Again, I gleaned more wisdom from Dawn Ferguson this week. She explained that any
time we say a sentence about ourselves that has the conjunction BUT, the ending part of
the statement is usually a lie. We normally add the ending to appease our own guilt or
discomfort and to help ourselves feel better about our choice.
Here is an example:
"I'd really love to come to your party, but my schedule is so hectic and I have other plans.
I'm really sorry." If we are completely honest, we know that we DO what we think is most
important to us and keeps us the most safe. Perhaps it is true that I have other plans that
I made prior to being asked to this event, AND if I really wanted to be at that party, I would
cancel my other plans.
Maybe I'm a people-pleaser and keep my current plans because I'm afraid someone will
judge me for changing at the last minute. Our motivation doesn't matter. Our priorities
do matter. We could just own our decisions and not worry what others think about our
decisions. If they say we're selfish, then we say, sure, yes, I like to take care of my needs
so that I'm free and happy. It feels great!
A different way to have said this might be:
"I hope you have a great time at your party; it sounds like fun! I'll be spending the evening
with my Grandma (or whatever)." Now would this offend you? What if you didn't have plans?
You could say: "I hope you have a great time at your party; it sounds like fun! I've got a date
with my hot tub and the remote control to recharge my batteries.
I just need a night to relax and unwind by myself."
You might be thinking, but that is irresponsible.
This actually just happened to me. I had been planning on going to the OA Convention from
morning until late at night on Saturday, 4/17. Then I learned that my Grandma was celebrating
her 84th birthday the same evening. So for the first time in 8 years, I decided to skip the annual
evening dinner and go to my Grandma's instead, giving away my $35 dinner ticket. Why?
Because it's more important for me to spend this time with my Grandma and family.
I don't know how many more of these parties we'll have together.
Let's say my Grandma's
party was in the morning for some reason. In that case, I would not have made it because
I'd committed to a speaking arrangement at the OA convention, and my belief that I would be
irresponsible if I cancelled that would have overriden my need to go to her party.
My point in going into such great a detailed example is to show you it's all about my choices.
They are not good or bad; they just are.
Then there is "I'm so sorry Sally!" Do you find yourself
apologizing often? I actually gave that habit up, for the most part, some time ago. If I say I'm
sorry, I must be sincere and willing to change my FUTURE behavior. If not, then I'm not TRULY
sorry, am I? I am simply saying I'm sorry to alleviate my own suffering. An example is if I show
up late all of the time and am constantly saying, "Sorry I'm late." What is the point to that?
I'm not sorry I'm late because if I was, I wouldn't be late. Again, refraining from apologies
is a further demonstration of owning our behavior until we're ready to change our behavior.
One last point that goes with this. I try to not say "I can't" or "I shouldn't." These are weak
words which imply that I'm blaming someone else for my decisions. Instead, I say, "I want"
or "I desire." These are empowering words which let others know I'm clear on what I want
and I'm not ashamed of it. My intention is not to be selfish to simply get what I want without
considering others' feelings. My intention is to communicate openly and honestly to avoid
misunderstandings and to simply speak my needs. If my needs clash with someone else's,
then we can talk about it until we create a win/win for both of us.
I hope I've got you thinking!
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Create an awesome day!
Peace & Blessings,
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