Week 8 Habit: Perspective

I didn’t sleep well last night because my shoulder injury is aggravated; I’ll probably have to have surgery. I made it through my morning workout, but it seems pointless since I’ll become a pile of mush when I’m recovering from surgery. I always intend to use downtime as a recovery phase and to scale back accordingly with my diet, but that never works and I bet I’m going to gain more weight.

I got a work email from the Human Resource department that I wasn’t selected for the job I interviewed for a couple weeks ago. I just got an email from HR last week that I wasn’t even selected to interview for a job I applied for recently. I’m not qualified for anything! If I ever lose my current job, I don’t know what I’ll do. It seems like everyone else in my department is getting promoted or new jobs, but not me. I may as well not even try anymore. I had to work late today, but I overheard someone talking about being so bored he was just surfing the net. How unfair.

Since I had to work late, I hadn’t brought enough to eat. I drove home hungry, and traffic was horrible during rush hour. I barely had enough time to change clothes and eat before leaving again for a group trail run. It was raining lightly, but wasn’t supposed to rain very long. I parked where the group was supposed to meet and text the leader since no one was there yet. He text me back that the rain showers were predicted to turn into thunderstorms, and he’d posted a rescheduled run date on Facebook. I missed seeing it. Traffic was bad again driving home and I just knew with today’s luck that I’d get into an accident. I didn’t, but wouldn’t have been surprised if I had. I wasted an hour of my time for nothing and could have been home relaxing!

***The above description of my day is coming from a negative perspective, a belief that God and the world are against me. Below is the same day, but experienced from a perspective where I believe God loves me and I’m looking for purpose and positives!***

I opted for extra strong tea this morning, and the caffeine and antioxidants helped combat getting less sleep last night! I tore my shoulder several years ago and may have to have surgery at some point. It’s only been bad the past couple weeks. Maybe it’s just a random flare-up, but I’ll make an appointment with my doctor to go over my options. I’ll talk with a physical therapy friend for suggestions on exercises. I can be creative and cautious when I workout so I don’t make it worse. If I end up having surgery, recovery will be quite an adventure since it’s my right shoulder and I’m right-handed! I’ll ask for lots of help and be very humble and patient. I’ll learn how to type and work with only my left hand. Maybe I’ll blog my way through recovery and become famous!

I like my job and my boss, but I’m always open to new job possibilities. I’ve gotten some interview experience recently, but God must have something different planned because I’m still in my same job. I’m curious to see where I’ll be a year from now! I’m going to talk with my boss about options for change in my current role.

I worked later than I planned, and found myself without a healthy, afternoon snack. I was pretty hungry by the time I got home, but was looking forward to running on a new trail with a group. I’ll start keeping a non-perishable snack in my desk at work for future emergencies. I missed a Facebook notification that the group run was rescheduled due to lightening, so I drove back home after seeing no one was there and calling the group leader. He made a smart decision to cancel!

As I drove home thinking about all that happened during my day, I was amazed what a difference perspective makes! With a negative perspective, I would have ended the day by binging on lots of food to numb my heightened feelings. I would have labeled the day as being a bad one. It can’t be the day or a situation that’s bad though, not when a change of perspective changes my feelings about the day. I can chose to have the latter above scenario as my perspective! I did choose that option, by the way 🙂

I use to pray for patience, thinking God would change my stressed, impatient feelings into peaceful, patient feelings, or just make my life easier. I’ve since learned that asking for patience means I’ll be provided with opportunities to exercise my choice of having a patient perspective! I’ve also learned that anticipating these opportunities helps me not be caught off guard, and I’m better able to deal with life. It was honestly pretty cool as I looked back at my day, to see evidence I’m maturing.

Changing your perspective requires repetition for it to happen with less effort. It’s a habit. As soon as you catch yourself in a negative pattern, change it! It will get easier, and you will enjoy your life so much more, being free to spend that extra effort elsewhere. Please tell me about a before/after situation where you chose a positive perspective!!


