I have been absent from sharing. I’ve continued to write privately, as I sort through some challenges I’ve faced lately.
To sum it all: I started a new role at work; which involved a whole lot of learning, discomfort within the new, and excitement to take on new challenges. Longer hours melded to exhaustion at the end of my day; when I wiped away the last supper crumb from the counter and retreated to my couch. I’ve been able to be there for my kids in the ways that are important. I also want them to see me work hard; set goals, and achieve them.
My gym: ugh…I do not feel comfortable there any longer. The details of why are not important; I’m still going to sweat freely; but the freely part needs to be in a place I feel comfortable in.
For all the areas I feel confident within this stage of my life; there are also areas I white-knuckle it. And maybe that’s just the ebbs and flows of life: Career, raising teens, staying on top of grocery shopping, cooking healthy meals, ensuring all bills are paid/living within my means, and keeping the home clean and decluttered.. Despite the clutter in the mind…the swirling of thoughts:
What do I need to do today?
Where am I supposed to be today?
How can I be in two places at once? Call a friend…
So, I live one day at a time. Where as before my life changed…I had the luxury of thinking in weeks vs. days.
Which brings me to the topic of today: the power of words. Or more-so, the power I give to words.
You see, there’s a difference.
One perspective gives all the power away to the words; and the other empowers me to choose how those words affect me.
The other day, I talked with a man I see occasionally. He had just returned from a trip, and it had been a few months since I last saw him. We chatted about his trip and then he said something (three times to be exact) which completely took me by surprise…
He said “You’ve gained weight since I last saw you”
I stared at him for a moment with my mouth open. And again he said “I had to take off my glasses to see if it was my sight; but you’ve definitely gained weight”
I replied “OK” ha! I seriously couldn’t think of anything to say to keep a semblance of composure and grace.
Once more for good measure, he adjusted his glasses and said. “Yup you’ve definitely gotten bigger”
(OH NO HE DIDN’T)
I replied “OK”
Because really it’s not OK to say that to anyone; even if it’s an observational thought that escapes the lips. I have no way of knowing if it holds judgment or not. And if I’ve learning anything from my incessant reading of self-help books; nothing is personal.
But you guys, the tears stung my eyeballs; and I felt shame.
Shame is the root of self-deprication and spiralling. The opposite is self-compassion and love.
It took me the entire day; and then the next, and now here we are at today…to work through the feelings from that one exchange.
One phrase has ran over and over on repeat in my mind:
And for others.
Even when it’s hard to love others.
I still have a choice in this, because the energy I put out to others; the love I show others, is important. It’s transferrable. As destructive as words can be, they can also be beautifully empowering to another. Choose love. And learn where to put your energy.
That’s about all I’ve figured out since then. Do you have a similar experience or story? Please feel free to share.
From my heart to yours (with love and acceptance),