I am at a place in my life where I can reflect on all I have learned and the wisdom of the years I have gained. The wisdom comes from a combination of personal experience, and what others have told me. Some of these lessons were hard learned. I was warned in advance of negative personal experience of what I could expect, and yet I did it anyway. Those lessons are tough, but you never forget them either. I want to share some of those things. I am not putting them in any particular order, just as I think of them.
You do not have to go to every fight you are invited to. What this means is, people are going to confront me and challenge me. Some are them are looking for a fight, verbal, emotional, or something else. It is my experience that most of those fights are not worth having. Such fights are commonplace in families. But when I take a moment to think about what is being said, I usually come to the conclusion that I do not need to add my two cents. Even when directly challenged, I am usually better served in allowing the person the victory they are looking for. It is a funny thing, after a while these people stop bothering you.
Do you want to be right or happy? I used to have to be right all the time. I drove myself nuts. I worked so hard being right I did not have time for much of anything else. This particular saying goes along with the previous one. If I were taking a position in a discussion with someone who was of the opposing feeling, it was my mindset that would have me doggedly arguing with the person to get the “win.” But what was I winning? These days I am entirely happy with making a point and then letting go.
My feelings are never unique. I used to go around feeling various things and believing that I was alone with those feelings. A funny thing happened when I talked to other people about my feelings, I found other people who shared the exact same feelings. That included even some of my craziest feelings that I felt too ashamed to bring to the light of day. But once exposed, I saw those feelings were always shared with someone and never unique.
I have a God of my misunderstanding. How do you understand a supernatural being when you only have human terms to use? You cannot and it is for that reason that I have decided I have a God the way I understand Him but I always temper that by saying it is likely a misunderstanding. It just happens to be the best I can do at any given moment.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. This is the admonition against thinking I am the center of the universe. To Red Sox do not lose games because I was watching them or did something I should not have done. It does not just rain on me. No one is out to get me. My importance in the universe is extremely small, tiny, but that is a good thing. The world got along just fine before I was born and will continue to do so after I die.
I am responsible. This simply means I have to take responsibility for all of my actions, and I must do so as the occasion arises. Being responsible does not allow for procrastination. And that means I am responsible for taking care of myself in all respects.
Judge slowly, forgive quickly. It used to be I would take someone’s inventory and judge them in about one minute, if not less, and that was before I ever heard them say a word. That is a terrible thing to do to anyone. I am not giving a person a chance when I act that way. I also always have to be cognizant of the idea that I am seldom in a position to pass judgement on anyone for their actions as I am seldom aware of all the facts. But in that same way, when I have been wronged I can get past it far more quickly if I forgive the person quickly. Holding resentments is a huge waste of time. I have found that when someone wrongs me I do better by assigning their action to a demon they are fighting and that it really has nothing to do with me.
A little gratitude will kill a big case of the blues. I say to people, “you know how I know it is going to be a good day?” When they say “no,” I say it is because I woke up. Each day is full of promise and it is up to me to take advantage of what is placed in front of me.
Well, those are a few of the ideals I live by these days. I hope some might work for you.