Letting Go

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Often one of the most difficult things to do is letting go … letting go of fears, negative thoughts, pain from being hurt, the need to be in control, , the need to be right, expectations that things will be the way we want them to be, guilty feelings, the notion that others will change their ways because we want them to, negative feelings such as anger and disappointment, and plenty of other things.  Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of tangible objects too because they are sentimental and remind us of someone or something.  So in that case, letting go is difficult because we are trying to hold on to our past or our memories.

While letting go is not easy to do, sometimes it is harder not to.  But if we don’t, then all the things we are holding onto prevent us from moving forward or living in the moment because they weigh us down.  They can cause stress and frustration and prevent us from focusing on the positives, what’s really important in life, and what we need to do to make changes so that we can move on to bigger and better things.

Fear of change can be pretty powerful, but sometimes we just need a little push or to get to the point where we are willing to let go of whatever is holding us back.  For me, there seems to be a connection with getting rid of stuff I no longer need or that is cluttering up my house (or my brain) and wanting to make changes for the better.  It is both cleansing and motivating.  Sometimes the decluttering motivates me to make other changes, even if it’s just in my attitude about things, and sometimes my desire to make changes motivates me to purge.

There are plenty of things I would not ever want to let go of though, and those would be my dreams and hopes for what’s to come for myself and my kids; the important people in my life whom I cherish; the willingness to learn and grow to be a better person, to have an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt, and to be kind and empathetic to others; and my desire to make a positive difference somehow. Maintaining a positive outlook is definitely easier once I consciously let go of all the negative thoughts and feelings.  It’s something I struggle with at times, but I am working on it.

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Finding Balance

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This is something that can be difficult to do, but it is very important for both our mental and physical health.  This can encompass so many things from what we eat to how we choose to spend our time.  Maintaining a good balance of foods is always good for your health.  We shouldn’t be working and getting things done all the time and leave no time for play.  We need to make time in our schedules for doing active things so that we are not too sedentary.  Parents need to find balance between how much time they spend with their kids and how much time they save for each other.  And they should make sure there is a balance in their parenting styles so that one parent isn’t viewed as the fun parent while the other is seen as “the nag” who only is concerned about the kids getting their things done.  Some people tend to focus more on meeting others’ needs and forget to make sure they devote some time to their own well-being.  We can easily blame others for things that go wrong or are not right in our lives, but sometimes we need to step back and assess our part in the situation and admit to our mistakes, if we made any.  At times we may find ourselves needing to hold on while other times needing to let go.  We may find ourselves focused on all the negative things happening to and around us, but at some point it all becomes easier to deal with when we can shift gears and find the positives and things for which we can be grateful.  Sometimes we need to find balance between wants and needs.  And there are times where we will be more apt to make decisions based on our fears and playing it safe, while other times we may be more willing to get out of our comfort zone and take chances.  The thing I struggle with is while spending too much time reflecting on the past and thinking about the future, I forget to enjoy the present.

These things are all great areas to strive for balance, but we shouldn’t get too undone if we can’t always achieve that balance all the time.  I look at it more of an overall thing.   Continue reading

Finding Positives in the Negatives

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Wow, here I am at my 100th post already.  Who knew I had so much to say about everyday life!  I didn’t, for one, but having to deal with all the negative situations and people in my life has certainly made me think consciously about what values and character traits I wish to model and pass on to my children and what really is important in life.  Experiencing the negatives has made me think about what I want the positives to be, and having to deal with people who have been a negative influence in my kids’ and my lives has made me appreciate my friends and family who have had a positive impact even more.

I haven’t always been in a place where I can take a step back and focus on the positives in any given situation, but I am now.  It might not happen immediately, but it doesn’t take too long before I am thinking about what I am grateful for and having confidence that I will be able to deal with things, even though it may difficult at times.  It used to be that I would more often let the negatives outweigh the positives, but I’m trying my hardest not to do that anymore, especially thinking about what kind of example I want to set for my kids as to how to approach situations and life in general.

Dwelling on the negatives only leads to a downward spiral, which breeds more negativity.  While we can’t always change our circumstances, we can change how we view them and how we react to them.   Continue reading

Fear

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It’s amazing how many decisions we make based on fear … fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of getting hurt, fear of hurting or disappointing others, fear of rejection, fear of not being in control, fear of being embarrassed, fear of failure, fear of being all alone, fear of making mistakes or the wrong decisions, and so on.  It can be a very crippling feeling that can affect our home life, our work situations, and our relationships, but it’s one we can overcome when we put our minds to it.

Sometimes we may not even be aware that we have a particular fear or that it is driving our thought process and decisions that we make.  Fear of rejection or getting hurt may cause us to put walls up while in a relationship and lose sight of how we really feel about the other person and how important they are to us, but sometimes love is enough to help us conquer those fears.  Fear of failure may prevent us from trying new things or applying for a job or promotion.  So many other examples come to mind.

It is only when we are forced to think about what is holding us back that we may realize the impact of our fear.  And it’s what we do with that realization that is key. We can continue to let fear limit our enjoyment of life and all that we hope to get out of it, which will inevitably lead to feelings of disappointment, resentment, loneliness, regret, and so on.  Or we can make a conscious choice to try to put fear aside.  It may be scary and uncomfortable and/or give us feelings of anxiety, especially for those of us who have difficulty adapting to change, but keeping the end result in mind often helps. There may be plenty of hurdles to overcome, but that’s where confidence, commitment, and support from our friends loved ones come into play.  Figuring out what motivates us to keep pushing forward is a key factor as well.

Of course, not all fear is bad and needs to be overcome.  Imagine what parenting would be like if children didn’t have any fear of negative consequences or disappointing their parents. Certain fears can be very limiting though if we let them. It is very difficult to face our fears or not let them prevent us from moving forward, trying new things, making changes, being vulnerable, and taking chances. Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith and trust that everything will all work out in the end.

Comments are always welcome!  Clicking on the “Home” page tab will allow you to scroll through other posts, or you can select a category or tag word to find similar topics.

Adapting To Change

change 1One of the things that I find most difficult to do is make significant changes in my life.  I like stability and predictability, and sometimes it just seems like such a huge effort to do things differently than I have always done them.  Even upgrading to some new form of technology can seem overwhelming sometimes.  I still have a basic phone, I take pictures with a camera, and I have a very old version of an iPod.  So thinking about much bigger changes like moving to a new house, going back to work, filing for divorce, and other things like that are just daunting.  I barely have enough time in the day to get to the things already on my plate and don’t get enough sleep as it is.  The thought of adding what seems like a huge undertaking to that just doesn’t appeal to me.  All I can think about is the increased amount of stress with so many more details to think about and accomplish.  Yet, I see people around me who seem to handle these things in stride like it’s all part of a day’s work.

Fear of the unknown is a contributing factor as well.  Not knowing if I will spend the rest of my life living on my own or will end up in another relationship and not knowing what my financial situation will be down the road without having been in the work force for a decade and a half are some pretty significant deterrents to filing for divorce.  Finding a job needs to come first.   Knowing there was someone out there who wants to be in a relationship with me and vice versa would be a motivating factor.  That seems to have been the case with several people I know, actually.  Sometimes we need to see the light at the end of the tunnel before we can move towards it. Continue reading