In Joy Being

Be the Best You – You Choose to Be

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Witnessing the Internal Thought Spiral

I had an interesting experience recently.  It all started with a shared post on Facebook from my brother’s girlfriend.  She posted a picture of a man and a woman sitting on opposite ends of a couch.  The story that went with the picture shared what they each had written in their journals that night.  She was agonizing over what was wrong with the man because he seemed distant.  Her journal was filled with thoughts such as; is he angry with me, have I lost him, his thoughts must be with someone else.  The man had written in his that his motorcycle wasn’t working and he didn’t know what was wrong.

Sam saw this post before me and shared with me that he wanted to respond to it.  He said in one way he hated to admit it, but that practically 100% of the time when I asked him if something was wrong and even though his response would be nothing, there was always something.  He shared this with me on a Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Sam came home and I could feel that something was up.  I don’t know how to describe it exactly, except to say that from my perspective his entire energetic is different.  This is how I know.  I can feel it coming off of him in waves.

I asked him if he was okay.  He said that he was, but I knew something was going on.  Now, from what he had shared with me on Wednesday, I could no longer deny that there was something.  I also knew that I needed to let him work through whatever it was without pestering him.

Here’s what happened.  My thoughts began a downward spiral.  It began with, “Oh my God, what’s wrong?  Did I do something to upset him?  Why is he acting like this?  What happened today?  I know he’s upset with me!  Oh no, it feels as though he’s through and he just doesn’t want to say anything.  He’s going to tell me we’re over!”

Sam and I have been together for almost 15 years now, and we have certainly had our ups and downs, but we’ve made it through it all.  There was truly no reason for my thoughts to dive so low.  I trust in our relationship and our love for each other, which is a good thing because otherwise my own inner turmoil could have caused a lot more problems.

Instead of letting him know what I was witnessing within myself, I parented myself through it.  Here’s a bit of what I shared with my fears and insecurities.  “Audrey, everything is okay.  Yes, something is going on with Sam, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it personally.  Don’t let his behavior change you.  Be yourself, and let him be.”

Luckily, I listened to me.  Instead of letting my inner thoughts send me into a panic, I calmed myself down, and decided to be as loving as I could regardless of my thoughts and the external situation.  I reached for his hand and asked him to share with me about his day.  We enjoy the end of our day with one another by sharing our experience of the day including the wonderful conversations we had with people.  It gives us a chance to celebrate one another, the day, and it brings us closer together.  We both acknowledge how important this is for our relationship and our happiness.

After listening to him share about his day, his thoughts, and epiphanies, he shared with me that he had missed me.  On Thursday, I was only in the office in the morning.  In the afternoon I was working on writing my next chapter for my book.  Sam said, I want so much to share my whole day with you, and I just missed you today.

Wow!  I’m so glad I didn’t allow my insecurities to turn this situation into an argument between us.  Instead, I found the gap, chose to work my process and give him the space and time to work his, and in the end, it brought us closer together.  Not to mention, the very things my insecurities were taunting me with were in fact the exact opposite of how he was feeling!

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Gratitude

Two of our country’s great men have moved on recently.  I’m speaking of Stephen Covey and Steve Jobs.  This morning, as I enjoyed my In Joy Being time, I thought about both of these men.  Initially, I was thinking of Covey’s, “Begin with the end in mind.”  In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this is the first habit.  He suggests imagining your funeral and what you would want said at your eulogy (how you would want to be remembered).  I was remembering my answer to this.  I want to be remembered as someone who loved well and spread love to everyone I touched.  He asked that you consider your top achievements as well, but to me this seemed to be the greatest achievement I could imagine.

Jobs shared that knowing that his death was inevitable gave him the courage to live each day boldly, taking risks, and manifesting his dreams.  I was thinking about both of these men this morning and how they lived their lives.  Each sharing their passion, vision, and gifts with the world creating value for others.  As I pondered their lives and their words, I felt such gratitude come over me.

I realized that I am living my life more in love every day.  I have transformed my work into an expression of love.  I openly express to the people in my life my love for them and how amazing they are to me.  I feel love surround me, filling me, and empowering me.  When I initially envisioned my eulogy, I had no idea how loved I would feel in return for being loving.  I can’t tell you how different my life feels knowing that I am loved.

