Archive For The “Thoughts” Category
Are you a weed?
Seems like an odd question to start an article with, but, none-the-less this is the heart of this conversation. So let’s jump into this one head first. I love thinking about words. It is a strange thing to some I’m sure and for others it’s something that they never do which is why I think their vocabulary is nothing longer than four letters. We should start off by looking at the word itself.
1. a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
2. any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted:
The vacant lot was covered with weeds.
6. a wretched or useless animal, especially a horse unfit for racing or breeding purposes.
You can obviously tell that I omitted some of the ones that were not relevant to this discussion. Now that we have the definition out of the way, I can begin to explain my thoughts surrounding the question.
I was sitting at our table lazily looking out the front windows and letting my mind wander about like a loose cow. I was really trying not to think, but lo and behold the voice in my head whispered to me in a knowingly way, “Are you a weed?” At first I was taken aback, shocked that someone would ask if I was a weed. But then I got to thinking about it, and I answered, “At times, yes.”
So then my mind went to the races with this thought. It has been over three days and I finally gave into it and wrote this article so it would leave my brain alone. Seems strange but it is the only way I can get mental peace and quiet, at least until another question gets asked. The way I’ve always thought about it has been definition #1. And this could be anything; clover in a wheat field, grass in a clover field, wheat in a grass field, etc. It is undesirable in a certain area, but welcomed with open arms in another. Stuff like this can really boggle my mind when I think about it. It is the exact same thing, but depending on where it grows is how it is valued. Think of people with this one. People in the cities are the exact same as the people in the mountains which are just the same as the people living on the beach which are just the same as people on a boat. We all have a head, two arms, two legs, and other similar qualities that make us human. But, we change the value of people based solely upon where they were raised. This is really divisive and extremely judgmental. Who are we to say what a person is worth based on where they were raised?
#2 is where I’m going to pick on people. If you have sensitive feelers, you should skip this paragraph. Have you seen that person that thinks they are better than everyone else? Are you one of them? Let’s look at it and ourselves really hard for a moment. It starts off by saying, any undesirable or troublesome plant. Okay, for our example we have to change the wording. Here is how it should read; any undesirable or troublesome person. Wow, that made a difference. Now think about this, how many people do you know that wouldn’t miss a beat to spray a weed with weed killer? I work with retail and there is a herbicide section that gets stocked, a lot.
So what does that say for you if you are a weed in someone’s eye?
#6 is one that I hadn’t heard before, but I still like it. Are you completely useless? Not even fit for breeding? That seems a little harsh, but there are people out there in the world that are in that category. I have my days where I struggle with feeling like I’m actually worth something. They are tough to get through. Trust me, I know a good deal about it.
Okay, enough beating people over the head with the hard stuff. Let’s look at what we can do about it.
It’s an amazing thing when people take control of their lives. We see it more often in the weight loss area, but also with people that want to quit smoking or drinking. However, we can also do so much more with ourselves on a personal level. Here is the problem with that…
We want things to happen instantly.
But unless you spray your garden with a herbicide, getting rid of the weeds and seeing the change happens slowly. Painfully slow actually. Which is why most people find change to be a hard thing to deal with because it takes so long to take a noticeable effect. It isn’t that the new diet you’re on isn’t working, it’s that you are not seeing dramatic enough results from it. I’ve tried losing weight in numerous ways in the past so I understand what this can feel like.
Here is another concept to think about concerning weeding and change in our life. Who around you needs to be weeded out? Got some friends that are not necessarily the best fit for where you want your life to go? Grab a hold of the root ball and give it a solid yank and get that thing out of your life. The same can be said for family members. Just because you’re related doesn’t mean you have to be around them. People have more power and control over their lives than they understand.
I’m going to sum up my thoughts now with this; Don’t be a weed that needs removed. Be the plant that provides for others around you. Whether that be a small pepper plant, or a massive oak tree. Do what you can with what you have.
1. Engage with God.
What can we do today to get in close proximity to our God? It’s just as easy as speaking to a close friend or a favorite cousin. Seriously, it’s easier than a lot of people realize. He is a loving and caring God that has been there for us before we ever conceived. It blows my mind at times to think about how much He has done for me in my life; even long before I confessed His name as my Savior. This is #1 on my list because it’s #1 in my life.
2. Power poses.
This sounds completely hooky and ridiculous, but it works. Do a quick search on ‘power poses’ and you will find everything you need to do them. My personal favorite? Superman pose. Sounds dumb don’t it? Here is what it does for me: Lengthens my spine and relieves back pain, opens my chest and allows me to breathe easier in a stressful situation, enlarges my presence when someone is trying to dominate the situation, gives me something to do with my hands besides shoving them in my pockets.
Let’s look closer at my reasons. When I’m experiencing back pain (I work quite a bit and hard tasks usually come my way) I seek relief the same as others. But, doing this simple exercise will pull my compacted spine apart giving me some relief.
Stress is not my friend. While there is a discussion about the good and bad stress and how it helps and harms us, this is not where we’ll speak of it for now. When you are stressed, what is one of the first things you do? Take a big breath and blow it out? I do. This is a method people use to try to release the tension and it helps a little. When the next time you feel overwhelmed, do this; assume a power pose and look at a small part of the problem that you can take care of right then and there. Regardless of how deep a hole you feel like you’re in, you can always do something small that will add up in the end. (Look up the story about the older donkey that falls in the well and the owner decides to bury him in it.)
