Unfinished Business: hurry up and wait

Randall Stevens: Unfinished work of the unfinished puzzle Have you ever been asked to step away from something that you're not yet finished with? It leaves you at loose ends, feeling unfinished. And it can unravel you if you let it. Especially if it's a person with whom you have a significant tie. 

You cannot make someone come to you, or talk to you, or even acknowledge you if they don't want to (or if they feel uneasy about it). Even if you believe you could ease them. Even if you want to assure them that it's not a bad thing to communicate under any circumstances.

It's these times, that I have to stop and take a breath and remember...time is a wonderful leveler. Time will bring us back to the core of what brought us together and we will come back to the beginning once the wounds have healed and perspective is gained and we are more grounded in ourselves.

Bottom line, I may think I want to talk with someone (and I do), but if they are not in a place to do that and I ask them to anyway, what do I gain? I have a conversation with someone who is not invested in being or talking with me. And isn't what I really want is for them to freely come to me because they want to?

So, I wait (which is not one of my strong points), and I remember that I live my life at lighting speed; moving through crisis to insight faster than most; pursuing every endeavor to the nth degree - simultaneously.

I learn fast and I live fast. I don't waste a lot of time. My style is intense. I know for a fact that I get more done in a day than most people do in a week. And this it true for me emotionally as well. I move through the process of processing and coming to insights faster than most. I learn from my mistakes, make changes immediately to accommodate the new information, and incorporate that into my life -- always remembering my core belief that if I'm true to myself, anything is possible.

It's not my fault that I'm quick. And although it's afforded me many wondrous experiences (I've traveled far and wide; had numerous careers; collected more men and more friends than anyone else I know), it can be difficult when the world generally moves slower. And when those I care for are thrown by my pace - or by my (unintentional) expectation that they are as fast as me at moving to the end...where we talk again.  

...so I ground myself in my creativity which feeds my spirit. I pursue being exactly who I am in every moment (even if others don't like it), and I remember that if I live truly in the moment, I will have everything I always wanted, even things I didn't know.

...and I communicate with the only tool I have besides an actual conversation, I write. And hope that those I'm talking to are listening and know that I'm talking directly to them. And I wait, and I dream, and I trust, and I live and I cry and I laugh...I'm very busy waiting.

…and I remember that our best times were the times we came together freely without limits set on how or when that could be. So I try (in my small way) to recreate that, by not putting limits on how or when we'll talk again.

And although I have a knack of pushing people to do more than they see themselves as capable of, or feel comfortable with (because I'm unafraid to challenge people to think differently or try something anyway), I've found that this quality sometimes needs to be set aside in order to give someone time to catch up.

The Power of Fear

Fear We’re human right? And one of the conditions of being human is that sometimes we are afraid. Fears can show up in many different ways: It can be seen in what we choose to do; how much we share with others; how we live our lives.

With the state of our economy, war and the uncertainty of this day and age, people who have never had to face fears, are having to do so. FDR's words, "The only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself," ring true. If we don't deal with fear, it will be the driving force in our lives. What can we do to avoid this?

Too often we allow fear to rule us and we don’t even realize it. Most of us are raised to deny our fears. The problem is that if we don’t acknowledge it, fear impacts our lives in ways we don't see. It shows up as shame or anger; shame about something we’ve done or an aspect of ourselves which we are insecure about; anger as a way to protect ourselves from our fear or to create a false sense of being in control.

I believe that to be truly fearless we have to face our fears.

Ironically, fearlessly looking fear strait in the eye, gives us the power to create a life that is full of wonder. So, fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be a gift that teaches us what we value and how to create it.

I do what CK says,“I advocate (and practice) placing the fear front & center. In dueling these demons we accept their presence and then we start robbing them of their power.” The impact of the fear is much greater when we pretend it’s not there.

It is ineffective to try to quell fears by avoiding them. This works against us by making them more powerful.  You can’t take fear away if you ignore it. When fear becomes invisible to us we are broadsided by it’s impact. Like anything we are blind to, it’s much more likely to cause damage. Just think about that bump in the road you don’t see coming, it throws your car off track and damages your shocks. But by opening our eyes to fear, you can minimizes its repercussions. 

The first step is to figure out what we are afraid of. If you’re unsure what frightens you, start by paying attention to the secondary effects of fear (anger and shame). These are great indicators of what holds us back. By naming our shames and angers we can figure out what we need. And we can evaluate how realistic our fears are. 