It’s hard to explain exactly, but several years ago I really did not know how loved I was.  It wasn’t that people didn’t express it to me, they did.  It was that inside of me, I didn’t love and accept me completely.  Therefore, I didn’t allow myself to fully embrace and experience the love those in my life offered to me.  In my experience of me, I deepen in awareness continuously.  For example, when I repeatedly read a book, I get more out of the book with each read.  Life seems to work that way for me too.

Anyway, back to the story.  Several years ago, I had emergency surgery.  At the time, I was pregnant with twins but didn’t know it.  I was having severe abdominal cramping, and I had been feeling unwell for about two weeks.  Initially, I thought it was stress and sympathy pain for my mother who we had just found out had cancer and had her uterus removed.  I had gone home early from work on Thursday, October 30, 2008 because I wasn’t feeling well.  Around 5:30 that evening, the cramping got so bad that it brought me to my knees on the floor of our bedroom.  Unfortunately my 12 year-old son was the only one home with me and witnessed this attack.  He was frightened as was I, but I remained calm for him and told him his dad would be home soon and not to worry.

When Sam arrived home, we decided that I needed to go to the emergency room.  They took us back almost immediately.  A bit later, we found out I was pregnant.  A few hours after that, we found out I had been pregnant with twins. I had an ectopic pregnancy and my fallopian tube burst.  I believe that was what brought me to my knees.  Later the doctors were speaking with me.  There were two of them in my hospital room and it seemed as though they were looking at me strangely.  I asked them, “What is it?”  One of them said, “We don’t understand.  You should have bled out and died, but your blood kept clotting and it saved your life.”  (I knew why my blood kept clotting.  I had been getting chiropractic adjustments once a week for the previous ten years.)

I was shocked.  Truly, I didn’t feel at any point during the experience that I was going to die.  I didn’t know what was going on and I was frightened by it, but I had never considered that I might die. Apparently everyone else in my life did.  The love that poured in and over me from my family and friends was incredible and at times even a bit overwhelming.  I knew I was loved, but after this experience, I understood just how much I mattered in other peoples’ lives.  I can’t even begin to tell you what that meant to me.

I believe I grew astronomically and exponentially in some ways from this experience.  The gift of truly knowing how loved I am, inspired and empowered me to go forward and be more loving.  I find myself wanting everyone to feel the love I feel in my life.  I want to share it with the world.

I’m not as bold or courageous as Stephen Covey or Steve Jobs yet, but in my own way I believe more and more I live my life knowing that today may be my last day and therefore I’m going to do my best to be Love.

Seeing the Best In Others

This morning I was pondering the question, what do I love about me? There are moments when I find that I need to reflect on the good within me…especially in those moments when I find doubt entering in. My answer whispered within.  I love that I look for the good. I seek the best in others, in the situation, in my life, in it all. I recognize that we all need this.  We all need someone to see the best in us.

I wonder what it would be like today if we all chose to see the best in one another regardless of what walls, fears, and masks we reflect into the world.  What if we chose to look beyond the human experience into the beauty of the being within?

For me, it’s amazing to experience someone in this way. We get what we expect from others.  I realize it may not seem that this is always true, but in my experience for the most part it is. I find that when I meet others seeking the best in them, this is what they reflect to me. Even more joy, is in celebrating them for all that they bring into the world.

Several years ago, there was a television show called, “Joan of Arcadia.” I loved this show. The premise of the show was that God spoke to a slightly rebellious, sassy, compassionate teen-age girl named, Joan. In one episode, God told Joan to ask this misguided young man to the high school dance.  This young man was considered a troublemaker and on the wrong path. The night ended in major turmoil and barely-escaped tragedy as one might expect. However, the barely-escaped tragedy was a reflection of Joan seeing the best in this young man…of her seeing a different story of him than that of troublemaker. Without Joan’s reflection to him, great tragedy and death would have occurred.

Who knows what gift we offer to another in choosing to see the best of them? Who knows how far this gift extends when we do? What if in us choosing to see the best in someone, he or she chooses not to go home and ignore his or her children, not to argue with the spouse, or even to kick the dog? What if it even saves lives? What if that person just needed one person to see them in a different light? What if you were the one who did?

What I do know is that for me, when I give this gift, I receive it back ten-fold. For I too am someone who needed another to see the best in me. I am blessed with beings who surround me in just this way. Therefore, I choose to honor each of them by doing my best to see the best in everyone and everything. Join me?

In Joy,

Audrey

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