Monday, June 30, 2014

When I Just Don't Know

“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.”

Howard Baker

“There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity.”

Elise Boulding

“People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today is a new day.  Despite not giving enough priority to my blogs in the last few days, I’m ready to start focusing now and getting this done.  I’m still doing well with this, but I feel like I could do better.  Again, there’s no use in belaboring what wasn’t done; I just need to move forward now.  It helps when one is in Purpose, to look at the big picture. 
Yes, I want to write two, or even three blogs a day.  But on the days that I don’t, I can remind myself that I’m still writing a lot and that if I keep working, somewhere, somehow,  time will open an opportunity for me.  However, this will only happen if I use my time wisely now.  If I don’t, all the time in eternity won’t help me.
It also helps to remember that I have more than one goal I am trying to reach in the next four weeks.  Some of those goals are on track.  Others aren’t.  But in the big picture, I am doing well with all my goals, including my blogs. 
I sometimes use this blog to resolve personal issues.  It’s a type of therapy.  Recently, I dealt with an issue that felt so personal, so scary, and so overwhelming, that I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it, not even in my Morning Write.  It involves conflict or potential conflict with others.  I’m still processing it.  This made me wonder if there is a set of guiding questions that might help me deal with all personal issues.  I think the following questions might be helpful:
1.  What do I need to do to be peaceful? 
If I’m completely peaceful, I can usually resolve any situation.  I can accept or let go or take steps to resolve it.  When I’m peaceful, I’m more loving.  So, it’s important to be peaceful and calm.  I may need to pray, tap, breathe, or go for a walk.  Perhaps one of those things will help me find peace.  I may need to speak up for myself or stay quiet.  I may need advice or I may need solitude.  There are many ways to get peaceful.  The important thing is to find the way that works for me at that moment.
2.  What is the most loving thing I can do?
Being loving may mean putting myself ahead of others.  Or it may mean putting others ahead of me.  Either way, the goal and the result should be love.  If I do the most loving thing, I will do the least damage and I may even see a relationship grow.  I will certainly see my spirit grow. 
3.     What would make me feel better at the end of the day?
4.     What would be a good example for others?
5.     Can I make a decision based in love rather than a desire to please, which is based in fear, the antithesis of love?
It’s important to remember that being loving doesn’t mean doing the same thing every time.  Life rarely provides pat answers and what works one time may not work the next time if the situation repeats itself. 
It also helps to remember that I don’t have to be perfect.  I might make a decision that I think is the most loving and it turns out to be wrong.  This happens because I am human.  Or it happens because I didn’t have all the necessary information.  Mistakes will probably not cost me the relationship or the job.  In fact, making mistakes may strengthen things and teach me valuable lessons.
Communication is extremely important.  When possible, I need to speak with the concerned parties in a calm and loving way.  This may give me some invaluable perspective that I hadn’t considered.  It helps to know what I want and what others want.  If I’m not clear on both of these things, there will be frustration on both sides.
Sometimes life feels like a continuous classroom.  There are always new levels of growth to reach.  That’s okay.  Accepting that is peaceful and loving.  Interestingly, a situation just occurred that is similar to my recent issue.  I was able to stay calm and ask for time to think, which was what I needed.  I was able to be loving without giving away my deepest needs unwillingly.  I know this will come up again and it will keep coming up until I resolve it more consistently.  The same lesson keeps coming until I solve it.  When I do, I’m ready for the next lesson.  But I’m always ready to Get Started and Keep Going.