Sometimes when fear is taken out of context it is just plain silly. It’s like being afraid of flying when you’re not in a plane. So take the time to write it out, explore the realism of each fear. Play out the worst-case scenario should your fears come true. And you’ll start to see how much energy is wasted on false fears.

For those fears that are genuinely scary, knowing the potential consequences helps us to prepare appropriately. Fear is there to keep us safe.

By understanding the significance of each fear, we can gain insight into our needs and desires. For instance, if we have fear of failing, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. It means we should address the issues that stand in the way of our success. Otherwise, we'll be stuck in the cycle of not trying so we don't fail. Don't ignore the fear, face it and take charge of it. Celebrate the lessons received from the knowledge gained by admitting fear.

Embrace your fears and you’ll be surprised how fearless you really are.

Living on the Edge

Feelings1 I live on the edge of my emotions.

Some people say I'm too emotional because I don’t run from my feelings; I cry out loud (without reservation) and I laugh hard (even when others think it’s wrong). Maybe some people think I’m crazy. And in a way I am (in the good way).

But the only way I know how to be, is to be honest with myself and with others about what I’m experiencing. And my experiences are rich with feeling. Otherwise, I figure, what’s the point?

Why pretend that we are not emotional beings or say that we can control our feelings when really -- Why should we? They are what makes us human, and real, and exciting.

It's living on the edge.

Now listen, I’m not saying to sit and wallow, or be a psycho. I’m saying that it’s emotions that make life full; that paying attention to them, experiencing them, and expressing them is what give life it’s meaning.

How boring life would be without passion. And passion is emotions with the volume turned up -- isn't it?

That’s why we like movies, because they make us feel something! And, whether we admit it or not, that’s what we want -- to be touched in someway -- to be moved.

So, I’m not afraid to acknowledge and express my feelings. I do it freely and openly. I find that when I don’t, I don’t feel good.

To ignore what’s going on with me is untrue; it robs me (and others) of fully experiencing who I am -- And that doesn't work for me. So, you won't find me there. I'll be where a passion for life is celebrated. I'll be living on the edge of my emotions.


So I invite you too. Come on over to the edge

. . .it's a beautiful view.

Don't get Mad, get Real!

AngryWhen I try to temper my temper when I have sharp feelings, I find that my fury only festers. It grows cold, and becomes a wall between me and someone else.

Anger is bright -- hot and present. When I pretend that I don't feel it (because, for whatever reason, it's the emotion we feel we need to justify in order to have), I become resentful and tired.

It take a lot of effort to contain that kind of energy.

What's up with our need to justify anger, anyway? We never feel that we have to substantiate our feelings of joy or glee. We just feel them and express them. And that's good. When we do the same with anger . . . that's "drama"!!

I find that if I'm honest when I'm mad; if I say what I feel in the moment, then I'm upfront and there's no guessing games. I'm direct, assertive, sometimes aggressive (and most definitely dramatic) when I express my anger truthfully. . . but not really mean.            

I get mean when I hold it in; then the anger comes out "sideways" (not clearly communicated and often misdirected). That's useless and hurtful. I don't like that. When my anger is convoluted by lack of expression, I get confused. I become more concerned about trying to "control" my anger than getting the information I could acquire from experiencing and candidly expressing it.

Plus, this "controlling" effort takes me out of the moment and drains me.

I personally think we'd all do better to treat every emotion equitably; with respect, value and eloquent expression. . . even (especially) anger.

I've noticed that if I pay attention to what I feel, there is always wisdom in my madness. 

Feel Your Way

Feelings_1 I feel my way through life and love. And, because I don’t censor it or mute the experience, I feel deep sorrow and great joy. This is what makes my life so abounding and my journey so exciting.

It’s truly an adventure when you just move forward without a map and simply see where the life takes you. And if I really pay attention to all the lessons of my heart, being the emotional person that I am, I will get closer and closer to that wonder I seek and I will never miss a moment of my life.

It’s exhausting to experience life and love fully and it’s much more work than just settling for less. But I’m driven to have it all. I believe I can -- in all areas of life.

Feelings are passion and life is a passionate experience if you really let yourself live it. It means that when I’m afraid I cannot turn away or crawl into a hole to hide. It means I have to keep going, believing and striving to be honest, authentic and direct in all my interactions with myself and with others.

I get my information from my emotions. When I don’t feel right I’m not living truly by my code: "Be Honesty, Authentic and Direct."

There will be no compromising. I will continue to feel my way in this "rational" world.

I am determined.