Was it painful to walk away from my reputation, position (Church Elder) and friends held dear for 35 years? Extremely, excruciating. Did I meet good examples of Christianity and come in contact with wonderful people and have good times there? Yes, I did. Could I have gone away quietly and never said a word about the negative things I encountered? Well, If I were a different person, probably so, but that’s not me, and I’m glad it’s not. From the feedback I’ve gotten over the last few months, it was helpful to others and myself to air out the truth of what I see. It was important to break the code of silence, “the smile and don’t talk about it” syndrome that had remained in the back rooms, on phone calls and in corners after church services for many, many years. I needed to have truth and genuineness in my life.
As I’m sitting here eating the whole wheat tortilla that tastes like the lotion in my purse, I’m realizing some things. Success in life is about reaching personal, internal goals, and on our way up that hill, everything is not going to go as planned. Perfection is an illusion. For example, today my usual routine (my planned and perfect routine) had been filling my belly up with fruit in the morning. However, having to get my granddaughter to daycare (let’s blame her) and losing track of time (that’s grandma), I rushed out of the house and barely got to work on time. Hence, the lotion infused tortilla. It’s OK though, that I didn’t do my perfect plan because that’s life.
The more I learn about myself on my healing journey, the more I realize how insidious perfectionist tendencies can be.
By the way, I am down another 2 lbs. since the last post. Hooray for me! Suck on that 56 year old metabolism!
I was at a Toastmasters meeting last night and as I sat in the room, I realized how uncomfortable I felt. It was not them at all. It was me. I tend to feel uncomfortable in a room full of people but I wondered why? I’m a great one-on-one conversationalist, but small crowds scare me. Not large ones mind you, because I’ve preached to hundreds of people at a time (so weird how that works) and amazingly it’s easier than the small crowd for me. The problem is my internal insecurities. It’s all in my head. Call me crazy, but I keep feeling people are judging my every move in those situations. Even more so if it’s people I don’t know. The feeling overwhelms me that I’m going to say the wrong thing, that I won’t be witty enough or that I’ll be judged by something stupid I blurted out.
The worst part is that in a smaller group, I can actually see and feel their reaction. So, my tendency is just to stay quiet in those situations. I smile and nod so they won’t notice me too much. But I want to get better and conquer this part of my life. I’m adult! Enough of the high school/elementary school feelings that come flooding back to me.
There’s a portion of the meeting where someone throws out a topic and on the spot a volunteer has to give a 1-2 minute speech on the subject. So I decided to be brave tonight and get practice doing this. I did OK, but I felt so unsure of myself doing it. I wouldn’t say I failed, but I just didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I’m sure I was at least average.
So here’s a goal I need to work on: being a better off-the-cuff speaker. Fear has to go.
I am learning that perfectionism creates fear and fear stops me from growing.
If you don’t acknowledge the need to change, how can you grow and become better? Change takes daily acknowledgement, making intentional statements to yourself and making decisions to DO the actions that will make the change a part of your life.
This is my new quote this week:
The difference between failure and success is not much more than the changes we choose to embrace from one moment to another, one day to another. —therightmessages.com
Feel free to share your experiences below with public speaking or goals you’re trying to reach–or just maybe you can relate to all this craziness.
A few interesting facts about young people.
- Children are not blank slates on which adults imprint knowledge
- Children who grow up in stressful environments with strict parents are more likely to develop the habit of overthinking as adults.
- Play-based learning activities increases a child’s attention span.
- Children can organize information in their memory starting at age 7.Your younger child will be able to remember things, but starting at age 6 she can use strategies for learning to memorize. At age 7, she can then use patterns and other tricks to help her even more.
In the interest of life balance and having time for spiritual reflection, here’s a piece about life balance and social media.
The glitter covered black hole we call social media has slid its way into our hearts and homes, and we have welcomed it with open arms. Well, most of us, anyway. It introduced itself as something fresh, exciting, and full of potential. It became our communication, entertainment, relaxation, our eyes into parts of the world we couldn’t see; even a source of income. It was everything we needed in our new found relationship.
Then like any relationship, the true colors and intentions started to reveal themselves. Now there’s a decision that needs to be made by us. Do the negatives outweigh the positive? Are we willing to give our whole beings to this entity? Have we done so already?
You were born an original, Don’t die a copy – John Mason
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.– Aristotle.
The understanding and meaning behind these philosophies have died with us. In this day and age between Instagram, reality tv shows, and going “viral,” everyone is becoming everyone else. We need to all have the same bodies, the same mindset, the same clothes. If you god forbid dare to be different, you’re not “in”; you’re lame, primarily, you’re not enough according to the younger population. A lot of people are generic while screaming authenticity. All while shaming and gossiping about those who are so bold as to just live, being themselves.
Social media has pulled the curtain over our eyes and told us the lights were off. There have been several cases where based off of what people have posted or said on Facebook or Twitter, someone else has ended up fighting, dead, or in the hospital. It was supposed to be an outlet for us to express ourselves without criticism or hate. Yet, the world we live is has turned that dream around and twisted it into something we can’t get rid of.
Everyone is watching everybody else and forgetting about loving themselves.
The negative side of social media has shown its horns while convincing people
that it simply comes with the territory. Humans are already fickle, to begin with, so we begin to make excuses. We have become slaves to what we see and hear. The way that we all in some way or form depend on our phones and apps as ways to escape our everyday reality is disheartening, but it is honest. With the media and social media, we are rarely given the opportunity to make a truthful decision for ourselves. Although I believe social media has its perks, it also can pit us against each other. It can pit us against ourselves and who we truly are. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and what we’re seeing is tainting us.
There should be a balance, we can’t let this outlet for communication and connection destroy our communication and connection to those around us. Social media has rudely interrupted our regularly scheduled program called “ Life’. It’s not just going to go away, but sometimes it’s good to put the phone or laptop away and read a book, go outside, talk to a stranger. There’s more to this cycle that we’re living. It’s time to live our lives, and not from behind a screen. Besides, it’s just social media.
Written by Guest Contributor
My daughter Sydney is a professional stylist, a mom, and a student at Harold Washington College.
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