Simplicity

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, probably far too much. I’m at the point of risking the dreaded over-thinking which I detest. I’ll chalk it up to being human, give it a swift kick and keep on pressing forward past what tries to tempt me to dwell in discomfort. We all feel vulnerable, fearful, angry, and a multitude of other emotions on occasion. It’s part of our life path, if you will. To learn the lessons that present themselves, hopefully the first time around so as not to repeat them. We need to look these thoughts and emotions straight in the eye and deal with them so as not to be consumed by them.

 

 

I have come to a conclusion. Much of what burdens or hinders our growth and happiness comes down to one thing. Complicating things that really don’t need to be. Simplicity is our best tool in life.  Many years ago, a teacher taught me  a valuable lesson.  The rule was straightforward and easy; K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid. I overlooked this valuable acronym at the time for idiocy. Boy, was I misguided! I think I was the Stupid he was referring to. Ahem. I chose to complicate things far too often for my own good. I think the lesson may finally have sunk in. It only took 21 years to do so. Not so quick on the pick up of this lesson, sad to say.

 

 

It is easy to detect others over complicating matters but when it comes down to ourselves it isn’t always so simple. I think it has been a recent compilation of things that finally shone the light bulb of wisdom on this lesson for me. I have managed to over complicate things in many arenas of my life. Perhaps by trying to protect others’ feelings, keep the peace or be a people pleaser. I feel I am on the right track to improving upon things that weren’t/aren’t to my liking over the past few years, yet I was missing that key element of simplicity.

 

Why do we exaggerate things in our minds or try to make tasks more difficult than they need to be? Could it be ego? Or perhaps comparison? Maybe a case of insecurity? A building up of fear to paralyze ourselves from getting over an unknown? I suppose it could also arrive along with the need to make something seem bigger than it is in order to make ourselves feel more important when we solve the issue. I’m sure it is unique to every individual and each case of complication. While some individuals thrive on chaos, I long for peace tempered with the exhilaration of laughter and occasional fits of wild abandon while engaging in something that makes my pulse quicken- for good measure. Simple, life-affirming stuff. That’s it.

 

 

 “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”  – Confucius

The vortex of energy sapping over complication drains the joy out of the life I choose for myself and I’m on a mission to simplify. Will I sit by idly and allow myself and those I love to get caught up in the swirling doom? HELL NO!

 

 

Toxic People Test

Lately I seem to be bombarded by people off-loading toxicity. I would ask why but sometimes it’s just best to not let it eat up too much head space. To this I just shrug my shoulders, walk a LOT to breathe in fresh air, and spend more time with the friends that I know will make me laugh and help make sense of human stupidity and arrogance. There are certain instances where I know without the shadow of a doubt that people spew their garbage in my direction simply to get a rise out of me. I’m not sure they really want my reaction because it may never come. I have worked on my level of tolerance over the last ten years or so and have become a slow smolder, but there is a distinct threshold to my patience. I’m no mouse when it gets to this point. A lover, not a fighter is my true nature however there is fire in these veins.

 

 

Yesterday I was at the brink of popping someone. Yes, me. It felt like the negative bus had pulled up and offloaded an angry mob at my doorstep. To make a long story short, I worked through it with a few laughs along the way…but mostly a whole lot of working out, fresh air, journaling and loud tunes. I can’t hold a grudge or stay angry for long. After a few hours it just seems pointless and over-thinking kicks in. My bubbly nature tends to create waves again and I’m over whatever was bugging me. Moving on!

 

 

Feeling invigorated this morning and looking forward to spending time with a close friend, I had an upbeat attitude and a smile on my face. Even my hair was cooperating this morning!

 

I arrived at my local Starbucks to meet my friend, ordered my coffee and snagged a couple of comfy chairs at the window to enjoy the warmth of the sun. While waiting for said friend to arrive, I was within the auditory sphere of a group of ladies I have noticed here before. They were taking up a lot of space and dragged a bunch of chairs around a table, spilling over into the space of other customers. I waited patiently in my seat, minding my own business and trying not to overhear any of their bizarre conversation about the faults of one friends’ face and how said woman should do something about it. Good grief. As my friend was getting out of her vehicle, another woman came in to the coffee shop and joined this gaggle beside me. Only problem was, this woman dumped all her stuff on the chair I was reserving for my friend. I politely said, “Excuse me. This seat is saved for the person I’m meeting.” Well, you would think I woke a demon! The woman that was ever so sweetly pointing out her friends short-comings turned her wrath on me. “YOU CAN’T SAVE SEATS HERE!”, she snarled at me. What the heck? She proceeded to hiss at me that her friend had back issues and needed that chair. Then she told her friend to pull the chair up to their table! (Didn’t she just say her friend had back issues? Why was she not helping her friend with the chair?)  I was dumbfounded. Inside I chuckled to myself thinking how lucky this woman was that she didn’t try to steamroll me yesterday. Today she was dealing with normal me; whatever normal is. I kindly reported that I would move, since her friend was in need of that chair due to her back issue. You would think I had told her to go f*ck herself. She huffed and puffed like the wolf trying to blow down the little piggy’s house! I just grabbed my stuff and moved, whilst shaking my head. Weird.

