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Sometimes I have to remind myself that life does not always move in a straight line.  Growth happens in fits and starts.  Just when I think I’ve made some headway, I find myself down on my butt again.  Many times I’m heading in one direction when I see the need to take a sharp left.  Scanning the horizon for something, I find something else coming up from behind me!  When I’m in the midst of a project, a seed I planted in one garden may well blossom in another.

Karma works this way, too.  It’s not always: I do a good deed and get something good back from it.  Very often the rebound Good comes from unexpected quadrants.

Social networking proves this theory as well.  Connecting with someone here can provide a juicy connection from someplace far off.  Those six degrees of separation often bounce in mysterious ways.

All of this shifting and twisting can leave me feeling a bit unsteady.

The trick is, I think, to follow the Japanese proverb which says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”  For some of us that may be, fall down 10 times, get up 11.

It’s at times like these I need to remember to be kind to myself.  When I’m determinedly working on something, whether it’s a piece of writing, a job search or personal growth, there will be slip ups and times I feel like nothing’s moving.  I need to just stay with it and keep going. Pick myself up, dust myself off, tend to any wounds, give myself a pat on the back and take another step.

Progress does not always move in a neat, tidy or clear line.

As an addendum to my last post, not only can we note when things are good, when they go right, but also when we do something right or good.  It’s so easy to dismiss our achievements or play them down.  When a friend does something wonderful, we are more likely to praise and encourage her to celebrate a good win.  For myself, “Ahh, it was nothing.  Not a big  deal. Probably just a fluke anyway.”  Or I decide I will celebrate, but end up forgetting or falling short in my festivities. 

It seems funny to be shy about these things.  When there’s so much good which can come from celebrating our wins, even the small ones.  I think we are hesitant because we are afraid of getting a “big head.” What does that mean, anyway?  The trouble comes when we only focus on our own wins and ignore those of others. Thinking we are the only one who can win. Or when we start to make up fake accomplishments.

I’m not a psychologist, but my guess is that people who we might say have a “big  head” don’t really appreciate the things they do.  I think that kind of egotistical attitude comes from insecurity. More of a lack of belief in one’s self.  If you felt really good about yourself, you’d have the spaciousness of generosity to allow and share in others’ successes. You certainly would have no reason to make things up.

So, I’m going to try to be less embarrassed by my successes and allow myself to feel them, to revel in them, as my Coach says. I doubt I’ll let myself get caught there. After all there are always more accomplishments, more successes to achieve!

“The only thing more important than being good is being Real.” – Alan Cohen

We can all agree that being Good is important. Being good and kind to others should be the bedrock of everything we do. If we are to consider ourselves “spiritual” people. Positive and upright. That is the first rule: do no harm. Treat others well. In fact, treat others as you would have them treat you. We are all made of the same stuff, anyway. And since we are all one, we might include ourselves in that being good. I don’t know anyone who would dispute that.

But, Alan Cohen, wise man that he is, takes it a step further. That it is even more important to be Real.

Being real means we get in touch with what’s real, what’s true. Both inside and out. If we are being real, we’re sharing with others what we truly feel. So many of us don’t know even what that is. The process of knowing what we feel can begin with being real about what is going on around us. This awareness of reality gives us lots of information about who we are, where we’re at, and how we feel about it.

I believe that part and parcel of being good is seeing life in a positive light. And holding a vision of how you’d like things to be. But we must be careful that our vision doesn’t cloud what is really happening in the moment.

Presently, I am trying to negotiate with someone. It’s been difficult, I think, because she wants so to see life as she wants to see it. This keeps her from seeing (and accepting) the truth of the situation.

So often we’re not real with others (or ourselves). Opting instead for posturing, making gestures, or presenting ourselves as superior. When in reality we might be scared confused, or doubtful, but unable to say it. Rather than being in touch with that, being real about it, we cover it up. Maybe we even use being “good” as a shield for obscuring the truth of what we’re really feeling, or what is really happening.

In the end, being good will only get you so far. If it’s not backed by some acceptance and awareness of reality.  And, the willingness to express what’s real and true.

I’m not happy about my current situation. Weariness is building and resentment is raising its ugly head.  The negative chatter in my head grows louder.

Rather than just buy into it, though, I decided to take it apart.  How does it really stack up?  I listed all the things that are bothering me right now, letting it all out.  Then, I listed beside it what’s Good.  What I like about things at the moment.  Do you know what I found?  There are at least as many (if not more) Good things.  For the math’s sake, let’s call it equal.

What that shows me is that things are not necessarily as bad as I was telling myself.  There is a whole lot of good going on as well.  It also reveals the truth:  that I can just as easily see it from the Good side, the positive slant.  Is it any more righteous to ignore what’s working and see only what’s out of alignment? If I can do that, as I have been, why can’t I flip it and pay more attention to the Good?  And let the Bad float away. . .

It’s all just a matter of choice.  How I choose to look at it.  It doesn’t change the points on my list, but it does seriously alter my attitude about it all.

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