We all just want to be loved. I think of it often — when I feel I am acting out, when I see a colleague lose it, a friend struggle, or loved one unhappy. At the heart of everything love is the core of why we do so many things. We want it. We want it all the time. This idea from Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening” says it all for me:
“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”
I was thinking about it in relation to Thanksgiving Day. Think about how loved you are and share that with others this week. Even if you might not feel loved – you are. Someone said in a meeting recently “You get what you give.” I love that. It is so true. As we go into a day of gratitude and thanks, remember to take off your gloves and get rid of your layer of protection. Be the raw and real you.
Make sure the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet, and maybe you will get more kisses goodbye, or maybe you should give them more often.
I am not a big holiday person. If I were to pick one that is higher on the list, it would be Thanksgiving. Gratitude, family and friends, and good food. What is not to like? What I am not a fan of is the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. You can tell from this past Black Friday blog post. I would rather do almost anything than go shopping on Black Friday. There is not a deal that is that amazing to make it worth it to me.
So when I heard that Amazon is creating their own version of Black Friday on July 15, called: Prime Day. I thought, hmm. Part of me thinks the idea is brilliant, the other part hates the idea. Why not create a shopping day that is catered to the customers that shop the most with you? Almost like a customer appreciation day for those that are the most loyal — Prime members. Amazon states that there will be more sales than they have on Black Friday. Since Prime Day is meant to be a celebration of their 20th anniversary, I wonder if it is successful if they will bring it back in future years. If it becomes bigger than Black Friday, what will other retailers do to outrun Amazon?
It is definitely what we need — Black Wednesday in July. 😉
They are also offering a free 30-day membership to Amazon Prime for those that want to take part in the day. How many will keep their membership after the 30 days, and how many will drop their membership? It starts right at midnight, so be sure to take a nap, so you can be wide-eyed and ready for a day of deals.
Not sure if I will partake, but Happy Early Birthday, Amazon.
I woke up at 4:45 am Sunday morning and could not sleep or get comfortable. I thought about just getting up. Instead the thought that came to me was to just lay there and be grateful. A long list of things came into my thought and eventually I fell back asleep. I woke up an hour or so later, not able to sleep and still uncomfortable. So I did the same thing.
I have had pivotal moments in my life when I have woken in the middle of the night and could not get back to sleep with very strong thoughts about another person in my life. Whether I had an intuition that something was not right in the world, or a moment of pause about a specific individual. Early on when I would have these pitch-black-middle-of-the-night intuitions, well they freaked me out. Over time I learned to stop, be quiet, and listen. Depending on how coherent I am I might lay there and pray, or think about how I can support and think good thoughts for the world situation or individual that woke me from sleep.
Waking in the wee hours of Sunday morning was not about a person, but it was a full body reminder for me. Why did I have to lay in bed unwilling to get out of my cozy bed to take moments to be grateful for my amazing husband, family, friends, colleagues, home, work, etc? The list went on in my head. Even to specific worldly pleasures, such as my new favorite sheets that I was laying between. That utter euphoria I felt for all the goodness in my life (does not mean it was perfect) reminded me to take more moments in the day to acknowledge that goodness. Why not before I fall asleep at night? Or at least on those nights when I do not fall asleep the instant my head hits the pillow… Who am I kidding? That never happens to me.
This is a reminder for you and for me. Be grateful. Keep it inside or let it ooze out and tell those that you are feeling gratitude for them. Snuggle in your bed and appreciate the sheets that have you smitten. Watch the video of your niece laughing over and over again. Forget the struggles that you have for a few moments and just be head over heels grateful for all the good in your life.
We lie to kids all the time. We should stop. I often talk to Chris about all the Hallmark holidays that have gotten out of hand. Maybe I am a buzz kill, but we are basically telling kids lies and then later expect them to trust us. My parents did it and I turned out fine (at least I think I did), but I think I might just stop the craziness when I have kids. I thought Stefanie Wilder-Taylor said it just right in “Gummi Bears Should Not be Organic:”
“Early on their life is filled with fantasies they believe to be true, such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy (notice I capitalized Tooth Fairy—because, like God, the Tooth Fairy is still very much a real and venerable life force in my house.) And who puts those fantasies in their head? We do. So when your child tries to convince you that the reason they took all the forks out of the kitchen is because they needed them to help run the jelly bean factory in their closet, how can we be mad when we’ve convinced them that a fat guy with a sack of toys is going to be sliding down their chimney?” page 92-93
She is right. We lie and then we expect them not to lie to us. Besides I think most kids do not even know the true meaning of Christmas. They think of it as a plethora of gifts, a tree, photos with Santa, and whatever other crazy traditions we have started. What if instead we all went back to the true meaning of Christmas? Giving to those in need and being together. Sadly, because of all the crazy hubbub of Christmas, I have become a Grinch. I do not want to buy you a gift just to get you a gift, and I do not want you to do the same. I do not need a thing.
It is funny — I decided to Google “the true meaning of Christmas” and I got such an array of answers about Jesus, God, and lots of other religious babble. One site did give me an answer I liked — that the true meaning of Christmas is Love. Now that is something I can wrap my arms around. Can we show our kids that? Instead of telling them about a fat, jolly Santa, the North Pole, and lots and lots of presents, why not show them how to give to kids in their community that do not have as much? Maybe sharing a coat with someone who does not have one? Or selecting toys to give to children that do not have any. What then are you teaching your kids? Love, gratitude, sharing, and appreciation for all they have each day?
I do not want to raise kids that feel they are just going to get presents upon presents under the Christmas tree, and so many they cannot even begin to appreciate them. That is commercialism and consumerism at its best. I would rather dote on them throughout the year, rather than swoop in on one day out of the year. Besides it feels like a lot of pressure, and is it really worth it? Call me a Grinch, but I do not want to start that tradition.
Last night I had a much-needed night with a good friend. A night away from the normal day-to-day to reconnect and be reminded of what is really important. An interesting analogy was brought up during our conversation about how a great relationship is like a great financial portfolio. Ponder this with me:
_You get what you put into it. Think of it like a mutual fund or an IRA. If you continue to feed and put money into the account it will continue to grow for you. If you leave it, and never watch or nurture it then it will sit and never do anything. The same is true for relationships – whether a friendship, or a romantic relationship, you get back what you put into it. Think about how you are investing, whether financial or personal.
_Over time your investment grows. I think of the friendships that I have had over time. Some continue to grow and others have a strange nostalgia that make us want to hold on to what we remember. Sort of like keeping money in a savings account. These days it does not really matter how much money you have in a savings account, you are not going to get much return on your investment. The friendships and financial accounts that are worth keeping will grow for us over time. Those that we no longer benefit from should be divested from our lives.
_Never put your eggs in one basket. You always want to make sure you diversify your friendships and your financial portfolio. It does not mean you must have a ton of friends. You can have a few that are deep and important relationships, but make sure you do not limit yourself. Shit happens, and sometimes that means that putting our eggs in one basket can devastate our future, whether pertaining to finances or our relationships. Diversify your friendships, so that you have different support mechanisms when something or someone fails you.
_Be grateful for what you have. Regardless of how many friends you have, or how amazing your romantic relationships are, be grateful for what you have right in front of you. We forget that our lives are often so much better than we can ever imagine, we just forget to look at the shiny spots. I imagine we all can be more thankful for the wealth we have in our life, whether via relationships or finances.
A happy evening, with much food for thought pondering ideas of wealth, gratitude, and all that we have right in front of us. Hopefully this makes you think about how you fuel your finances and relationships.