Help you, help you

Happy Monday to you fellow Travellers,

I’ve decided that Spring is nature’s version of bad dating…hear me out. You give me these amazing sunny warm days where I get to lie on my patio in shorts and bask in the splendor, which was yesterday, but then that wonderousness disappears for a few days or more. I don’t understand what just happened, weren’t we having a great time? Or was too exhausting for you? Was my happiness just too much for you? Were you overcome with emotions you weren’t ready for or is it too soon to commit to the next season??

WTF?? How am I suppose to walk my dogs on these crappy borderline Spring-ish fling mornings?

Then I realized, I think this is how it is every year. I get so excited and then so disappointed…expectations do not always serve us well, do they? Certainly not when we can’t differentiate between what we expect and what we just hope for…

And I just think I’ve got alot riding on this one, I’m trying to secure myself on the other side of grief and I just need some cooperation here…but that’s really about me isn’t it? This is not how partnership works. I’m gonna have to sort this one out with relying on Spring…

Since it’s Monday, I thought I would discuss something that I find very helpful and yet challenging. It’s a very necessary perpetual practice in my life. It’s one of the most important skills I have gleamed from therapy.

As I have said before, let’s be clear, therapy isn’t a cure. It’s where I go to learn skills to survive my humanity. And I go to therapy for a sounding board and I’m a big believer that it’s something we need to normalize. Zero shame, all awesomeness that’s what I’m saying…

And it’s just like Robert Frost’s poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

So go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait…

And no, we are not using our cell phones, actually writing the words here is important.

Here is the question my therapist asked me many moons ago: What do you value? Make a list.

And this isn’t a right or wrong answer, but 100% honesty is required. If you are not honest with yourself, you are lying to everyone else as well. And you need yourself here.

What do you value?

Take your time, just listen to what you hear inside. Don’t wait forever, don’t try to make it look like a good list, because you know the answer.

The list does not need to be a novel, just what speaks to you…

Here is most of mine…

HOME, honesty, compassion, Friends/Family, Furry kids, Health/Mobility, Humility, Tenacity, Vulnerability, Acceptance, Discipline, Kindness, Intelligence, Stability, Communication, Learning, Adventure, Inner peace, Trying new things, Bravery and a handful more.

I wrote this list over a year ago, and I’ve actually crossed off some things and added new things since then. Or refined a word. And that’s how we work, our values change based on what we learn about ourselves, right? Our values change based on experiences and the ability to recognize what no longer serves us.

Or maybe we realize there is something we’ve been missing and when we find it, like a little seashell on the beach of life, we pick it up and put in our little mental pockets we all have inside. We want to carry it with us.

Now here is the hard part, this is the bread and butter. This is what it’s all about: do you base your behavior on your values? Or are you basing it on your emotions and immediate desires or need for gratification?? Or is your behavior a misaligned coping mechanism that needs more exploration?

Get honest. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because remember you are the only person in this whole world who will never leave you and therefore, ya gotta learn to like this person and believe in this person. Get on your team. No matter what other persons have told you…

I have my list in my planner, I see it everyday and I find that the more I work on it, the easier it becomes. I’m not saying I get it right all the time, because I don’t… I think we go into autopilot so much in this society that we really don’t pay attention to what we do each day…Do you remember what you did yesterday?

This is not an easy thing, BUT if you will consistently do the work and observe as you are about to make a decision or react or behave in a certain way, you might be surprised to see how often you abandon what you value.

Just pause and ask yourself, does what I’m about to do align with my values? Am I making this choice from that place or where is it coming from?

Make this Monday worth something is what I’m saying… Take in all words I just left here for you. Make a list. Trust me this one time. It works. Not easily, but there is a feeling that this cultivates inside that I would diminish with mere words.

Good luck!! And let me know how it turns out!!