My grandmother gave me this wise bit of advice when I had my first job at 15 as a housekeeper at a rural Vermont bed and breakfast.
Society promotes the idea that in order to ‘be somebody’, you must hold a high vocation and be paid astronomical sums of money.
The truth is – every job is needed, or it would not exist. Every person working is essential to the overall picture. No one job is going to make you more important of a person than the next. That is unless that is how you see yourself.
How you see yourself becomes how others see you. What they see is a reflection of what you see and feel about your own self.
Take pride in your job and your work no matter what you are doing, even if it isn’t your dream job at the moment. A truly “small person” takes no pride in their work and feels ashamed or lowered by the very act of doing it. There is never reason for this.
Know that you are important and, just as importantly, in turn take the time to acknowledge that everyone IS someone.
I found myself today feeling down in the dumps. Looking at my bills and my overall financial picture and started in on the “if onlys”. The fact is that you can’t change past happenings or decisions. You can only go from here.
I feel bad because I don’t feel like I am where I “should be”. The question is, according to what or who? I know darn well that there are no accidents in life. You are always exactly where you are meant to be at any given moment.
As kids, from that perspective, we all believed that adults had it together. The truth is, almost no one really has it all together. I am even suspicious that there really is such a thing as an adult at all. What I see is everyone muddling through life, making the best decisions that they can and hoping for the best possible outcome.
With all of that said, this blah attitude I found myself in today made me realize my problem. It’s not that anything is wrong. It’s the perspective has shifted. Somehow, I have fallen out of Gratitude Mode. Rather than looking around and appreciating everything that I have in my world, I have gotten focused on the little bit of lack that is there.
This is a very dangerous slope to be on. Like attracts like and if you are focused on lack, more will be coming.
So, if you also see yourself in what you just read… take my advice I am giving myself and snap the hell out of it.
We all want the very best for friends and family. Many of us have a tendency to take on other people’s problems as if they were our own. We do it out of love, but ironically it can often lead to codependency in relationships as well as self-neglect. I speak from experience in this. My natural inclination in life has been to try and “save” the world, especially those closest to me. Unfortunately, I have found it just doesn’t work that way.
It is difficult to watch someone make, what you believe to be, bad decision after bad decision leading his or her life in a negative or non-progressing direction. We want to intervene, even at times – to grab them and shake them and say “what are you doing!?” and literally shove them in a better direction.
What we have to realize is that as much as we love or care about them that no one can make decisions for them. The only person who can rescue them… is them.
Why do I call Non-Attachment an art?
I call it an art because as easy as the concept is, it takes years, sometimes lifetimes to master.
It is easy to be jokingly callous and step back saying “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. But it’s heart wrenching and unnerving at times to pull back, relinquish the illusion of control, and simply allow that person and situation to be what it is and to work itself out.
Now in saying this I do not at all mean withdraw love or support.
A simple “I am still here and I love you.” Is one of the best statements of caring you can make to another person. There is no better gift than that of unconditional love. In that gift it allows the other person to know that it is ok to try – succeed or fail, you won’t think less of them and you will still be there.
This also allows you the mental and emotional space you need in order to take care of yourself. Getting lost in another person’s issues, regardless of love, is never healthy.
In order for anyone to reclaim their life and get it “Back on Track” that drive and power have to come from within. Owning responsibility for their decisions and their actions will lead them to a place of control and from that feeling of self empowerment comes both self esteem and the start of self love.
Written for: The Alberta Street News – Back on Track Column. Columnist: Sarah J. Barendse
Every day I read things from and hear people saying that they are working, striving, dreaming of attaining and reaching for… All of that is great…
What’s not great is that I also see in some a distinct feeling of not currently being enough, having enough and they aren’t happy.
Goals are wonderful and necessary. They are prized, valued and pushed for in our society. The problem is that goals are always future oriented. What about the here and now? It isn’t possible to live in the future anymore than it’s possible to live in the past.
The moment you truly appreciate yourself simply for the you-ness of you and that no one else could ever fill that role in this world, valuing yourself and your uniqueness – the perspective starts to shift.
Success isn’t about attaining anything other than a solid inner feeling of safety, security, self-love and as a result happiness.