Week 2 Habit: Identify Feelings

Last week’s habit was using people’s names in friendly greetings, the typical “Hi, how are you?” and “Fine, how are you?” types. Including people’s names doesn’t roll off my tongue naturally quite yet, but I’m continuing the attempts!

This week’s habit is to identify my feelings. This isn’t new for me, but I’ve recently learned a different approach of a psychology tool and want to implement it as I revisit a few stronger feelings. I’ve focused on the thoughts and actions surrounding a feeling, but haven’t placed as much emphasis on the beliefs behind the thoughts. That’s the new tool.

I’ve identified what may be jealous feelings, but I can’t determine the belief leading to jealousy. Maybe it’s not jealousy, or maybe it’s jealousy combined with another feeling so the belief is more difficult to determine. I’m going to write thoughts during the day on a list I keep on my phone, then write more on my laptop in the evenings. I’ll date the entries and post them all next week!

Have you experienced any recurring feelings that are unpleasant and seem to trap you in a holding pattern in life? Are you curious of their cause and have any techniques to play detective?

Read ’em and Weep

Inspired by the Daily Prompt: When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

Stemming partially from how I was raised, I see fiction as unproductive and non-fiction as productive. I don’t agree with that though! Imagination can lead to more creativity, and reading fiction can inspire that flow. When I was in school or now when I’ve got extra priorities that fill my time outside of work, I feel guilty for reading fiction. I don’t like that. It’s interesting, but my mom has always read both fiction and non-fiction; the guilt is more from a generalized pressure to be productive and worthy than that fiction is wrong.

Learning about myself is fun, so I enjoy self-help/inspirational non-fiction. I go through phases of reading fiction, and will go through many late nights of staying up to read “one more chapter.” Ann Brashares’ “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” is the last fiction I remember reading, and that was last Fall. I’m in a book discussion group on Facebook and we’re reading “Undaunted” by Christine Caine.

I have quite a few non-fiction books in my Amazon Wish List, but after reflecting on my skewed perspective of reading fiction, I’m going to include some fiction titles too. Great idea for another habit!

Perspective of Truth, Part I

Inspired from a group coaching session earlier today and a Blogging101 assignment that suggested a daily prompt, of which I chose Ready, Set, Done.

I’ve always believed God and the Bible are true, and that God loves me. Until last year, I never experienced or felt God’s love and many Bible verses about God being the source of our strength and peace didn’t seem true based on my real life. I had to choose to have faith in my belief, even though I felt differently and didn’t have proof or evidence based on what I saw. I was taught that I couldn’t trust my feelings and that feelings will come after a while but can have peace now. I now think this is true (that I can’t go by feelings for what’s true), but not in the same context as how it was meant from the people who told me before.

I like word pictures to help explain. If you were taught that the sun exists but you’d only seen cloudy days, you would have to choose to believe the sun existed based on information outside of your experience. If you had a teacher who gave you a lot more homework than the rest of your classmates but she said to trust her and just do it, you’d have to decide if you believed she had your best interest at heart and a reason for the homework that you didn’t currently understand.

With me and God, it’s been like being in what feels like an abusive relationship with someone who writes the most eloquent love letters to me in French. I don’t speak French. The Bible is either true or false. If it doesn’t seem true, I can choose to believe that it’s true but I don’t feel like it is based on the conclusion that my perspective is skewed. I know my perspective has been skewed on other things in the past, like that I’m fat. I can feel fat, look in the mirror and see fat, and interpret the number on the scale as being fat. I know it wasn’t true, but I felt it was to the core of my being.

I’m coming back to explore this more, so it’s just part I. When I reread what I wrote, I see that the sentences are much longer than my typical public writing. It’s more how I write in my journal because no one has to decipher it. I hope it’s understandable enough to evoke your own deep line of thinking.