“You Really Should…”

Actually, by the time you get through reading the blog this week I hope you’ll see “you really shouldn’t!” I’m not one to “should” (ahem) on others. I can tell you without reservation that I’m re-discovering enough of my own character defects through a year-long course I’m taking that I really don’t have time to worry about what you should be doing, fixing, stopping or starting.
It is usually with good intentions when someone tells us we should be doing this or that. We often feel such compassion when we see others struggling, particularly if the situation is similar or seemingly identical to something we’ve worked through in the past. We may decide the solution that worked for us is a ready-made template which our friend should use to solve his or her dilemma.
That’s not a great idea. First of all, a little struggle can be a good thing because we are rewarded with great satisfaction when we solve the problem or work through the situation. Second, no situation is identical, so what worked for us may not be applicable at all to them. As loving supporters we can be there to coach our friends along as they work through their own issues. Asking how we can support a friend is usually more effective than offering an unsolicited litany of suggestions of what they should be doing.
It’s so much easier to see the solution to someone else’s problems, is it not? Yet, our superficial assessment of their situation may not take into consideration all the events and actions that led up to the current problem. It also brings to mind the scripture that suggests we take the rafter out of our own eye before extracting the splinter from our brother or sister.
The next time you’re tempted to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t be doing, be willing to stop, take a breath and know the Truth about them. That Truth is that they are Divine Spirit in human form, infinitely capable of changing whatever their consciousness got them into. Then ask how you can support them with compassion and empathy.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Do Your Best

I often say in guided meditations that no matter what the situation may look like at the time, everyone was doing the best they could with what they had to work with. We can certainly “Monday Morning Quarterback” any situation, but what’s the point?
Reviewing past situations with the intention to do even better next time, or to avoid the same pitfalls, is exercising wisdom. If, however, our intention is to bitch about what “they” should have or could have done, particularly when we chose not to be part of the process, then there’s really no point in regurgitating the episode. Who needs the drama?
I was criticized today for not supporting something I made clear some time ago I would not be able to fully support. I asked the person, “So basically you feel I failed you when I told you I wouldn’t be able to support you and then didn’t?” Seriously? I get that the person needed a lot more help than was available and in spite of it did an amazing job. I also get that I can only do as much as I’m capable of doing, even if someone thought I should be doing more than was possible.
Of course, this means I disappointed someone. I hate that. You can’t be a successful leader and expect to please everyone – it ain’t happening. If you’re in a leadership position trying to do that I strongly suggest you reconsider your career choice.
But to say I wasn’t pained by the disappointment I heard today would be untrue. I was pained quite deeply because I work so hard to make sure that everyone in my life is supported. Then I remembered that I did exactly what I said I would do. That’s integrity. It may not be what was desired of me, but I followed through, even if that follow through was less than was desired by others.
I’m blogging about this because if I’m upset by this after all the spiritual and inner work I’ve done over the past 25 year plus then perhaps you can see something in your life to which you can relate. We aren’t here to please each other. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t go out of my way to tick people off. But if we are going to live authentic lives then someone is going to be upset with us because we aren’t playing by their rules.
Today was my day to disappoint someone. I feel that person’s pain. I also know that we’ll both live. As my friend, Peggy, says, “It’s just one piddily-ass day. Get over it.”
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

How Do You Call It?

Many people are amazed at the twist, spin and interpretation of recent events impacting the upcoming presidential elections here in the States. The media claims to report the facts, but often the stories are slanted at best and biased at worst.

Political campaigns are a wonderful example of how we form new ideas or hold onto old beliefs in spite of the evidence. People want to believe the good reports about their favorite candidate, but disregard the negative stories as campaign politics. How is that the same in our daily lives?
The Principles of New Thought teach us to decide how we want to experience life. We can allow our past belief system to stop us or we can chart a new course based on what works for us. Sports analogies are not my strong suit, but I found a story recently that speaks to this.
A young umpire was calling his first game and proudly told another umpire, “I call it as it is.” A more experienced umpire chuckled and said, “I call it as I see it.” The oldest, most senior of the umpires was walking by, stopped and looked at them shaking his head. He said, “You both got it wrong. It ain’t nuthin’ till I call it.”
Are you getting the flu, or did you just enjoy a good sneeze? Have you been devastated financially or has the stock market just dipped? Does your spouse no longer love you because s/he forgot to get you a card on a special day?
No one gets to “call it” for us. We have that privilege, but it comes with responsibility. For how we call it determines what we experience. Choose wisely!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Transitions

Last weekend I attended the funeral of a colleague, Sandy Chappell. While I believe that Life is eternal, our existence on this plane as spirits having a human experience is limited.
In Sandy’s case, her years were far too limited for my liking and the liking of her many other fellow flight attendants, pilots, family and friends who attended the services. The fact that she was three months my junior was a jolt to my otherwise confident assumption about my own life expectancy.
I flew with Sandy many times over the past seven years that we were at the DC base. I did not know her well, but she appeared to have lived life fully and without regret. At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe. She was authentic, always smartly outfitted in her original flight attendant hat (no longer an approved uniform piece, but I never knew of anyone challenging her on that!) and, of course, her signature bubble gum pink lipstick. If there was a difficult passenger on board I always knew she could turn the customer around.
I want to be more like she was - sans the lipstick, not my shade – and simply be me. My friend, Arleen, lives by the adage “I neither defend, justify nor explain my actions. I let the results speak for themselves.” I never shared that with Sandy. I believe if I had she would have looked at me with a blank stare on her face as if to say, “Yeah…and?”
Be willing this week to pick up the phone or send a card (you know, the paper kind that requires a stamp) to someone you love. Let them know the difference they’ve made in your life. The Centers for Spiritual Living ministers on our listserv have been doing that this week with an amazing outflow of love and appreciation for those who mentor us in life.
It’s just life. We all have mostly  the same issues. Let’s all help one another to enjoy it to the best of our ability. I think Sandy would have liked that idea. Safe flights now and forever, Sandy.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry