It occurred to me today on my walk with the dogs that the grass in this picture that I took not only managed to grow up through the cracks in this heavily traveled main street in my neighborhood, but it has even managed to push out some of the pavement. Not only did the grass have the pavement as an obstruction, and the heavy traffic, but it is also winter!
I was thinking about the many occasions in my life when I just felt stuck or trapped. Other times I was scared or frustrated that I couldn’t see my way out of a situation. There were also the dark nights of the soul. I know I’m not alone here. We all go through “stuff.” The point is, we “go through.” Sometimes WE go through, and other times we can’t even recollect how the heck we GOT through, right? The point is, we did, and we likely will again! It is hard to remember or have the patience for it when we are in the thick of it. But is is imperative that we remember!
So back to this grass…. 🙂 Here is the good news part. That grass can’t “see” the light, yet it is designed to reach upward towards the light — even in the dead of winter; even underneath tons of pavement; even with vehicles running over it many times a day; even covered completely in darkness; even without external encouragement. We would consider these conditions less than favorable, and perhaps even impossible. Yet it grows.
I am not known widely for my patience, but as I have grown older, I am learning daily to just let things “be” and wait them out. I suppose that’s growing. What I know is that it almost always works out, but when it doesn’t and I look back, it really did work out for my highest good. I suppose that’s growing, too… the realization of that. I did some big growing standing on that street looking at that grass for a few minutes. Now I know that it’s not just about waiting it out, but there’s something for me to do while I’m “stuck” or “trapped” or “can’t see.”
They Better Recognize!
There will be those for whom you will never be enough, and that’s okay! It’s okay because they probably aren’t enough for themselves anyway. They are already torturing themselves without even realizing it. Resist participation in the “Not Enough” game.
There will be those that will say one thing to you when they’re happy with you, and turn around and say the exact opposite when they aren’t. Resist the confusion by this confused person. It’s a ploy to pull you into their snare. Do not enter. You don’t need them to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong about you. If you listen to your heart, you already know the truth of the matter.
There will be those who will intentionally say or do things to hurt you. Let’s be clear, this person is a bully. It may indeed hurt, but that doesn’t mean they are right. Let someone you trust know how you are being treated just as fast and as often as you can. Don’t keep this perpetrator’s secrets about who they are, and stop buying into the secrets you are beginning to believe about yourself. This is how they feed! Don’t believe the negative ad campaign, and don’t feed the monsters.
There will be those that will fall short of their promises to you. I’m not talking about false promises; I’m talking about promises made before they had any idea of what the follow-through would have to be. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” sometimes means that person can’t hold up to their lofty promises. Frustrating, yes, but it means nothing – absolutely nothing – about you.
There will be those who will offer to loan you money, or do other favors for you in order to have some control in and over your life. This is one way they keep you “loyal.” Do not deal with this person, and do not be this person. Favors should be from the heart with no expectation of the receiver. (And, no, I’m not talking about the legalities of a money loan. I am speaking about your personhood.)
Predators are everywhere, and they aren’t just of the violent and/or sexual nature. If someone purposes to bring you down, they are preying on you. Recognize when someone is doing this to you, and don’t fall for it. They are lonely down there and wish you harm for their own gain.
There will be those that discount your feelings, your health, your struggles. Believe in yourself and don’t let these issues define you. As well, don’t let what people refuse to understand define you either. Break free from their thinking.
There will be those that are just simply unhappy, angry people. They will create things to blame on you, and they will incite your belief and bewilderment in their story. If it sounds outlandish, it is! You can NEVER be responsible for someone else’s happiness. An unhappy person will be unhappy no matter where they go or whose company they keep. Notice that unhappiness just follows these people. You truly never will be enough of anything for these types. If they can’t make themselves happy, they also cannot make YOU happy. Also, do not depend on someone else for your own happiness. You own this one for yourself, like it or not, as do they.
If you can’t physically distance yourself from these kinds of people, at least do not allow them to take up space for free in your thoughts, as your thoughts are at the forefront of your well-being. Do not allow their insidious nature to take over. You guard your heart and mind through your thoughts. Someone may be able to take over physical space, but only you hold the key to your thoughts. Don’t give it away, and keep these people out of your head. This you do have 100% control over.
Now it’s up to you! (It always has been, actually.)
I say these things so matter-of-factly, I know. It is work to be on guard and to be our own biggest advocate, but the payoff is freedom and power. A very important piece of this is also recognizing the people in your life that are good for you, that love you just because they do. These are the people that you want to surround yourself with. These are the people that are worthy of your time, caring, and concern. The more you surround yourself with these people, the less space there is for the others. This is what being responsible for yourself looks like. It’s up to you to be different. If you’re waiting around for people around you to change, you’re on the wrong track. Be responsible. Nothing changes until your own thoughts and actions do.
Are you keeping that friend around who hurts your feelings or never shows up for you? Why? Are you keeping that potential suitor around just in case another better one doesn’t come along? Why? Are you still going to the family gatherings only to be treated like a stepchild? Why? In the pretend act of not hurting someone else’s feelings, what do you think you are doing to yourself? Certain situations may be unavoidable at times, but that’s when I refer you back to guarding your thoughts!
We have this fairy tale that we aren’t responsible for how our lives turn out. This tale allows us to ignore responsibility and refuse to take action, which oddly enough IS action and shows up all over our lives. All you have to do is look at how your life is going, and I’m not talking about how you coordinate it to look on the outside. I’m talking about your real life – how it looks from the inside. We all know a horrible person whose life looks like it is unfairly working out so well for them. (Someone just popped into your head, right?) But trust me, were you able to be in their skin, it is not that at all. So watch out for that envy! The shiny things aren’t always what you think, and there is a price to be paid.
You are your best asset!
My Papa told me once to listen only to me in the end. He said that people’s opinions were only worthwhile up until they start making you feel bad, vs. making you think. As usual, he was right. Of course. (Smile.) I have come to understand this better as I get older and have become more practiced at it. I was 13 when we had this talk, and dealing with some bullies at school. I was feeling very unsure of myself, and he was very clear to me that the girls that were hating on me and bullying me were very unhappy people and wanted to make an example out of me and a few other friends. He was very clear with me that I should not turn around and be that way to someone else in order to fit in or make myself feel better as they were doing to me. He was also very honest and enlightened me to the fact that these people would always be around, and the best thing I could do was trust in myself. He and my mother both taught me that being a happy person in spite of it was the best medicine.
There will be moments when you perceive that you are all you have. You just have to remember that indeed you do!
It’s time to grow right where I am.