Do You REALLY Know What’s Going On??

Ever talk like you know what’s going on in another person’s head?

The other day my husband and I were driving home from an event. We started talking about why this one person probably chose to do what they did. After a bit of postulating, I said, “You know, we really don’t know what’s going on in his head, so we could be completely wrong.” My husband agreed. Then we started talking about how easy it is to assume the reasons behind people’s words and actions. A long time ago I started working on getting out of that habit, when people choose to do something seemingly surprising, make a mistake, etc. But it’s so easy to make assumptions on the smaller things. The things that “don’t matter” as much.

But when people make wrong assumptions about me, it matters to me. It bothers me.

So what do we do? We can’t control what another person assumes about us. It may tear us up, or make us worry. However we choose to handle it, there is one thing we can always do. Don’t be that person. Make it a point to not assume the reasons behind another person’s words or actions. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Ask questions. Find out the reasons, if appropriate. People will start feeling heard, understood, cared for, valued. And you will reap great rewards from interactions and relationships.

Proverbs 17:27

Proverbs 17:27

Do you find yourself thinking you know “what’s really going on”, when you don’t know a person’s background, personality, life?

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Don’t Do It.

What are you thinking on?

What are you thinking on?

Have you ever gone through trials, and thought if only you had someone else’s life?

Don’t do it.

It’s easy enough see the good things in another person’s life…. But remember, you can’t see all the bad. You can’t see the heartache. You can’t see the trials. You can’t see the broken relationships. You can’t see the disease. You can’t see the addictions. You can’t see what’s lacking. You can’t see the stress. You can’t see the tears. You can’t see the pain inflicted. You can’t see the pain received. You may see some. But not all.

The other night a friend compared it to “the Facebook picture”. On Facebook many people have happy pictures, and comment about the amazing things going on in their lives. But most people don’t share everything. Our friend said someone she knows has a profile that makes it look like they have the perfect life:  A loving spouse, children, fun and exciting trips and activities. But if you could see behind the scenes, you would see the anxiety, depression, tears, and strained and broken relationships.

Everyone has trials. The trials we bear may cause us, or those we love, to suffer so much. But so far, we have survived. Is it possible that if we did experience someone else’s life…. experienced someone else’s trials…. we would not be able to stand up under what they’re going through? Would we not survive? People may try to weigh the severity of trials in different ways, but we are all different people. What one person may be able to handle, another would crumble under.

Trials would be truly devastating if nothing good could come from them. But I believe in a God who loves us, and takes the worst of times and uses it toward good. Even if you don’t believe in God, good can come out of trials. We can learn appreciation for things or others. Relationships can be healed or made stronger. Connections may develop or opportunities presented. We can become better people:  more patient, kind, loving, understanding, forgiving, smarter, empathetic, etc.

I’m not saying trials are easy, or that we should be thrilled to have them. Seeing people suffer, I just don’t want them to lose out on what can come from trials. Wishing for another person’s life can easily distract us from the good that comes in our own. There is always something to hold on to.

A Tribe. A Family. A Dream?

I am blessed. By a group of people who are supporters, confidants, mentors, prayer warriors, cheerleaders, encouragers, think tanks, truth tellers, ideas people, accountability partners, driven, goal-setters, dream-pursuers, and….like family. Also known as a tribe.

Why do people think pursuing a dream has to be an “alone” journey? It doesn’t matter how unique your dream is or how much of an introvert you are, it’s possible to find people to make key connections with. And it’s good for you.

Becoming a tribe member introduced me to others with similar passions. Being part of that tribe has helped me grow as a person and leader, tremendously. It has helped me see the world in broader and deeper terms. It has exposed me to sheer joy. It is one of the things in life that has helped me develop in the direction I was created to go. And I will always treasure those relationships. Even though they may always remain cyber.

So. Whether or not it’s on the internet–through blogs or other forms of social media, or talking face to face–go find people to connect with. A group that’s just as passionate about specific things as you are. You just may find exactly where you were meant to be. And someday find yourself in the middle of your dream.

Who are your people?

Who are your people?

Do you have a group of people like that? On the internet, family, work, school, church?

Rest.

How many times do we desire rest? How often do we rest? How many people take time and prioritize rest?

I know that’s something I struggle with.

I always have something I could be doing….marathon training, writing my blog, working on my two book ideas, learning how to use different programs I want to implement in my projects, doing the research behind ideas I have for church, networking, reading about leadership and small business, budgeting financial goals, and the list could go on. Don’t forget playing with my two fur-babies and maintaining a spectacular marriage!

My husband occasionally has to put his hands on my shoulders and say, stop. (And that’s one of the ways we balance each other out just perfectly!)

I used to fight the idea of rest. I would get all frustrated at myself, that I wasn’t able to cram over a hundred “to do” things in one day. It would stress me out!

Now, I am much more open to the idea. But more likely than not, I’ll just forget I need to stop and take the time.

Rest enables us to be more productive during other hours in the day. Rest lowers stress levels. Rest is good for our minds, bodies, souls, and relationships.

That’s one of the reasons I don’t listen to music most of the time while running, even during that 15 miler I did the other day. Silence, other than cars passing and the occasional animal, helps my brain to relax. I also use it as an opportunity to talk with God.

The other day my husband was bemoaning the fact that it felt like our weeknights were nonexistent, and weekends……what are weekends again? So tonight, I insisted on preparing supper so he could have some time to just sit and read. Rest is important.

I have learned the hard way a couple times. My body took on flu symptoms and literally forced me to crash. It was not the flu. I don’t want to ever experience that again. And I hope you never will.

So…..How ’bout you go rest.

Most People Never Get There

I receive quotes from Runner’s World via e-mail every day. And the other day I received one that made me think, I have to share this on my blog!

“Most people never get there. They’re afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not constantly demanding more from yourself—expanding and learning as you go—you’re choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip.”   —Dean Karnazes

Think about it.

Most people want to take the “easy” road in life. They want to do what makes them feel comfortable. When things don’t go their way, they shout that it’s not fair. BUT at the same time those people usually seem miserable, at the very least not satisfied with life. They have no real joy.

Lester

Where does real joy come from? A favorite TV show? Fast food? Shopping? Relaxing? Puppies? Kittens?

Or is it something deeper? Discovery? Accomplishment? Giving? Learning? Loving?

I believe it is something deeper still:  a relationship with God.

I could go on and on about why I believe true joy can only be found with God, but to tie back to Karno’s quote….with God we gain confidence in accomplishing the impossible. The demands, resistance, struggle, and suffering become surmountable, even worthwhile.

The sentence that pops out to me is, “But struggling and suffering…were the essence of a life worth living.”

Have you heard the idea that if there are no conflicts in a marriage, the couple is not in love? The more one invests in a marriage the greater the chance of conflict, because people are making themselves vulnerable. At the same time, the more one invests in a marriage the greater that marriage will become.

The same goes for life. The more one invests in life, the greater the chance of struggle and suffering. At the same time, the greater one’s life will be.

Are you denying yourself an extraordinary trip?