Does It Really Make a Difference?

I do my best to be engaged and concerned when someone is relating a story to me. Really I do! But there are times, and I know you’ve been there, when I just look at the person and say, “And, you’re telling me this because…?”

Sometimes we just need to vent. I get that. My friend, Nancy, and I used to have an agreement that I could call to bitch about anything I wanted for exactly five minutes. No more. She would cut me off at five minutes, done or not. Well, I might not have thought I was done, but Nancy was and that was that.

At some point it behooves us to take a deep breath and say, “Does it really make a difference?” We may be terribly upset about the way someone has treated us. Or perhaps someone has walked away from a commitment she or he has made to us or to our organization. It’s done. It’s over. We can pick up the pieces and get on with our life, or we can whine, scream and moan. Why would we choose the latter?

You see, the simple truth is that some people bless us by coming into our lives and some people bless us by leaving. This works personally, professionally and in our communities or organizations. Ever notice how some people can leave a group or relationship with dignity, class and mutual respect, while other people have to make everyone wrong, create havoc and basically re-define what it means to be a raging drama queen?

We don’t have to be the latter. We also don’t have to be affected by someone who does. Know that in the universal scheme of things, all is progressing exactly as it should. It may not look pretty at the moment, but when the dust settles the right people will be involved and the perfect outcome will be assured. By feeding the drama with our crazed upset we are only continuing to strengthen the psychic bond we wish to severe.

Take time this week to let go of the drama of change and embrace the flow of peace in your life. The people that leave us are making room for the people who want to be with us. And so it is!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

It’s Warm

We like to be comfortable. We also expect to dictate how we want to have our comfort. We become annoyed when our comfort is compromised. Many an American has been appalled at what other countries (even European nations) consider a 3-star hotel. Americans, at least a good number of us, aren’t real good about sharing a small bathroom down the hall with strangers.

My Grandma Esther had a number of sayings that I look upon as sage wisdom. Before she became a Christian she had a mouth on her that could make a sailor blush. Even after her conversion she was known to “let loose” on occasions that particularly got her goat.

I remember a time when she said she felt like she was up to her neck in horse manure, though Grandma had a more colorful way of describing said item, which I choose to leave out of this blog – though I’m sure you get the picture. She said that “after a while you get used to the smell and at least it’s warm.”

(I do hope you’re not eating...) Grandma was a loving, giving individual, but she was also satisfied with putting up with situations in her life, which often became the topic of her woes and allowed her to wear the mantle of a “good Christian martyr.”

When the initial reaction to this rather gross analogy wears off you may see the wisdom in her thoughts. You may not be in a situation you find pleasant, but the truth is you may find it comfortable because it’s familiar. Maybe it’s a job or a relationship. It’s not ideal, it might even be abusive in some way, but it’s what you know. Change can be scary at times. Sometimes we can be so afraid of what will await us on the other side of change that we stay stuck in the crap (pun intended) we are in.

Like whipped cream on garbage (looks pretty on the outside until the whipped cream starts to sour), it’s still not a pleasant situation and probably not anything we would want for another person. Yet we put up with some of these distasteful situations in our own lives.

There are other ways to be comfortable. Being surrounded with nurturing companions is one way. Working in a job or career we love is another way. We might decide real comfort is relaxing in a warm bubble bath or Jacuzzi. In our lives we can choose the tubs we wish to enter and fill them with what we determine will warm us. When given the option, which we are, I’m leaning toward a more bubble bath-type experience for my life than what Grandma Esther described. What about you?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Gentle Persuasion

Many years ago I was part of a sales team. Management wanted us to approach our customers with a lighter method than our competitors. What was being used more commonly at the time was a very aggressive, “in-your-face” technique that amounted to bullying customers into buying. Our company came up with a conversational technique called “gentle persuasion.”

It has been a long time since I worked for that company. Perhaps the reason I remembered it was because I was thinking about how political candidates and special interest groups attempt to influence us. Advertising becomes more aggressive as we near the election. Thinking about these two approaches gave me cause for pause in how I approach people with whom I differ.

When we disagree on topics some of us feel compelled to defend our position aggressively. Some people might justify their approach on the admonition of the apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:15). Unfortunately, the intent of that counsel has been bent over the years. Peter said to be “ready to make a defense” for the “reason for the hope (or faith) in you”. That passage has been used as a basis for justifying hard line proselytizing many times.

But there’s more to the scripture and it includes how to make that defense. The rest of the scripture says to do so “with a mild temper (or gently) and deep respect.” We often miss that subtle nuance when defending our position. If we must live our lives on the defense it requires us to fight for what we want. Being on the offense can be just as damaging to our spirit. With that ideology we can end up spending our time scheming to take what we want.

There is another way to live life and state our position to others. It requires a decision on our part and it is not one that is easy for some people. Like all the principles of the Science of Mind, this principle is a simple one, yet simple is not synonymous with easy. The decision we must make is to acknowledge that as convincing as our arguments might be it is entirely possible we will be unsuccessful in convincing others to take up our position.

That’s hard for many. It requires us to believe that regardless of what we see before us or no matter how much potential we recognize in the life of our friend or partner, we must allow others to believe and live their lives as they see fit. It is easier to do this when we come to the table with a sincere desire to understand, instead of gearing up for a fight or a conquest.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry