As a relationship expert, I see that as meaning relationship to self and to others. It’s hard to have a really good relationship with others, whether it’s your significant other, a family member, a co-worker, etc. unless you feel good about you. Of course, that raises the ever-present question about how to increase the good feelings about you.
Starting to write this post today, initially for my site, www.DrKarenSherman.com, I wasn’t really certain what I should address. So, I just sat for a while and let it come to me. I realized that in the last few days I got the same message on several occasions. When that happens to me, I believe it’s because I’m supposed to pay attention to it and also share it. It was the message that has become the theme for this post.
I was speaking to a friend who had an upsetting day at sailing – a bunch of mishaps. After validating how frustrating they must have been, I pointed out that at least he got to spend a beautiful day on the water. He commented that it must be the psychologist in me to point out the silver lining. Next, I was driving home from my daughter’s house at a time that promised to be absolutely awful due to traffic. As she thankfully said good-bye, she also apologized for what would likely be a horrible trip. But I planned to take full advantage and catch up on calls to people since my regular schedule is so busy. Lastly, as I waited on line in the bank today, several of us chatted and laughed about the economy and the state of affairs. One woman I was speaking with pointed out how good it was that we were on line rather than using auto deposit so we had the opportunity to interact... I quickly agreed!
First, let me say that I wasn’t always this way. As a matter of fact, when I was in high school, people would tell me I looked angry most of the time. When I reflect, I believe that behind that anger was fear and hurt. I want you to know that change is possible.
Certainly, the three little incidents I’ve pointed out are no big deals. But they do represent a way to look at the world. And that makes all the difference. Let’s look at the last situation – the bank. There was nothing I could do to change the length of the line; it would move as slowly or as fast as it would. If I’d gotten stressed out by it, my body would have gotten tense and stress hormones would have been released. Neither of these would be good for me. Chances are that with a reaction like that, I’d also go about the rest of my day in a more negative way.
I truly believe these three little incidents were meant for me to express these messages: You can choose how you react. (I do believe that stress is a choice ... I gave a talk about this.) You can learn to be more positive. And doing the previous two will help you to live a more empowered life!
To an Empowered You,