Hindsight Living

 

It was once told to me that “we live our lives forward but we understand it backward.”  As I pondered that phrase, I begin to think about hindsight and how it allows us to put things in their proper perspective.  Not only that, if we are fortunate enough we can use our hindsight to retrieve those nuggets of wisdom that we acquired along the way.  This should not be confused with living in the past but more so taking the lessons that you’ve learned along the way and making them count.  There is a vast difference between dwelling on your past experiences and recognizing the valuable lessons you have learned through life’s journey.

If we understand our lives backward, it stands to reason we should become better, stronger and wiser because we begin to identify with our true person.  This results in knowing who we are and why we do what we do.  As we understand our lives, we should grow and mature to a level where we can appreciate the transitions that take place even when they have been painful experiences.   However, during this process, we can become better equipped to approach life differently and navigate around the pitfalls while knowing what the warning signs are. The joy of hindsight living is we can view our life retrospectively and celebrate the value of what we have gone through.

Rather than becoming disappointed about how you have handled past experiences in your life, use those situations as opportunities to grow through hindsight living; after all, “hindsight is twenty-twenty.”

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We All Have Wings

We all have experienced negative and hurtful words

And some things told we choose not to repeat what we heard

But despite the wounds created that seem they won’t heal

We have to be strong enough to overcome how we feel

We all have wings even when we do not think so

It’s just a matter of using them as we begin to grow

When words are spoken CAN’T, WON’T, EVER, NEVER

Take on the challenge and be even better

Than they ever thought we could be

What we have is more than they can see

We all have wings that need to spread

And take us on our course to get ahead

Misconceptions we should disregard

Or we will remain exactly where we are

We are eagles with an altitude unknown to man

Which tells me whatever the goal, “yes we can”

Chart new territory, blaze a new trail

Do whatever our passion drives us to do and

Dismiss the word fail

We all have wings and the ability to fly

So if we have yet to take flight the question is why

Why have we allowed someone to clip our wings?

Prevent us from moving on to greater things

Confidence in ourselves is lesson number one

Fulfilling the greatness of who we are to become

Sandra R Blythe (c) 2016

*If you like this poetry, go to Amazon Kindle for the ebook or http://mkt.com/robnic-enterprise

Opinions and Judgment

As I awoke this morning, I had two words stuck in my head, opinions and judgment.  I immediately decided this was a great topic to write about for my blog.  Let me preference this by saying if you are not interested in becoming better or healthier in your journey, this probably won’t resonate with you.

When we think about opinions there are not completely factual truths about a matter and often we want to believe opinions should be discounted when they relate to the negative aspect of our character.  However, I believe that growth is inevitable when we are open to others opinions.  While we like to believe, we know what’s best, there are simply moments when a person can share something about you that is worth embracing and processing.  If we are closed off and easily offended, we find ourselves being more defensive than receptive.  We like to say things like, “they don’t know me,” but again there can be value in what one has said even when it’s not comfortable.  Yes, opinions are also the perception of another person’s views, but does that mean it’s not accurate.  Perception can be a reality even though we would like to fight that concept.  Give people the liberty to speak their opinion and take the time to honestly assess its value.

I find judgment to be a slippery slope because initially, some will say “you’re not supposed to judge people.”  They will even go as far as saying “the Bible says….”  The unfortunate part of this is that people misquote what the Bible says and stop at that one passage of “judge not.”  However, to continue that concept and keep it in context, the subject of judgment goes on for the next couple of passages and tells us to “judge by the same measure in which we would want to be judged.”  I’m paraphrasing but I wanted you to get the meaning.  And in the conclusion of that concept, it instructs us to use righteous judgment.  If we wanted to take the Biblical approach, righteous judgment is that which is right and true.  If we were to go outside of that, we would still be able to qualify social judgment as long as it is based on truth, it would still be righteous judgment.  So, that dispels the notion that people cannot judge, but it qualifies how they can judge.  There are times when people pass judgment on us and we resist, deflect and project because we do not want to accept the truth that has been spoken.  We run to the statement “you’re not supposed to judge or we start telling someone you can’t tell me anything, look at yourself….”  Invariably these are approaches we use to denounce something that has been said which has validity.

Here’s what I know to be true when I am willing and open to growing, I can listen without becoming defensive and trying to attack the person who is talking to me.  If my pride is an issue, I am unable to hear anything that has been spoken and attempt to discount what has been said.  Pride and lack of humility can keep us from growing and becoming better as we have convinced ourselves we are already living our best version.  Even if you are living what you believe is your best version, there will always be room to become even better.  Accepting the truth that is negative about you makes you a stronger person as you are humble enough to accept and execute the information.

