So much has been written about attitude. An attitude of gratitude is well known indeed, and it doesn’t have to remain the same because like life itself, attitudes embrace change.
This isn’t entirely popular as there are so many different aspects to change. Life’s challenges will change so much and with these, comes grief sometimes. Desires are part of these changes too like wanting to have love, friendship, loyalty, touch, conversation, and confidentiality.
People want to grow and become whatever their dreams are, their wishes for a better life, more prosperity, work they love so that doesn’t feel like work, and success, although some are so beaten down they can’t accept success. What confusion!
There is a pressing need to broaden horizons. Just because life has been a certain way, there are still other ways to live and to be fulfilled. Often the question comes up as to how attitudes can change when life is so challenging. There – I said the word – challenging. I believe in the power of words. They can damage, uplift, create doubt, or bring happiness. These are some of the words I do not use.
To be physically strong is different from being emotionally strong. One is acceptable and the other dangerous. It is hammered into human beingness (Read more from author, Og Mandino) that physical strength is to be admired and why not?
However this constant insistence that going to the gym is essential can be disturbing to some people. That kind of physical strongness is a perpetual presence on the television screen and if people enjoy it, so be it. It is the emotional strong that causes concern.
People who are STRONG in the face of grief, of mental illness, of discontent, you name it, give out an energy that says, “I DON’T NEED ANYTHING OR ANYONE.” This is totally wrong.
On a personal note and due to some criticism, I am being more objective about sharing too many personal experiences. I used to be strong. I remember clearly, when life was so painful, asking myself “Where is my shoulder to cry on?” I was the shoulder for everybody else. No one thought for one moment I needed someone to listen to me. That was the energy I had put out. It was saying to the world, “I don’t need anyone,” and “I can do this myself”.
That was many years ago when a professor I respected enormously asked me, “What are your strengths?” I had to really think about that one and then he asked, “What are your assets?” It never occurred to me that I had any.
Just recently when this awakening happened to me, the remarkable Kim Krause Berg, who created and continues to embellish my website, asked me this.
“What makes you happy?,” she said. I was silent.
Then, she said, “Get a pad and write down what makes you happy.”
So I did. I sat with the pad on my knee and wrote NOTHING. Not one single word.
I emailed her this and she wrote back, “LOL, you are hilarious. What about teacups, tea, cats, etc., etc., etc.?”
I was only looking to what had made me happy and that was living with my late husband, John. Then I realised I would never be happy in that way again and I wasn’t looking at the everyday joys. Thank you Kim. (You’re welcome, Yvonne. — Kim)
I have to learn from my oldest granddaughter, Courtney, who is in her thirties. She recommends I will only do things that bring me joy! Never too old to learn.
I use that Professor’s words today when I work with people who feel they don’t have a chance at the life they would love to have. I ask, What are your strengths and your assets?”
Without doubt they are always surprised. They are used to being challenged about their character defects, not their character assets. So I make them think and it is a revelation to most of them. Their auras change on impact. It is quite amazing.
Why don’t you get a pad and pen, writing your strengths and assets? It is enlightening.
Nothing in life is hard or difficult.
Life is challenging and most people can rise to a challenge. People who are living with a beloved who is ill are not care givers or heaven forbid, caretakers. They are care-sharers. “Stupid”, is my worst curse word. “No” and “Yes” can be complete sentences. “Should” is an unacceptable entry in any dictionary. “Ought” to be is a disguise for “should”. “I love you too” is not the correct response to “I love you”. The response to I love you is I love you or I love you with the name of the person.
I often finish my emails or texts with BE WELL AND PROSPER. I’ve altered that along with my attitude which is changing constantly. Now it is BE WELL AND CONQUER. It has a ring to it. Conquer the demons. Conquer the resentments that are living rent free in your brain. Evict them.
Karen Casey writes that if you hold resentment to a person you are bound to that person with bands of steel. Conquer them and be free.
Nelson Mandela said, “As I walked to the gates of freedom I knew if I kept the bitterness and hatred I would be in a prison for the rest of my life.” He conquered those resentments for the 27 years he was imprisoned for being who he was and for what he believed, and then the miracle of miracles, he became the President of South Africa. Astonishing.
There are so many words that are toxic and by challenging them and refusing to accommodate them, people grow and become who they want to be.
In the beginning of these recognitions, it can be disturbing. After all, what is being asked of the human race is the rejection of beliefs that have been part of a lifetime. There is so much to consider. People can become overwhelmed and that is where honesty steps in. I love honesty. I love down to earth attitudes together with spiritual awareness. It is reaching out and asking for help like, “Here is where I am, this is where I want to be, and I don’t know how to start.”
There are people willing to listen and direct, suggest, and open possibilities heretofore never considered. Therapy too, and coaching. Why not? Aren’t you worth it?
