Some Questions to Ask When Things Go Wrong

At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen, and live in what is happening.”

When something major goes wrong in life, in order to move forward we need to take stock of what exactly happened, and what we should do next. Here are some questions to help you with this process …

Ask yourself:

1. Is this something I should take seriously and try to put right? Is it something that is worth working on, and investing more time and energy on? What leads me to these conclusions?

2. How much of what happened is my fault? What did I contribute (if anything)?

3. How much of the situation is outside of my control? Will anything I do really alter things, or make a lasting difference?

4. Have I done everything I possibly can to change the situation? Have I tried and exhausted all possible options? What leads me to this conclusion?

5. Is it something I should put behind me, and decide to walk away from? What will be the short- and long-term benefits and costs of doing this?

6. Who else has gone through a similar experience? Who can I talk to who will understand, and give me valuable help and advice?

7. What can I learn from this experience, that will help me in the future?

8. How can I build myself up again, so I have the strength to go forward in life?

I am Choosing to Take Care of Me

“I can cut you off and still love you.

I can stop speaking to you, and still care for you.

I can let you go, and still wish you the best.

If I leave you alone, it’s not to be bitter or petty.

If I leave you alone, it’s for my own good.

If I let you go, it’s so that I can accept still being able to love you

whilst also knowing I can be happy without you.”

These are courageous words.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves, is to choose to withdraw from a relationship. Whether it’s a partner, or a spouse, or a friend … sometimes the right thing to do is to simply walk away.

It can be for a while; it doesn’t have to be forever. But for now, you need your space. You need a boundary in place.

And who can really know want you will want a year from now. For it is much too early to play that guessing game.

Right now, you need the freedom to simply be yourself, and to get back in touch with the person you have lost.

You need the room to simply breathe.

You need the room to just be you.

You are doing what is right: you are taking care of you.  

It’s OK to Have a Good Life

“Please look after yourself. It’s OK to have a good life.” – Jillian Horton

Do you believe that? If not, why not …. Because it’s true. It’s really true!

You’re doing the right thing when you look after yourself. And it is really is OK for you to have a good life.

You should have a good life. You should go after the things you want and need. The things that will make you happy. It’s OK to want that, and to live that way.

Because this is your life. And you can choose how you want to live. You can be who you’d really love to be.

You have those rights. You don’t have fewer rights than anyone else. Regardless of what you’ve been told. Regardless of the things that have happened to you, and the negative messages you’ve picked up along the way.

Don’t let those people, or traumatic life events, define your existence and hand you a life script. Don’t let them take up residence, and camp out in your head.

Live out your own story. Be who you want to be.

“Please look after yourself. It’s OK to have a good life.” – Jillian Horton

Our Word for the Day … Tsundoku

Tsundoku: The Art of Buying Books and Never Reading Them

We thought that we would read them. We thought they were worthwhile. They all looked so appealing. They were something we should read.

So many good intentions when we opened up each book, and flicked through all the pages, and read the summaries.

But busyness took over. There’s always “the next thing”.

The urgent. The important. The necessary things.

So many good intentions get tossed, and pushed aside.

Tsundoku. Far too often, a metaphor for life.

So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out & decide.” – Meredith Grey

Who do I Think I Am?

If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?“ – Maya Angelou

This is a good, and a thought-provoking, question! I wonder how good we really are to ourselves. Here are some journal prompts to help you think this through …

1. Without thinking too deeply about the question, what is your knee-jerk response? Would you say that you are good to yourself?

2. Thinking about the question in more depth …. What would you be doing differently if you were being good to yourself? Try to be concrete and specific here.

For example, would you speak up more, or say “yes” or “no” more often?

Would you speak differently to, or about, yourself?

Would you take more chances?

Would you have a different job or career?

Would you spend more (or perhaps less!) money on yourself?

Would you walk away from some relationships, or drama?

3. If you feel you have a tendency to not be good to yourself, I wonder what stops you being good to yourself?

For example, is it old beliefs and messages that you’ve carried over from your childhood, or from a significant relationship?

Are you living out a script where you always put others first, and you bury and repress your own needs, wishes and wants?