Criticism can be constructive and we must learn the difference between criticism and constructive criticism so we don’t misinterpret the intentions of others.  Become strong enough to say “if it’s true, I am willing to improve.”  Stop getting caught up in fighting for the position to be right instead of fighting for the right to become better.

 

Removing Toxic People

Last week I presented my workshop The Silence is Too Loud Series I.  I enjoyed this opportunity because I could see there are people who had their ah-ha moments and some who chose to only attend briefly and not return.  I did not take it personally because either they are not strong enough to receive the information or they are not ready to make changes. As I continue this journey of motivational speaking I am learning more about people as well as myself.  You know when people want to grow and move past the obstacles that are keeping them tied down.  We can be our worst enemy and the very person keeping us in captive is ourselves.  That my friend, is a tough evaluation to make and accept to the degree that you are prepared to do something about it.

So, as I presented my workshop sessions for three days, I had people who were there because they needed to acknowledge their truth and wanted to find ways to heal and move forward in their lives.  I found that one of the most intense sections of this workshop is addressing the people who are toxic in your life and walking away from those relationships.  When we have a misguided loyalty to others, it can be to our own detriment.  I would call this a loyalty that is a tragedy because if we are not careful we find ourselves in an abyss that we can’t seem to figure out how to escape.  If we want to become healthy in our thinking and our spirit, we should be willing to evict some people from our personal space and not look back.  Often, we believe that if we let go of certain individuals that we are taking a loss and there will be a void created because of the disengagement; however, I believe we would be pleasantly surprised of the weights that are removed in doing so.  Perhaps we believe this because we have not fully tapped into our own self-worth and ignore the signs of toxic people who bring no value to our lives.  Once we discover and acknowledge our own self-worth, I believe that is a pivotal moment when we are ready to let go and move from a place we were never destined to be.

The lesson that I really want to get across to audience as I present this workshop is the need to identify our wounds and in turn learn how to heal.  There are many facets involved with the process and healthy relationships are critical to our healing as they provide us the support we need.  Everyone does not fit in our space and we must give ourselves permission to step away from those people so that we can grow.

THE PRICE OF TRUTH

The truth will set you free, but it will cost you something.  As I am an advocate of the truth, I recognize that it comes with a price.  We are afraid to give full disclosure and in some instances, the reality is everyone can’t handle the truth.  Yes, we heard that from the movie, “A Few Good Men,” however it is a powerful and accurate statement.   While conducting my workshop of Series 1 of “The Silence is Too Loud,” there is a lot of conversation about transparency which entails truth and it is a component many are challenged with.  As we shed layers to arrive at the core of who we are it requires us to pay the price of truth.

Revealing the truth can be fearful because we don’t know what to expect from others as we begin to disclose our truth.  There can be consequences that result in the loss of friends or people choosing to distance themselves from we because of the truth we have shared. I am a firm believer often situations that occur are purposeful and therefore it was meant to be.  There are unhealthy relationships that may dissolve once the truth has been spoken, but those are the very relationships that needed to be put to rest.  Not everyone is strong enough to handle our truth, thus we must distinction between who we share our truth with and those unable to receive it.

Truth can destroy a person’s perception of who they thought we were and be a disappointment because of the expectations they had.  Despite that being the case, we must be strong enough to own whatever that truth is.  The up side to that is we become healthier in our mental and emotional space as we release ourselves from the false perceptions and unconfirmed expectations people had created about us.

If we choose not to embrace truth head on, we find that we are carrying this extremely heavy burden.  But when we disclose the truth with the right people, we find there are others who are willing to carry the load with us and there is a sense of freedom.  You may ask yourselves who are the right people to share the truth with.   My answer to this question is people who bring no judgment, love you unconditionally, have compassion and empathy for your situation.  Does this mean that we should be dishonest with people who do not fall into this category?  No, it means as previously stated everyone is not strong enough to handle your truth.  Therefore, you will limit the amount of information you share with people who you know will want to judge your situation.  Not only are they not strong enough to handle it, they are genuinely not ready.  Now, I want you to be very clear on what I’m saying, depending on the situation I’m not asking that you surround yourselves with people who will condone your situation in the event it is something you have done wrong, but surround yourselves with people who will support you in your journey to get healthy.  There’s a distinct difference between supporting you in getting healthy in your thinking and behavior versus allies who condone your behavior.

