I’ve been thinking a lot about the words that build out your core. The things that stick with you and get in the way of simple decisions, forcing you to reconsider and make sure your choices take into account your history, your past, your goals.
I try to avoid the over-thinking and re-analyzing of stuff. I don’t succeed, but I try. 🙂 But, if I think about things that have had stronger impacts on me and that form more than a single type of direction or decision, a few things stand out.
It’s weird how the tiniest of things said to us, or that we have read or seen can form such an important piece of our core. I both love, and hate that. There are people in my head that simply haven’t earned that spot – and yet, there they are. In word form.
But it all comes together and, I think, makes me a better person for dealing with life.
Well, that wasn’t what I expected…
Man. If there’s one thing that I have to stop and really concentrate on from time to time it’s this one. From sexy time to zip lining to driving a fast car to births and all of the stuff of life. I’ve found that so many times it’s easier to get through the tough stuff by thinking about the fact that things are never quite what they seem.
So many times, it’s more than that. To tie this to this blog, sexy time terrifies me when it comes to impact stuff, to ouchy things, to more edgy stuff. I think and re-think about it and me and how it’s odd that it sounds fun and what does that say about me??? But then, when it’s all over, I look back and try to rationalize my expectations vs. reality. “Hard Nope” items excepted, it’s just never what I expected, and in reality, is fun to experience, explore and … feel. It was totally worth it. And if I can continue to push to just embrace things, I get that much more time to look forward to it and experience it.
For normal life stuff, when the crap of life is raining down (hey, it happens to all of us), if I can stop and bring in the focus – the radius of what I’m really able to control and work through, rather than all of the 4,564,321 related things that MIGHT happen, that I simply have zero control or impact on, I can much more easily work through it.
Then, afterward, again, I look back and realize it didn’t go like I expected, not at all. Doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Doesn’t mean it didn’t go crappy. But, I find that if I can pull in that focus circumference, I am more good to others, to myself, and that whatever “the best of the situation” ends up being, we can generally get closer to that.
When the shit hits the fan, I try, very hard, to remember this. That it’ll work out.
It’s never your fault
Early in my career, I had a boss that was a … turd. But, I’ll never forget when he was going after me for this or that, and I was answering his questions about what happened and why, he just stopped and waved his hands in frustration at me.
He sat down, looked me in the eye and said (paraphrasing)… “It’s *NEVER* your fault. It’s never in your control. It’s always on someone else.”
This smacked me in the face hard. I never wanted to be out of control again (ahem, except, ya know, Charmer… many, many years later) and I took responsibility for stuff in life. Good and bad, tasks, responsibilities, etc. And I realized it was completely disarming to him too. I owned that stuff. He’d come after me, I’d tell him what I did, why, and take responsibility for it. Not in a martyr way, but in an owning it way. I found that it completely deflated the issue and let us move on to what needed to change to address this or that. No more blame game.
It changed my life, and for the better, I believe.
I’m not perfect in this, but it’s become a core value. Also known as “Own your shit.“
This too shall pass
My Dad’s favorite “it’ll be ok” line. I used to hate this, seeing it as dismissal. But then he used it when things were going particularly well. He didn’t mean it badly, it was just sort of a make hay while the sun shines thing. It made me realize that, indeed, this too shall pass. Be present. Enjoy things. Deal with things.
Horribly cliche’. But, it’s helped me rationalize my way out of those extraordinary peaks (pay attention and enjoy the hell out of it, whatever it is, because you’ll want more of it!) and valleys (this will pass, you’ll get through this). I’m not a fan of cliche’ things. Really. But this can really help me both enjoy, and work through things.
Never apologize, unless it’s real, sincere
I’ve learned this from many different people. Seeing how they respond to an apology for small things, big things. There are a lot of people very jaded to any kind of apology. I even know people that see it as a sarcastic dismissal of a situation. I work really, really hard to never do that. If I’m saying I’m sorry for something, I’m 100% sincere.
I know this because I see the words forming in my brain before they come out – and I try to force myself to consider how it will be taken. I’ve seen too many people hurt by dismissal, too many people get more angry by a fake apology and things spiral out of control in an instant. It’s not worth it, if there are better words, use them.
But sometimes, it’s just important to say you’re sorry, and sincerely own that shit.