I did this meme a few years ago and thought the time was ripe to revisit it again. I’ve learned what you know is constantly influx, evolving and changing as days blend into months and years. Yesterday the beauty of white flowers against the backdrop of a vibrant blue sky caught my attention. I love how small details honor the depth of the world.
Here is what I know:
Talking less is becoming a mantra in my life. Speaking less results in shifting my gaze outward. It means listening more and acknowledging that what I want to say rarely adds to an ongoing dialogue.
Understanding when it is appropriate to apologize. I spent my twenties and thirties taking blame for almost every situation which didn’t have a positive outcome. In midlife, I am careful with apologies. It isn’t always my fault and I don’t need to say the words “sorry” for situations and people beyond my control.
Show up. This one is important. To lead a full life requires showing up. How many times do we bring our best selves to our professions, relationships and to the external world? Showing up requires discipline. And living a life to its fullest potential is not a haphazard practice, but one which demands full attention.
Get over yourself. It’s a maxim I’ve thought about in the last few years. We’ve become a me-centric society – focusing on becoming so self-involved we aren’t able to recognize the multitudes around us. My husband and I are actively trying to teach our daughter to not make every situation about herself and to work toward sorting through hurt feelings by learning to react differently. I am learning this too.
Exercise, reading, writing, and spending time with my family are nonnegotiable. I am saying no to events and people who might compromise my pursuit of these activities.
Learning to be uncomfortable in uncertainty. I’ve said it so many times in this space. I detest uncertainty and constantly hedge my eye toward the future or somewhere in the past. Now is sometimes uncomfortable and I am trying to sit with it, understanding my acceptance of this feeling is the real way to embrace now.
People will let you down and you will learn to move on. In my twenties especially, I harbored resentment and regret over situations which disappointed me or caused heartbreak. To live is to engage in disappointment – to navigate around this angst relies on your reaction. It may sound like a cliché, but massaging our reactions is the only true way to move forward.
Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” In the last five years, I’ve ignored red flags choosing to believe otherwise even when the truth is obvious. Denial is dangerous. More times than not, your gut and instinct isn’t leading you astray. Don’t make excuses for people. Learn to accept what they are showing you is their truth. You devise your own.
Laughter is the quickest way to feel better. I don’t laugh enough. I am wound tight sometimes, but the quickest escape from this place is to look for the laughter. Laughter has never let me down.
Pay attention to the details of your world. What makes you content? Make the choice to fill your vessel with these people, activities and pursuits.
What do you know? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Also, I am so honored to have my words on Jena Schwartz’s The Roar Sessions. Please visit me in her space and read my thoughts on finding my roar in solitude. Thank you.