Facebook always asks me, “What’s on your mind”? It’s the question I usually ask as a coach as well. It’s a great question that then requires a lot of me!
For one, if I’m asked this question, it requires that I be real! Don’t get me wrong, Facebook doesn’t care if I’m real or not, doesn’t even know the difference. It’s just a personal place of integrity for me today and not really optional anymore. I’ve worked too hard on my spiritual recovery to compromise this.
As a result, I don’t post too much personal on FB because things aren’t always rosy and it just doesn’t feel like a safe place to share my dramas. I post a LOT on Facebook professionally speaking.
Secondly, if I ask the question of someone else, it requires that I listen without interjecting unless asked. This is sometimes harder because I have so many great ideas for you and others!
What’s prompting all of this is a recent visit to Austin to check on my step dad. He was widowed over 1 ½ years ago and my brother and I promised my mom we would take care of him. Gee whiz, what the hell was I thinking?
He’s lonely yet won’t socialize. He won’t take the dog out (even to go to the bathroom). He won’t wash his clothes, hardly take a bath, throw out bad food; it’s appalling and I want him to be different than he is. Oh and did I mention that he is ONLY 71 years old.
Lol! You probably don’t want to hear my drama either!
I’m just feeling that since most of whom I am writing to are over 50, maybe some of you can relate. On a good day I can hardly take care of myself let alone this man who CAN do way more than he WILL do.
He’s HAPPY, what’s my Problem?
The very best relationship I have with others is when I do these three things:
- Keep the focus on myself in relation to other people, places and things
- Stay in the moment and not make up shit in my head about what may or may not happen in the future.
- Do the next right thing … for ME!!! Not anyone else.
I’ve been practicing these 3 things over and over for the past 5 years and they really do work. I also slip all the time. When I do, I’m the one who is miserable!
Taking responsibility for myself means taking responsibility for what I want and need, and knowing that this is okay for me to do.
Learning to tune-in to myself, learning to listen to myself, feels like an art form. It takes practice for me. I can use this ability to guess what others want and need (I’ve practically made a career out of doing this), and applying this skill to my self is much harder.
What does what I want or need even sound like? What would I guess makes me feel better? If I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired, I might even default into old patterns of temporary “fixes” to feel better. Like eating or drinking something I shouldn’t or too much social media or TV so I don’t have to look at myself.
What are my feelings telling me?
I can tend to walk on eggshells around another’s feelings, your feelings. What is my body telling me? My mind? My intuition?
It’s taken me 57 years to get better at asking these questions. In fact, the asking isn’t the hard part; it’s the listening closely to the answer; I always, eventually hear the answer.
I am wiser than I think, and I’m learning that I CAN be trusted.
What I want and need counts. It’s important, and it’s valid. It’s okay for me to learn to participate in meeting my own needs and not expecting my happiness, health or wealth to come from another. I am learning; especially, not to expect these things from my significant other, immediate family or friends, from my job or my church (my list of externals could go on).
Today, I will pay attention to what I want and need. I will ask my Higher Power for help and I will not discount my own wisdom.