Face the liar

Rain.

I remember the days growing up in Eugene, Oregon where I would close my eyes to sleep while listening to the uneven beat of rain on the roof and the clank of the drops forced by wind to my window.  This was the lullaby of my childhood.

This morning around 2 a.m.. I found myself awake, listening to the sound of rain.  A slight flash of lightening skidded over my head.  Instead of sleep, the weather called me outside.  My polka dot p.j.s and me made the way down the stairs.  I slipped on my husband’s too large flip-flops and wrapped myself in his raincoat and walked down to the bay.

Before my walk I had been bathing myself in the question, can I be good enough to make a difference?  Will my story help others?  Earlier this week I was given this advice, “If you think you are not good enough to make a difference in someone else’s life, you are listening to a lie.”  I thought about it. For me personally, to share my story, I must lose any need for significance and replace it with love, to lose myself and listen to God means hearing the truth.

I stood there, listening. It was hard to hear anything with the sound of the drops on the hood of the coat.  I pulled it back and gazed up to the heavens. The rain ran down my face like tears. I let it wash my uneasiness and the lies away, in a ceremonial moment of renewal.

Lies…….they are predictable, you and I, all of us listen to them. These lies create a feeling of unworthiness, loss, shame, isolation, and helplessness in our hearts.  Whatever you do, never believe them, battle them and get ready for another day to bring your story to the world!

For me it’s a daily event to face the “liar”, how do you drown out the lies and hear the truth about you?

-Beau's Mom

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50 seconds on an elevator

Just last weekend I attended a conference in Portland, Oregon.   A colleague and I were making our trek to the parking garage.  As we walked, we rehearsed our mnemonic device to remember the floor the car was on, 1 + 3 is 4 (super creative!).  We road up the elevator to the fourth floor and YES we found our car!  We loaded up our baggage and followed our plan to head to the nearest Starbucks before taking our conference seats for the day. 

The elevator started down and then stopped rather quickly.  Wow, that was a fast ride.  Peeking our head out the doors to see if we were really at the lobby we realized we were only on the 3rd floor.  We both jerked backwards avoiding the slam of the doors against our heads and to make room for a middle-aged woman, apparently heading in for a day at work.  With our smiles and laughter, we invited her to share in our utter inability to navigate an elevator.  The woman stepped in, grunted and turned her back.  We stood there each in an opposite corner up against the back wall, she in the front position, midline, waiting to dive out the door when it opened.  She didn’t turn her head.  She hit the button labeled “1” and said in a low dry tone, “you have to push the number 1”.  She pushed number 1 with force and within 1/100th of a second, you know the difference in winning times in the Olympic Bobsled race, she pounded on the close door button.  She was all business; this whole elevator ride was a routine for her, down to how and when she hit the buttons. 

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Upon arrival on the first floor the door opened and she was off to the races.   Joe shared, wow it’s amazing how I feel so bummed after that elevator ride; she brought me down so fast (figuratively speaking).  We hadn’t spent but 50 seconds in the elevator with her and yet she had influenced how Joe felt.  My heart was troubled a bit.  We are sometimes so busy moving to the next place, focused on the next thing that there is simply no time for a hello or a warm smile. 

You deserve a smile.  Share one first with yourself.  Pat yourself on the back.  Sing a love song to yourself. Praise God. Dance. Picture a beautiful memory.  Whatever you do, don’t can it.  Open up and let yourself out.  Smile, say hello, ask someone how they are even if you are feeling low and be willing to listen to the real answer. Break your routine. Walk by a homeless person in the street and look at them.  Write someone a one sentence or even one word affirmation. Hug someone who needs it. You, beautiful you, can make a lasting impact on someone today with the simplest of gestures.  Do this for someone you might normally walk by.  There is no cost, except the cost of moving out of your comfort zone and into someone else’s world.  We all need you today!

Take a short time today to make a lasting impact.

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A safe problem

Do you have a safe problem?

I recently learned something life changing, but in the process I had to learn some hard facts about myself.  Don’t you just love those lessons?

This last year, when my husband came home (he was gone a lot) I would be laying on the couch.  Of course I was tired after a long day at work and I think I really did feel kind of crappy.  I would look up at him as he entered the door.  He would say, “How are you?” and I would say whatever I would say, “so, so” or “I don’t feel too well”, or “I’m tired”.  He would be so sweet.  He would lean over the couch, pull up my blanket (you think I was a toddler) kiss me and ask me what I needed.  He was either a saint or well trained, one or the other. This was our daily greeting. 

So you have the picture, me lying on the couch with a blanket with no facial expression and a whispering in a somber tone of voice. This took place over and over for most of a year.  Beautiful, isn’t it? NOT!  I share this with you because I’m a pretty good communicator, in fact I study communication.  I even study behavior. I just don’t notice my own sometimes.  You see our welcome home greeting was meeting a need I had, my deep need to spend more time with my husband. What I really wanted from him was connection and by gosh, my greeting was a guaranteed way to get it. 

I actually confessed one day.  “You know I used to feel kind of sick and I think what I really wanted was your attention.”  We both laughed.  Now I get my need met for his attention with a hug, kiss, slap on the backside, a walk, you get the picture. I grin as I write this because it just can’t be a true story.  Ah, but it is, it’s mine and it might be yours only with different circumstances and different players.

You see, we all have needs we are looking to be met during the course of our day.  In our lives with family and friends we often expect the miraculous.  We live like our loved ones can read our minds.   We believe they should just know the right thing to do for us; somehow by osmosis they should have figured us out.  They should know our hurts, our wants, and our needs. We wait.  We get angry. We create patterns. We give up.  We wait.  We talk and then we don’t talk.  We think, “They don’t understand me”.  We think they are wrong.  We wait.    Maybe we even think we are not loved. Patterns start that can last for years. We want connection and we create distance in its place. 

Today, junk your safe problems and find a wonderfully healthy and easy to achieve solution (that is under your control) to meet a need you have and ask someone you love what you can do to meet theirs.  This simple gesture is the start of a beau-tiful relationship not only with others, but also with you.

 

 

 

Still learning to live

Still learning how to live

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.”

Steve Jobs

The death of my son has taught me much about my life.  This is just a small list of the lessons I have received.  This year, I have learned…..

To feel such sorrow that joy is beyond ecstatic. I get excited about the smallest of things; there are so many small moments to celebrate.

I am capable of more than I thought I was.  To be standing and contributing everyday can sometimes feel superhuman.  Imagine what I will do when I unleash it?

What is truly a big deal and what is a little deal.  Really, I used to make so many things big, usually the negative ones, which were only negative because I made them that way.  Now, it’s time to reverse that!

To dig for treasure of good in anyone, it’s worth it every time.

I have control over very little. What a freeing feeling this is!  I can give control to God, the rightful owner.

That anything I own is worth-less than life.

Tears come and go, so do smiles and laughter.  I chose to carry smiles and laughter like a bouquet of balloons so that I can hand them off and when I need it, you will hand one back.  I am grateful.

I am not alone, I have you to support me and by the way, you are absolutely amazing.

That to act on my dreams is to breathe.

I am now learning how to live.  Some of us learn the hard way how to live our lives…..that someone is me.

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