Last week, I learned that there's a handful of things I know I know, but seem to need occasional reminding of anyway. Maybe some of these are familiar to you, too, and worth committing to a sticky note manifesto on your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
1. If you feel like you're getting sick, you're getting sick. Lethargy and a sore throat mean you need to cancel your plans and climb into bed. Stop questioning whether or not it’s a legitimate cold or mere allergies. Stop asking yourself, What is wrong with you today? and Why can’t you just pull yourself together? You’re sick. Stop everything and go be sick.
2. Friends who say, “I’m happy for you, but—,” or some variation thereof, aren’t actually friends. Simple as that.
3. Without exception, you need to wait 24 hours (at least) before sending that email. You know the one. Emotionally charged, reactive, full of you-statements instead of I-statements? The one that could demolish everything in an instant? The one that isn't going to dissolve into thin air if you don't send it right now, in the heat of the moment? Yup, that one. Sleep on it, see how you feel about it in the morning, edit as needed. Hit 'send' once the tidal wave of emotion has passed. [Side note: I happen to have this one down pat; however, I've found myself more than once the very unlucky recipient of other folks' unfiltered missives.]
4. That feeling you get when you’ve consumed what should be your last cocktail, cookie, or cup of coffee is never wrong. Thank it. Make friends with it. Listen to it.
5. The decisions you make from an intuitive place will always be a better fit than those you make from a fearful place. The tricky thing about making intuition-based decisions is: You can't judge the rightness of those decisions using someone else's rubric. So, if you're a recovering people-pleaser or pushover, beware; many people will disagree with the choices you need to make to be in integrity with yourself. It's a simple fact that your staying in integrity won't be convenient for everyone. To expressly avoid that dissonance, however, is to de-prioritize your well-being.
To that last point: Recently, I experienced some big, bad uglies; that is, I found that I had allowed someone's unhappiness with me to trump my well-being. I'd agreed to have a phone conversation with the unhappy person, but found that as our appointment approached, Roman candles of dread began setting themselves off in my gut. Not because I felt I'd done anything wrong, but because I knew there was no way for me to correct the bad press I'd already gotten; I didn't even want to correct it, because that would be engaging in combat (here, Byron Katie speaks about marriage, but her theory applies to any interpersonal relationship). What was happening was pretty obvious: I'd followed my fear in deciding to schedule that phone meeting (fear of being unkind or unfair, fear of becoming a villain in the eyes of another) instead of following my intuition, which told me nothing good would come of this particular conversation—and in doing so, I fell completely out of integrity with myself. Being out of integrity feels bad. Like, can't ignore it bad. Like, Roman candles bad. I needed to renege. To change my mind. To go back and take the route my body clamored for. So, I did. I canceled the call and fielded the fallout. I won't lie and say that getting back into integrity with myself felt good—it was clunky and full of second-guessing and riddled with what-ifs—but it felt right.
What do you know you know, but seem to need occasional reminding of anyway? Hit 'reply' and, together, let's grow that sticky note manifesto.
Notes from the week of May 8
+ the fabulously social list app, li.st (naturally, I'm @wonderinghelen)
+ whiskey cake (hooray for a Friday the 13th birthday!)
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ "We are all seeking truth, but truth is in the eye of the beholder. Discernment not judgment leads you to truth by getting curious and noticing whether someone’s perception of reality comes from love or fear. It’s the difference between competition and cooperation; doubt and trust. It will lead to holding on or letting go"
+ "I’ve learned that, at times, I cannot be authentic because it will bring out someone’s ego (blaming, complaining, condemning), even if I share from a genuine place of love. We have no control over where someone chooses to live on the spectrum of fear versus love, and must discern whether there’s space to share—and what’s better left unsaid, so we don’t step on other people’s spiritual path. Sometimes we may simply need to wish others well on their journey, creating a new space for both sides to reflect on what truly matters. This is also a loving choice. And when you love without judgment, you won’t need to be right because you’ll be free"