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,