I am not sure my parents really prepared me for all the curveballs that life has thrown at me starting at an early age. In some ways the curveballs have made me incredibly agile to which way to swing, when to duck, and when to let the ball pass right by me. That does not mean that all that movement and reaction is not exhausting, and it also does not mean that I have always reacted, or presented myself in the best of ways. I have high standards and expectations at work and in my personal life. Maybe my dad overly ingrained in my head: “Do it right the first time.” Now to me that does not mean only try once and get it right the first time. What it means in my mind is give it your all and keep at it until you get to where you are going.
“We can’t control what life throws our way, but we can control how we react to it. As we do, maybe we come closer to a meaningful life than any plan could ever take us. To do this, though, we have to let go of what we think we deserve and embrace what is, which just might lead to something better than we could have imagined.” Page xxvii
The part I love about the above quote is about letting go and letting ourselves be lead to something better than we could have imagined. While I have high standards I also have witnessed how taking a step back and listening to intuition allows for life to sometimes fall into place.
I will give you a tiny morsel from my day on Monday. All morning things kept changing — meetings moved, deadlines shifted, and when I tried to unravel it all it was just horribly frustrating and time-consuming. I kept (as often happens) getting pulled into other things and dealing with requests and the thought that came to me during it all was: ‘Let it go. you will figure it out later… as messed up as it all happens to feel right now.’ Later in the day when I had a moment to look at the mess, each conflict and deadline had actually all moved again and all the things I would have had to unravel were put in a place that worked out. I did not have to do anything other than respond to a few emails and accept moved meetings. No rearranging needed. Now — that does not mean that I think you should procrastinate or that my morsel of happenstance from Monday will occur all the time. What I honed in on from Monday is that I listened to my intuition to let it go for that time and it all worked out.
That is just a small moment in time. Think about what can happen if we let go more often, for the small and the large events in life, and let things naturally be designed in front of us. Somehow the universe has a way of bringing color, hope, and a graceful design that often surpasses what we can imagine for ourselves.
I am not sure why I feel inspiration about this topic at the moment, but for some reason I have been thinking about directness and transparency. There was a time in my life where I would have hidden from you. You know when you see the child hide behind their parent’s leg, only peeking out to see if it was safe? That was me. My father used to scare me, and often I just was the quiet soul. Yes, you could bring me out of my quietness, you could get me comfortable and make me laugh, but if I thought there was a place of fear or conflict I would usually retreat back into myself. However, the old ladies at church did not scare me and I usually put on the charm for them.
Something happened as I continued to evolve into myself. Maybe it was losing my parents at a young age. Maybe it was seeing so many people hide their feelings and not be honest with themselves or those around them. Somehow I started talking and well I guess I have not stopped. If you interact with me on a daily basis you know you will hear exactly what is on my mind. You will know when I am happy, or sad, or frustrated. You will be able to see it on my face or you will know by how I respond. How exuberant I am to help and support you, or how short I am with a response. You will learn that I love deeply. You will learn to never mess with someone I love.
All of that comes out with my directness and transparency. There are times where I could probably be more careful with my delivery. I am aware of that and I try to be careful with the audience I am around. However, if I am comfortable with you, and we share our day-to-day life, I will probably tell you when my basement floods or when I have just received the perfect POTD (Picture of the Day) of my niece. You know the days when you are so utterly frustrated and you see the look on their precious little face and you are transported to a different world and you inhale and remember none of this really matters except the irresistible snuggles and coos of a little one? I have a video on my phone of my niece, Charlie, that I have been playing on repeat over the past week or so. She is cooing at herself in the mirror and I just want to eat her up.
I digress. You just witnessed a bit of my transparency and brain-barf of what is on my mind (I just paused to watch the video of Charlie again). I hope you live your days and moments in full transparency, without fear of what people think. Be direct. Say what you think.