WHEN LIFE IS A PILE OF…

This is an emoji of… well… a pile of poo. This is insanely popular for some reason. Margie has even received several orders for cupcakes in this design. I am using it for when our life feels just like a pile of poo. Your car breaks down, a relationship ends, you lose your job or even worse, you lose someone you love. Sometimes the poo really adds up in a hurry. At this point, life really starts to stink, both literally and figuratively.

We all have these periods. Even though it may not seem like anybody is having a worse time than we are, there are people out there who have it worse. Certainly not what we want to hear when the poo hits the fan in our life, or even worse, when we feel like the fan. However, a change in perspective can give us pause to think. So, your car broke down? There are people who cannot even afford a car, much less repairs. There are people, lots of them in fact, who have to walk miles every day for clean drinking water. It was Gandhi who said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” No matter how dire our situation, there is always something to be grateful for. Your relationship ended or someone you loved passed away? Remember they say It is better to have lost in love, than never to have loved at all. There are people who never find that special someone to love. There are people who never have their parents in their lives. Be grateful for every day you experience love. Even if that love changes it does not mean it has to stop. Try finding just one thing to be grateful for. It will lead you to find another and then another.

Even if you are having trouble finding something to be grateful for, you can still use the poo in your life. How on earth do you use poo in life? Here we are obviously speaking in metaphors, but using a literal comparison can help. We are talking about poo situations in our life as we discussed above, but we can use the same logic as we do for the organic matter itself. I do not recall if it was Meijer, Walmart or somewhere completely different, but I found myself strolling through the garden center fantasizing that I had the ability to grow things when what did I see? Poo! bags and bags of the stuff. Ok, here it was called manure and did not have an emoji on it, but the contents was the same.

That is when the light bulb went on. If we literally use poo to grow stuff in our gardens, why do we not use it for growth in our lives as well? Just like our last post when we discussed failure, if we just dwell on the poo in our lives it would be like sitting in that manure. Just try and picture sitting in a pile of manure and complaining how awful it is. If you were to plant a few seeds in that manure instead of just complaining about it what may happen? You would grow new and wonderful things! Things that would smell far better than the poo itself.

What does that all have to do with our lives when they seem…well..in the toilet? Plenty! If a relationship fails, you can use what went wrong to improve your future relationships. If you did something that brought about the end of the relationship, do not do that thing again. Maybe you were just connected to the wrong person. Going forward be aware that you may wish to start a relationship with someone more aligned with your goals and values.

Did you lose your job? Use that to brush up on your interviewing skills. Perhaps you should consider going back to school? Maybe taking that time to finish the book you have always wanted to write? When you start looking for a new job, apply in a field you enjoy and not the one that just pays the most. In that way the loss of a job can serve as the growth of a new and more rewarding career!

Did you lose someone you love? That is always hard and very painful. If you find yourself sad a great deal of the time, remember that is ok. If your heart feels broken, that just meant it has loved. Be grateful for all of the moments you shared with that person. I have an article coming out next month on this very subject. I can tell you one of the best ways to ease burden of loss is to try and replace some of the light that person brought to the world. Did your grandmother always make people feel welcome? Then you should do that. Did your brother have a great sense of humor? Then focus on bringing laughter into the lives of others. Another emotion that comes up when we lose someone we care deeply for, and I speak from experience, is regret. We find ourselves uttering the all too common phrases “I would’ve/I should’ve/I could’ve” Use this to motivate yourself to live in the moment and put all your love and effort into the relationships you have now. That person may be gone, but they can certainly help you make the most of those you love that are still with you.

Use the poo in your life my friends. Just like the manure in the garden center, use the poo situations in your life as fertilizer to grow new and wonderful things. Pain and challenge can be one of the best catalysts for growth.

NEVER FORGET YOUR WORTH…

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”

-quote from the website ‘livelifehappy.com’

I have posted on this subject before. To often we let outside circumstances determine how we feel. The most obvious situation in which this manifests is relationships. Someone is with an abusive spouse and they find themselves doubting their own value. Perhaps they just have a string of bad relationships and ask “What is wrong with me?” I am not going to go into too much depth about that as the other post was dedicated to that. What I do want to talk about with you today is the other ways in which these feelings can come about. If you are a member of a certain race or culture and are the unfortunate victim of harassment for that you may even subconsciously start to believe some of those stereotypes. There is even another way in which people and circumstances can make you feel less than valued and that is in the job market. Perhaps you expected that raise or a good review and did not get it. Perhaps due to downsizing and office politics you find your position has been reduced or even eliminated. That actually happened to me last week. Now you can find yourself asking “Why me?” or feeling anger for your boss, supervisor or whoever was responsible for that decision. Most of all you can find yourself feeling under valued and under appreciated. So how can we prepare for any of these or the countless other situations that can leave us doubting our own value? Be proactive! If you find yourself in the middle of one of these situations this exercise will still work, but it would save a lot of heartache and self-doubt if you were to do it before one even comes up. The simple answer here, determine your own value. Grab your trusty pad and paper and begin to list all of the things that make you the amazing person you are. If you find yourself having a hard time accomplishing this list you could employ the help of a trusted friend. Another idea is to carry a pen and paper with you and note what people compliment you on. I’ll give you an example of what I had written in my case. 1.) I knew I provided great customer service skills in an organization that greatly needs them 2.) I genuinely care about my customers and have brought several great things to the communities I serve. 3.) I have great attendance and can be counted on to be there when I am needed 4.) I am an honest and loyal employee. Now when you do have your list of positive attributes down even if it is just a few, you have a great foundation for several things. One, you have great material for a job interview or to accent on a first date depending on what you may be using this for. You also have the beginnings of a great self-confidence¬†booster. Once you do realize how much you bring to the equation you will be less willing to settle for less than you are worth be it in a job, relationship or any other circumstance. Then outside events fail to maintain their ugly grip on your emotions. If you find yourself struggling to come up with much of a list then you may consider developing a list of skills you would like to bring to the table…but that is a subject for tomorrow’s post!