's who does this.  She goes to the Cal Berkeley basketball games.

         D. We can listen to music we enjoy, that relaxes us.
         E.  We can get our frustrations out by beating a pillow.
         F.  Anger reveals we're experiencing an unmet need. We can take action to resolve the unmet need by taking one step towards resolution.

      For example, say that we're with someone who is judgmental and we're uncomfortable with their put downs, blaming, etc.. We can excuse ourselves from them.
"I'm sorry, but I have to go. I have something pressing that I need to do."
      No, it's not pressing a shirt. Yes, I do have something to do.  It's leaving that environment. I don't care being with someone who suffers from a bitter spirit.
Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
Or you will learn his ways
        And find a snare for yourself.
                                          Proverbs 22:24-25
      I've done this.  I've excused myself from angry others;  I've used the very words quoted in blue.  I will continue to do so, to maintain the serenity and sanity I have.  One source of liberation is being responsive to, but not responsible for the feelings of others.

      II. . If we're isolating, we can:
           A. Call a friend and see how they are doing. It's by dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
           B. We can attend a movie with someone----force ourselves to be social.  It's a step.
           C. We arrange a time to have lunch with someone special---a family member or one of our Balcony People.
      III.. If' we're feeling blue, we can:
           A. Go for a hike in nature. It works for me.
"Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee or to the fowls and they shall declare unto thee. Who knows not that the hand of God has wrought thus?      Job 12:8
           B. Listen to music we like.
           C. Workout at the gym.  You probably know hard exercise produces endorphins, which are great for our moods.
           D. For some, chocolate does the trick.  (Be careful!).

       The above are a few limited examples of healthy alternatives. You probably can add many more. You get the idea.

      We may not have control over our circumstances but we do have control over how we choose to respond to them.  We have many alternatives, healthy ones that are life affirming.  Difficult times remind me of the following:
Peace comes not from the absence of conflict, but from our ability to cope with it.
The only time we'll not have conflict is when we're dead; learning to process the challenges life offers is preferred to the alternative; I find a coffin confining.

       When making healthy choices and taking action towards remedying our problems we'll find ourselves happier, saner, enjoying life more. We'll also have an attitude of gratitude because we're making the most out of life. We are creating a better today.

How About You?
1. What are some additional alternatives that you find to anger, isolating, depression?
2.  What is one step you'd like to take today, that will move you towards the solution of your particular challenge?

Image: Countryside: Spring Sky by Tim Blessed, © all rights reserved, use by permission.


Vanessa Higgins said...

Alternatives - playgrounds. I love to swing on the swings and play on the monkey bars. It takes me to a place of innocence. Dance. When I dance I feel beautiful and unique and special. Taking time to love my body with a massage or yoga or new yummy smelling beauty products.

Steps toward the solution - I am trying to learn how not to bash myself. According to others I practice this regularly. I would never hurt another person, but myself, no problem. I am writing down things that others say about me and trying to really listen and take it in rather than throwing up barriers.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Saturday night, I am grateful, even though, at times, I feel totally hopeless...

1. For dinner out tonight with my wife's friend and her husband, visiting from Denver, at a local Indian Restaurant. The food was great and the discussion even better!

2. For some personal, catching-up time with my wife, while sitting in our parked car in our driveway after dinner. We could question, challenge, and vent, but exit the vehicle somehow, each in one piece!

3. That tomorrow is Sunday, and that I don't have to get up early, go to work, apologize for missing fish, or otherwise put out customer service delivery fires.

Pablo said...

Dear Vanessa,

I like your ideas. I'll admit, I haven't played on monkey bars since I did so with my sons, when they were boys. I might give it a try, and have greater courage, if I do it with a friend. Dancing is great, I agree. I'm so glad for your comment. Your suggestions augment mine.

Thank you, for sharing about "bashing yourself". I have my clients memorize two sentences that help rescue them from self-loathing and self-criticism. Write me and I'll share them with you.

My suggestion is asking yourself, what is the reward for putting yourself down? We don't do anything unless it has a reward. Usually we need help, from a person who has emotional and psychological distance from the besetting problem. in order to see its roots. Again, you might want to write me and we could talk about this, privately.

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

I'm sorry to hear about there are times you feel hopeless. I'm so glad you drop by here. I'd like to support you. Let me know, drop a line, using my e-mail address, if I can help, I will.

Regarding your wife and you: "Dogs and cats should grow up together. It widens their minds. Affection widens ours." C.S. Lewis

I hope you are able to sleep in today. You have my best wishes for the challenges you face, and my prayers.

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.