3. Bolster confidence levels.
First let’s look at the words above. (I love written words and the weight they carry and I’ll show you how powerful the three above are.) Bolster means ‘to boost.’ What this means is that whatever you want to bolster, you want to raise it to a higher level. Confidence is a scary word for a lot of people. i Confidence means: noun 1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing, 2. belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance, 3. certitude; assurance. That can mean everything or nothing, depending on the person. Finally, levels. That is an easy one. Levels are the measurement of a given subject by which we can tell where it compares to itself at another point in time. In layman’s terms; we have ups and downs.
Now, quickly let’s look at how all this pulls together. If you have confidence levels that are not where you want them to be, you bolster them to raise them to a level you are happy or content with. What does this mean for us? You must have a high confidence level if you want to succeed at a task.
4. Realize that your feet are on the same ground as everyone else.
This is one that I believe tons of people struggle with. We all see the wealthy actors, athletes, politicians, musicians and think that they are above us in some way. Let’s pop that bubble right now. They walk on the same ground as you and I do. They are not gods among the mortals simply because they have more money or popularity than we do. I don’t want that because then everyone is looking for a handout and if you don’t give them one, they look for ways to stab you in the back to get what they want. Sounds like a great life don’t it? (That was trimmed out in sarcasm just in case you didn’t read that correctly.) We are all on the same plain of ground and no one is above anyone else, so stop treating others like they are your betters when they are not.
5. Listen to powerful music.
When I’m writing, I listen to music to help pull the emotions out. If it is a calm and peaceful situation, I’ll find that to listen to. Same goes for when I’m about to enter a really stressful situation, I’ll blast the rock music. Skillet by far is my favorite band to listen to. I can know that the language they use will not contain profanity, so I can listen to it blaring without the fear of offending others. (I can’t hear lyrics so this is something that I have to be conscious about.)
6. Know that your life is in your hands.
You are in control of your life. That is power in itself. If you don’t like where your environment is taking you, move. I’m an absolutist and see things in black and white which causes conflict with people I encounter throughout my life. No one likes the absolutes, because it reveals when we mess up and no one likes that. Is someone bullying you? Stand up to them. Is someone belittling you? Stand up to them. This is your life, don’t let others live it for you.
7. Change can happen.
That sounded almost like a cuss word didn’t it? Change. It makes people flinch and recoil in pain. The upper lip pulls back revealing a fierce snarl. But wait, I can look like this too when people refuse to change. Funny how that works, huh? We all want the world to be a better place but when you mention the word change, you get a physical reaction to it. I find this strange and hard to believe at times. “I’m happy in my misery.” This is what people are saying but what they mean is, “I’m happy in my misery because I’m too scared to change. What do I have if I’m not miserable?” This is just my opinion here, but, I have found myself saying the same thing. If I don’t have my misery, what else is there? My jaw dropped when I found myself saying that. We don’t want to change because we will lose our misery. Go figure that one out.
8. Make mistakes.
Make mistakes until you are blue in the face. Why? Because this is how you learn. So you didn’t do something right the first time, BIG DEAL! This happens all the time to everyone, don’t think that you are excluded from this. The reason we make mistakes is to learn. But, the only real mistake you can make is not learning from them. That is when you need to slap yourself on the forehead and tell yourself that you are a dolt.
I’m not saying that people are less because they make mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes with things that I get really freaked out when something works right the first time. I usually take a few steps back and prepare for an explosion. Because did I just do it right the first time?
Do this: anyone that uses a computer keyboard for work, look at the keys on the right hand side. You will see two in particular that shouldn’t exist if we were meant to do things right the first time. Namely the backspace and delete keys. If we are people that do things right the first time without error, why would we need these? And don’t get me started on ‘auto-correct’ for supposed ‘smart phones.’
9. Pursue what you enjoy.
This will be a short one because it is probably the simplest. If you enjoy something, pursue it and you will get better at it. Practice makes perfect and if you practice what you love, you will perfect it.
Get in touch with me about your thoughts. Did I forget something? Was I too vague with a topic you were hoping to find more on? Let me know because I’m here to help and encourage people. I’m not looking to gain anything except a ‘thank you.’
The words within swell and crash upon my mind as the water breaks on the rocks. Constantly hitting me again and again without remorse. “Allow us in!” are the shouts I hear. “Do not withhold us, permit that we should be one with you” they beg.
“I cannot permit you.” My thoughts have been corrupted by you before and it shall not be so again.
“We are different now. We harbor no ill will that would make you want to refuse us. Please allow us permission.”
They have quieted down to gentle pressure. A small insignificant pressure that deceives one into thinking they can bear it alone. I ask myself, “Do I dare attempt wading through these calming flood waters? The storm is past and all that remains is this water in the streets.”
It would be a simple task to undertake. Just simply walk through the water. It offers little resistance to your efforts. Walk.
Tempting as it sounds, I know the hidden dangers of murky water. While water sustains life it also has an unquenchable thirst for victims. This devilish beast is smiling and toying with its prey.
“No. I will not allow you to manipulate my thoughts any longer. Be gone with you, I have no use of you.”
As the waters recede, I look around and see the destruction it caused. This has not been the worst storm I have seen in my life. It shall not be my last either.
(Dealing with hardships have often led me to writing out my feelings. It gives me a sense of release. It has been the safest method I have found.)
How do you weather your storms?