 

Of course, my friend had walked in to see me moving seats and wondered what was going on. I let her in on the kerfuffle and was rewarded with a kind response about how tolerant I am of other people’s rudeness. That’s exactly what this boiled down to. Severe rudeness on this woman’s part and a sense of superiority. I was not going to be immature and argue over a seat, but clearly she was doing exactly what she told me I wasn’t entitled to do. What makes people think it is ever acceptable to speak to people like this? This is where every day dealings go off the rails. When we start speaking to others in such a way and with the tone that someone is worth less than another, issues arise. Not only is it rude, it displays a total lack of class. I would never think twice about giving up my seat to someone that genuinely needs it or asks politely, but bullying is pure toxicity. I will always use manners first and foremost. My parents taught me well that when you are kind, you are usually repaid with kindness. I only wish everyone had learned this wise teaching.

 

 

I think this was a test for me today…and I passed with flying colours.

 

 

 

“Anytime anybody is rude, it makes me double- check my own behaviour to make sure I don’t do that to other people.”  – Patricia Heaton

Confrontation & Grudges

People never cease to amaze me. It is all too easy to expect everyone to think in a similar manner to oneself, yet be perplexed when the outcome is different. The push and pull of human communication and relationships are fascinating to me. Two main issues on my mind as far as character goes are confrontation and grudges. Let’s roll this around a bit, shall we.

 

I am naturally a positive and generally upbeat person as you have probably concluded and I want to see the best in people. Yes, I become disappointed when negativity arises but I tend to process it so I can let it go. I don’t need to carry baggage everywhere I go. However, if something is affecting me in a negative or displeasing manner I address it. This brings me to confrontation. If you are delivered an unsavory situation or something is on your mind, would you confront the issue head on?

 

I have been flabbergasted by people’s mannerisms where confrontation is concerned. On numerous occasions I have witnessed an individual that lets things pass unnoticed simply to avoid confrontation.  Although I understand the “not wanting to make waves” mentality, at what point should one slap the water to create ripples?  On the other side of the confrontation coin, there are those that go out of their way to seek out confrontation. They just can’t wait to get in someone’s face to force their agenda. Usually not laced with positive or helpfulness.  This is always a bit unnerving to me. There is however, a third confrontation style to throw into the mix. The Choose Your Battles style of dealing with things. I fall about here on the confrontation scale. I have absolutely no problem speaking up for myself or others. If something is troubling me I address it as soon as possible – so I can keep going forward. I don’t like hanging about kicking at the proverbial sand trying to read someones mind or intentions because that’s when over-thinking kicks in. With a brain that wants to roll things around, it is in my best interest to address things immediately to avoid building up crazy scenarios. This proves difficult at times and for this I am not always thrilled with myself. However, I am only human and life is filled with lessons. I have become quite adept at quickly shifting gears to trusting that things work out the way they are supposed to, with or without my thoughts contorting my emotions so it is best to just breathe through it.

 

Through watching how others choose their confrontation style,I realize that I am very comfortable with where I’m at. I used to be a bit of a “hot head” as my sisters will probably tell you, I’m sure. Being the youngest I had to hold my own. More because I was passionate about so-called right and wrong. Injustice wasn’t fair and I was going to shout it from the rooftop! I think I may have fallen off the roof at some point and landed in a vat of glitter. Over the past 15 years or so my temperament has changed significantly to one of happy-go-lucky and balanced. I see absolutely nothing wrong with wearing rose-coloured glasses. I think the big bang moment for me was watching another female get really aggressive in confrontation and I saw how ugly it is…with a capital U. I didn’t want to ever risk becoming that. On that note, avoiding confrontation is no healthier for the Soul than the all-out knock down-drag out technique either;  in my thinking anyway. I have recently become more open to confrontational response. I appreciate the honest approach. Preferably with a bit of compassion within. There is nothing worse than working up the nerve to pour out your thoughts and feelings and have the other person either invalidate what you feel or ignore the issue completely. Confrontation doesn’t need to be earth-shattering and decision oriented. It just needs to be real and honest. What happens with those thoughts and feelings is up to the recipient to interpret.  When we converse with an open mind we learn more about the other individual as well as ourselves as long as we go in with the intent of openness and honesty. I love a good debate as much as an emotional heart-to-heart where personal confrontation is concerned – as long as respect of personal opinion is undertaken. Above all else, respect of those involved makes confrontation enlightening.

 

 

 

“I think confrontation is healthy, because it clears the air very quickly.”  – Bill Parcells

Grudges. Do you hold a grudge? Do you stew over stuff and vow to never forgive or forget? Have you ever cut someone out of your life because of your anger or bitterness? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say, ” I will never forgive so-and-so because…”  Really? That other person has probably moved on ages ago wondering what the bee in your bonnet was all about! What I find most upsetting is hearing of a person refusing to ever see or talk to a family member over something petty or trivial. How very sad. Grudges have absolutely no value. A grudge is a parasite sucking happiness from the person carrying it. I believe that ego is at play in most grudge situations and if we can just put pride out of equation while inserting love, all will flow as it should. Why can’t we all just get along? Open your heart and your mind to let kindness rule. Kindness is not weakness – it is strength of character.

 

 

 

 

“I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”  – Buddy Hackett 

I don’t know about you but I’d rather be dancing!