Your truth can be a testimony that will help someone else in their journey.  As others hear your situation it may resemble their own giving them a sense of hope and a bond that will strengthen.

I leave you with this stanza from “The Truth About the Truth,” from my book,  The Silence is Too Loud.

Truth is revealing, appealing
And can create healing
When it is allowed to penetrate the heart
This is the moment acceptance will start
The truth can be welcomed with a sense of joy
Realizing its presence is not going to destroy

 

 

 

 

 

The Experience The Person

 

As I have been considering the next article to post on my blog, this topic continued to push to the forefront.  In keeping with the theme from The Silence is Too Loud, this ties into my poem “Been There, No Longer Live There.”

It can be challenging as we go through life having various experiences and being defined at that moment as being “that person.” However, the greater tragedy is when WE allow our experiences to be the defining moment of who we are, especially when it is a negative connotation.

If we can concede to the idea that we are ever changing, then we can begin to identify that what we experience in a specific space of time is not who we are for the rest of our life.  Perhaps our inappropriate behavior has resulted from some personal issues we are facing.  Or maybe the experience manifested because we were suppressing a greater issue and this was the end result.  There are also experiences that we have during a period where we have not matured, thus were not able to address the issue in a manner that would have been appropriate, whether it was the way we responded or the words which we had spoken.  When I see you several years later I should not expect or anticipate that based on an experience you are still in that same place.  For example, if you were caught in a lie several years ago, and later in life, I see you again, I shouldn’t define you by that experience and maintain a belief that because you lied back then, you are showing up in the present day as a liar.  What happen at that time was an experience that should not define you as “that person.”

If we are unable to make the distinction between experiences and who people are, then they are never given the liberty to grow and mature.  In the process of time our perception changes, our thoughts change and the way we choose to interact with people can also change.  Given these variables why would we want to believe that the experiences people have are absolutely who they are?  Strangely enough, we do not want others to judge us on this same caliber but it is easy to pass this type of judgement.  Why is it difficult to accept that people have graduated from the behavior they may have exemplified in the past?   If someone is addressing our shortcomings, we want to project by talking about what they use to do.  We are looking for an escape route by speaking as if there has been no change in the other person.  Could it be that you have not changed, so you don’t want to give someone else the benefit of the doubt?  One of the most unfair things we can do is believe that people don’t change and they will always be “that person.”  If you are a person who knows you have made changes in your life, let people know that you’ve “Been There, But No Longer Live There.”  With the utmost confidence, own your past but inform people that you have changed your address and you do not live in the negativity that they once witnessed you in.

 

Gifting Your Gift

In a world where our time is valued and selfishly mishandled, we tend to miss the opportunity to gift others with our gift(s).  The attributes and abilities one holds are useful to those around him, however, we do not take the time to recognize the value in extending ourselves unless of course there is a momentary reward involved.  Now, I am not advocating that your time is not worth anything and that everything you do should be without payment; however, there are times we should “give of ourselves” without expectations.

Do we withhold sharing what we have because we become intimidated or afraid that someone will go beyond where we are?  You and I know that happens more often than we would like to admit.  The fear of sharing knowledge or your skills only to see someone get ahead seemingly can appear to be unfair.  Therefore, we hold things close to the chest and at times pretend we do not have the knowledge they seek.  How sad is that commentary of withholding.  There is not anything good that you can do for someone that will not come back to you full circle, some may even call it (as I do) a blessing.

What do you do well that you can extend to others to help develop their skills or uplift their day and make their journey better?  It’s not always something big, it can be as simple as your time to listen, your presence just to sit in silence, or maybe to share in the celebration of one’s accomplishment great or small.  These are important, but we minimize them when we have other commitments which seem more important.  In the meantime, we have robbed someone of our gift(s) and deemed it as something which was not significant enough for us to give of ourselves.  Everyone has something to offer, it’s just a matter of finding what it is.

Sometimes we even question our own abilities and wonder if it would make a difference, therefore we refrain from using what we have as benefit for others.  There is always someone who will need what you have and I would like to stress, it’s not always about money.  You may have knowledge of resources, experiences that provide insight into making good decisions in a specific area, you may have the skills that can be used to truly change someone’s life.  We can be afraid to use what we have not realized the benefit it can be to others.  Now, some of you believe that some of the things I’ve named aren’t really gifts, but when you don’t have it yourself and someone else extends it to you, you then see it as a gift.

Learn to extend yourself and allow people to evolve and grow through the gifts you have and you may find great joy in doing so.  Free your mind and free your time understanding, “to whom much is given, much is required.”

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