What if we viewed all of life’s hardships as natural, and took it as normal that our struggles with them should be tackled in full view of and with open support from our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers?
Just as a sail is too heavy to hoist alone, grief is too heavy to bear alone.
I got to thinking about this after I heard Alix Spiegel on NPR report on how differently Japanese and Americans tackle classroom education. In America, the brightest student is held up for peer praise and respect, while the one struggling to learn is left alone, nearly shamed and shunned. In Japan, the student who is having the most difficulty is brought before the class and learns in front of his peers, with their encouragement. They all share in the student’s accomplishment of conquering the difficult lesson. Struggling to learn is seen as a natural part of the journey to become educated.
I am struck by two facts. One is the open acceptance of the struggle. The teacher and peers openly give their support and it is openly received by the student. The other is the recognition that learning is a journey and eventual success is expected and perhaps inevitable. Continue reading
Do you ever feel really frustrated by a situation and with the people who are part of it? Of course you do. It happens whenever there’s as a gap between what we think we need and what we perceive is happening.
Frustration + Anxiety = Stress
As I write this on Sunday, we are in the midst of moving the contents of four rooms – big, heavy furniture, pictures, rugs, knick-knacks, and lots of books – in what at times feels like a grand game of musical chairs. I’m not sure everything will have a seat when the music stops.
Keep in mind we both work at home, so all of this disruption affects both of us around the clock. Talk about frustration! Talk about anxiety!
There was a time when speaking up about my needs in this kind of situation would have meant to me that I was being selfish. So I would have stayed silent. Looking back on those times, I realize my actions did a lot of speaking for me.
Fortunately, I’ve learned to follow a four-step process that involves a lot of speaking and only a few actions. When we speak what we feel, we often are rewarded with actions that close that gap and eliminate the frustration, anxiety and stress. Continue reading
I made a mistake the other day in planning my schedule, a mistake that inconvenienced several others.
The smallest mistake can send us tumbling. How do you right yourself again?
I was to pick up a friend so we could go together to a birthday party dinner in a town about 45 minutes away. For some inexplicable reason, I planned to pick her up a full hour later than I needed to for us to arrive on time. To make matters worse, I was 15 minutes late in picking her up.
Fortunately, I realized my mistake and called the hostess and informed her of my error. She graciously accepted my explanation and my apology and held dinner for us. We hurried as best we could. Outwardly, things were fine. Inwardly, it could have been another story. Continue reading
Filed under Courage, Truth