If you are irretrievably stubborn (like I was) it will take more time.
Thank goodness I listened to people far wiser than I. I still do. At my advanced years I am listening and making changes as my life cannot stay as it is. It just won’t do. I am not at peace with my life and so as my mentor, Dr.Viktor Frankl, would say, people make conscious decisions on the way they feel and what they do.
His book that saved my life and turned it around is called Man’s Search for Meaning. I have mentioned it many times. I have always been so in awe of courage and am to this day. His courage was astonishing. He wrote this bestselling book in the forties when he was in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He addressed so many situations that touched millions of people who were never in such a vile place. He wrote of choice – it’s all about choice – of trust and fear of it having been institutionalized for such a long time in such horrific conditions. You all know of the Holocaust – that event that never happened according to thousands, maybe millions. Be well and Conquer, and that is precisely what he did.
Thanks to my dear friend and accountant, I am taking a sabbatical. She assures me I won’t become destitute if I don’t work for about three months. (I will keep my commitments.) If I do not do so, I will continue to live the life I want to change – dramatically.
Why am I taking a Sabbatical?
Because I still listen to people who see me as I do not.
They are concerned about the work I do and the disrespect I have endured in my profession, and recently some health concerns. Being arrogant, I paid no attention, although I did say to some confidantes, that I was receiving messages from the Universe. I didn’t pay sufficient attention, so I got more!
For example, not being recognised for my skills and experience, to the point of frustration, as I have so much to teach. So some of them took the step to warn me – yes, to warn me that I had better pay attention. I am so happy I listened. It’s always been a character asset, well for the past 48 years. I am so grateful for it and for the people who have the courage – there’s that word again – to confront me, lovingly, whether it is a reminder, nagging, persistency (there’s quite a list).
I sincerely believe people have the right to success, love, wellbeing and friends who will be outspoken, with courage enough to make a person take heed. It is essential to replace the word ISSUES, with INJURIES (Reference Joe Weldon, the therapists’ therapist and all round incredible person). He has such a way with words.
I told him once I was fed up with being responsible. He said to change it to the ability to respond.
Since I love words so much, he is essential to my thought processes. The other phase, which I received from my recovery programme is that I alone can do it, but I can’t do it alone. Such commonsense.
Here’s the thing. Create a list of people you trust with your innermost feelings, ambitions, and dreams. They can be old friends, new ones, professionals, businesspeople, coaches. Your family and loved ones probably can’t be as objective as is necessary. You can only be subjective and anyone who says they can do it alone and only their way are in for a big surprise, and not a pleasant one either.
At this point I have to thank incredible people who have cared about me so deeply. There are hundreds literally. These are those who call me to check on me almost daily, or encourage me. Edie Weinstein, Jody Rosenblume, Fran McAdam, Susan Duval, Marti Hottenstein, Dr. Dan Newman. Michele Rix, Dr. Donna Dailurosa, Robyn Pennay, Pat King. Toni Severns, Linda Eberz, Joe Weldon, Joe Masiuk (oops! Spelling. He’s my lawyer!), Stash Serafin and Wendy Lavin to mention a few. If I didn’t say your name, forgive me. You know who you are. You are all gold dust in my life.
If you are content with your life as is, and millions are, that’s wonderful. I am writing to those who have suffered indignities and not allowed themselves to follow their bliss. The last card I received before my beloved John died said, “Do not follow the path. Blaze a new trail.” I took that to heart and this time, not alone.
The main purpose of this sabbatical is to write my life story – my autobiography.
My son Daniel has been bringing this to my attention for about six years (he is quite my cheerleader!) and now that I have put it in print, I’d better get to it.
However, it isn’t easy, so instead of moaning, wringing my hands and complaining – I am asking for help! Am I a role model or what? I have a history of being a procrastinator. I’ll get what is needed on the date it is required, at the last minute, so this is a huge challenge for me.
What has helped me is to create boundaries. I know what I will accept and what I will not. Here are some examples.
A few people would call me and ask how I was. I would respond briefly and spend the next half an hour listening to their woes – free therapy it is called. Friends are different. It is a mutual exchange and I will listen forever!!!!!
I am blessed with having people in my life who will make me accountable. Years ago, I was furious because so many were taking my work and putting their names to it. Many. I can mention several well known and highly regarded books in my field – I won’t. So I talked with my son Daniel, knowing that he really understands me and would be compassionate and sympathetic. I waited for his soothing comfort and he said, “You only have yourself to blame. You didn’t write it and get it published”
See what I mean?
We may not always like it, but a loving confrontation can be the answer we seek.
Be well and Conquer.
Kim Krause Berg, Creative Vision Web Consulting, LLC
Og Mandino, Author
Karen Casey, Author
Viktor Frankl, Author,