Tag Archives: Ego

Leaky Eyes, Acceptance (and the New WOW)

Lately my eyes have been tearing up over the simplest things.

Like the photo of my cousin’s daughter, Veronica, who was just inducted into the Junior National Honor Society.  She is so young, and lovely, and smart – with a future full of promise ahead of her.

Hand me the Kleenex.

On the plane ride to California, I finished the book A Man Called Ove to heaving sobs, snot and the quizzical looks of surrounding seatmates.

On the flight home, once again Mark handed me tissues as I whimpered and cried off my makeup through the movie Wonder.

What is going on with me?

As I pondered the word ACCEPTANCE these past two weeks, the common denominator in all of my recent tenderness relates to accepting the fragility; the fleeting and temporal nature of life.

Does this happen to everyone when they hit a certain age?

The creases around my eyes and sagging jowl belie the years gone by.  However, my spirits perk up when a new friend, in her 40’s, says, “I thought we were the same age.”

Still, time IS marching on.

We all have an expiration date unknown to us, but its reality beckons us to make the most of right now.

That closing scene of the Thornton Wilder play Our Town always slays me. Here, let me just play it for you:

By the way, the film Wonder features this scene, making it a double-whammy emotional gut punch.

Could my tenderness relate to the landmarks of time?  This very week would have marked my 15th anniversary.  Instead, in another month I will mark one year since my marriage ended.

I accept the passage of time and that creating a new version of happily-ever-after is up to me.

As I embrace this tender truth, I find myself looking at people directly in their eyes to make a true connection.  Calling people and having long-overdue, hour-long conversations.  Buying Hallmark cards in bulk to let the people I love know that I deeply love them.

For in the final analysis, what will matter?

My answer: How much did I learn, and how much did I love.

At church, we recite the Aramaic “Prayer of Our Father” that touches me deeply, especially:

“…detach the fetters of faults that bind us, like we let go the guilt of others.

Let us not be lost in superficial things, but let us be freed from that which keeps us off our true purpose. 

From You comes all working will; the lively strength to act; the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age. Amen.” 

“Let us not be lost in superficial things” massages my heart.

I gulped down the disappointment when losing what I imagined would be my trek to the International Public Speaking Championship. Just a week later, my heart swelled at this comment from one of the attendees at my Fear Factor workshop in Berkeley last week:

“Brenda was such a wonderful and genuine presenter.  I was moved and will grow and grow as I process her message.  One of the best professional development sessions I’ve ever attended.  Thank you!”

Uncanny!  In the same week, the gift that makes me feel alive to use, both rejected and applauded.  A contest? Superficial.  Impacting a person’s life for good? Deep.

It first hurt, then helped to realize that perhaps my dream of a championship remained rooted in the last vestiges of low self-esteem and ego.

Accepting that my real dream is to encourage hearts and open eyes offers a new level of freedom and fun that I am just beginning to enjoy.

Time marches on.

Though shockingly middle-aged, I feel like a kid just starting out.

I see life through new eyes; accepting the past and ready to embrace an unknown future, but with a daily intent to love the bejeezus out of everything and everyone I encounter.

More on ACCEPTANCE and the new WOW here:

Ah, and of course, after I recorded I was reminded of the scripture:  Faith works by LOVE.  Not by striving, obsessing, hard work or good intentions.

May we each FLOW in FAITH as we grow in love this week.

And are any of you feeling the passage of time and tenderness attached to it as I am these days?  I’d love to hear from you.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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A Wonderfully Ordinary, Purpose-Filled Life

Have you considered that your life is purpose-filled?

I’m not talking about the endless “to-do” lists that await you on any given day.

Your purpose isn’t what you DO, it’s wrapped up in who you ARE.

I spoke with an amazingly brilliant young woman who was turning thirty (30!) with sadness. Rather than being purpose-filled, she faced the new decade with disappointment and self-criticism.

When I look at her, I see inner and outer beauty, humor, intelligence and gifting I only WISH I had at her age.  With almost a quarter of a century on her in years, to ME she was the picture of youth and vibrancy.

To her? She judged herself as behind the bell curve; certainly not where she had hoped to be and a failure because many of the “to do’s” on her life list remained unchecked.

I remember those years, when my friend Nancy (who lived in California at the time) shared her new salary and it was DOUBLE what I was making at the team.  When my circle was all marrying off and I hadn’t had a good date in YEARS.

Loser. Failure. Slacker. Oh the torment of such self-talk.

We lose joy in living when life is reduced to a competition against the sand slipping through the hourglass.

How hard we are on ourselves when it does NO GOOD!

Must my accomplishments be grand, outrageous and applauded to be meaningful? Or is this simply the cry of a fragile ego seeking comfort?

I considered many of these things as I recorded this week’s message:

First of all, did I hear a collective “YIPPEE” about the new Word of the Week, RELAXATION?

Or was that just my  own voice echoing through my office?

To me, this juncture of purpose and relaxation is an important one.  Can you (and me) just give ourselves a break this week from the performance trap and just relax into who we are?

Can we just love on ourselves a little – no, A LOT, and embrace that WE ARE ENOUGH?

That is my hope for all of us this week.

Take time to breathe.

Throw away the “should’s” and “to-do’s” and as for the Jones’s, it’s far too exhausting to try and keep up with them.

Oh, and for the 30, 40, 50 and 60-something’s out there who are judging their accomplishments harshly, here’s a parting shot:

Take THAT, sands in the hourglass.

We may not be spring chickens, but we’ve only just begun.

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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Making Your Vision REAL (and the New WOW)

If your vision for your life is something you just can’t shake, there’s one thing I know: You’ve got what it takes to bring it to fruition.

Let me temper that statement with a little special sauce.

I’ll keep it personal, but if the stiletto fits…

Some of my grand visions for me were planted in some rich soil called EGO.  This manure effectively fertilized the seed for these visions:  INSECURITY.

 I needed to be a successful, amazing, superior WHATEVER because on the inside I felt like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Sheesh! What a roller coaster ride of inflated-sense-o-self and inferiority!

Thank you very much, I no longer ride those waves of insecurity.  They sometimes beckon me with a free ticket to ride, but I’ve learned to say “been there, done that, gave it up for Lent.”

When you check your ego at the door and begin to love on yourself, your TRUE vision for you can emerge…and it is never unattainable, because LOVE never fails.

You were born for this.

Every gift, talent, resource, connection – you’ve got it.  And if it hasn’t manifested yet, it’s going to show up just when you need it.

What’s this “I don’t know what my gift is…” business?  Ha!

Your gift is the thing that lights you up and lights up everyone it touches.

And when it comes to VISION, yours is wrapped up in a bow made of your gifts.

For some practical VISION advice and the new WOW – here you go!:

We call this the WOW – the Word of the Week, but the feeling I got when I pulled that card was truly “WOW…”

I began talking about the sense of inferiority and how it can abort our visions for a happy and a good life.  To follow that up with the word HEALING and a sense that so many of you are holding yourselves hostage to the past…well, WOW.

Please forgive yourself.

Treat yourself as kindly as you do others.

Let those deep places heal so you can get about the business of living and loving and using your gifts.  The more you do, the more healed you’ll feel.

Love to you as you consider these things today – and thank you for giving me a place to use my own gifts.

In gratitude,

Brenda

xoxoxoxo

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