Emotions are friendly messengers.
In the same way that you might feel overwhelmed by the sight of a tidal wave coming toward you, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the experience of your own intense emotions welling up within you – or the strong emotions of others headed in your direction. Emotions are not the enemy. They also do not necessarily belong to you. Sometimes you may be tuning in to the elevated emotions of peers, supervisors, or loved ones. Other times the emotions may belong to you, but their intensity may relate not just to one specific situation, but to one or more unresolved experiences you have had over time. In any case, emotions are not your enemy. They are friendly messengers letting you know that your own attention is needed.
This week I resolve to: Welcome whatever emotions may come – and become willing to examine each in their turn, accepting and processing the ones that belong to me, and returning the ones that don’t, back to their rightful owners.
Life is like a bowl of jello.
Taking Forrest Gump’s famous chocolate analogy a step further, life as it is most closely resembles a bowl of jello. We are constantly trying to steady our footing, hunting around for solid ground. But the moment we find it, it shifts again. Rather than continuing to struggle to change how life is, the beneficial approach here is to relax into the experience of walking on jello, learning to laugh softly at life’s jiggles and wiggles and bumps, and maybe even enjoying the excitement of never knowing what will happen next!
This week I resolve to: Reconnect to the pure joy I had as a small child, when I could spend hours chasing those jiggly jello cubes around the bowl, anticipating the moment I might finally catch one and – gulp!
It is okay to feel afraid.
We often expect ourselves to leap towards every new goal or undone item on our to-do list with confident enthusiasm. But how often have we actually ever made any kind of change or progress while feeling this way? Most of the time, for most human beings, we feel some fear, some trepidation, some inner dissension, some reluctance, or some resistance to trying something new. To expect any more of ourselves is both unrealistic and unkind, and to refuse ourselves the right to take action until our feelings improves is even more so.
This week I resolve to: Accept that feeling fear or resistance is a normal human response to taking on new challenges, and encourage myself when I notice my fear and refuse to let it stop me from moving forward.
Being a work-in-progress is underrated.
Mother Teresa struggled with depression for most of her life and ministry, often wondering whether God even existed. Princess Diana struggled with an eating disorder even as she visited families suffering from AIDS. There are many more stories where those came from – of imperfectly great human beings reaching beyond their own insecurities, inadequacies, and limitations to stay connected and offer what they could to participate in the world we all share. You are the same. We are all the same. In little and small ways, as we live our work-in-progress lives, hurt is healed, anxiety eased, hope rekindled, and progress made.
This week I resolve to: appreciate myself for the work-in-progress that I am.
We are all mothers.
As Mother’s Day approaches this Sunday, we can contemplate our relationship with our own mothers, but also all of the important connections we maintain, and the critical role our relationships play in easing not only our own loneliness and uncertainty, but that of others as well. In this way, we are all mothers. Seldom do we give our presence in this world the credit and appreciation it deserves. We matter. Our simple presence can heal hearts, inspire hope, and uplift others….and ourselves.
This week I resolve to: send some appreciation my way. Buy myself flowers. And chocolates. Go out in nature or watch a favorite film. Call someone I love just to tell them I love them….then do the same for myself.