Are you afraid that others will judge, criticize, put you down (or even reject you), if you’re good to yourself?  

Do you struggle with low self-worth, and self-esteem? Do you find it hard to be kind to, or generous towards, yourself?

4. How has “not being good to yourself” affected your relationships with others?

For example, has it resulted in you getting into destructive, or abusive, relationships … or staying in destructive, or abusive, relationships?

Has it meant that you have allowed yourself to be taken advantage of, or treated like a doormat, by others?

Has it meant that you have lacked confidence, and haven’t been able to promote yourself and your gifts in front of others?

Have you found yourself doing things you didn’t want to do, or spending money you didn’t want (or have) to spend – to be included, or accepted, by others?

5. What one small thing could you do today to show yourself that you were worth being good to? Will you do that one thing?

Don’t Let the Lies Take Root

Healing is the unlearning of stories you’ve told yourself, about yourself, that destroy your spirit.” – Rebecca Ray

I wonder what stories you’re telling yourself, about yourself?

I wonder what stories undermine your sense of worth?

I wonder what stories are destroying your soul, and are stopping you from being your authentic self?

Healing is unlearning all the lies that we’ve believed, and replacing them with truth, so we can flourish, and be free.  

Breaking Free from Unhealthy, False Beliefs

Finding yourself is really the process of returning to yourself. It’s a process of unlearning, an excavation, the process of remembering who you really were before this world got its hands on you.”  

The following four steps for breaking free from unhealthy, self-destructive beliefs was first suggested by Jeffrey M. Schwatrz, in his book The Mind and the Brain.

1. Step 1: Relabel the thought as a self-limiting belief, not a truth. Beliefs are not the same as truths. People believe all sorts of things. Some of these are true, some are partial truths, and some of our beliefs are completely false.

So, what are you trying to achieve when you relabel a self-limiting belief? Essentially, you’re trying to divest the old belief of its closed-mindedness and certainty. Of course, our old entrenched beliefs will not change overnight … but at least it’s a starting point.

For example, you could reframe an old familiar, negative belief in the following way:

Instead of saying: “I am worthless and deserve to be rejected

Try saying: “I’m having the thought that I am worthless and deserve to be rejected.”

The second leaves you feeling a lot less stuck!

2. Step 2: Reattribute the source of the belief to neural circuits in the brain. What you’re doing here is reminding yourself that your brain is sending you preprogrammed messages. So, it’s not reality that’s the source of the belief. It’s a thought that you keep having, again and again. Hence, the belief has its origins back in the past, and isn’t related to the present time.

3. Step 3: Refocus and find something else to do. Something to distract you from your negative thought patterns, so you don’t get trapped in their grip and power. This should be relaxing, or be something you enjoy – like going for a walk, or playing the guitar.

Why is this helpful?

In a way, in doing this you are buying yourself time, and teaching your brain that it doesn’t have to listen … for it can choose to do something that’s enjoyable instead.

4. Step 4: Re-evaluate the impact the belief has had on you. Ask yourself: “What has this belief ever done for me? How has it affected my relationships and life?”

For example, you might tell yourself that “I deserve to be loved” – whilst the louder, dominating, underlying belief is: “My feelings, wants and wishes don’t matter nearly as much as other peoples’ feelings, wants and wishes matter.”

When you ask what this negative belief has done for you, you might find yourself saying something like the following:

It has made me resentful. I have felt that I’ve been used. It has stopped me going for what I want in life. It’s affected my choices, my relationships, and health.”  

Once our eyes are opened, and we can see the truth, we can start to work on changing old entrenched, false beliefs. And doing this can help us find our true self once again.

Making Today a Good Day …

1. Get up early, and have some quiet time on your own before you launch into the day.

2. Start the day with a grateful heart. Name 3 things you are thankful for.

3. Do something you feel is important or worthwhile. Something you’d like to put a check mark beside.

4. Make time in your day to goof off, and have fun. A day without laughter is never a good day!

5. Do something thoughtful for somebody else.

6. Get outside in nature, and breathe in some fresh air. If the sun is shining, then that’s a bonus point.

7. Get some kind of exercise – it doesn’t matter what!

8. Try to live in the moment, and notice all the good.