We all have disappointments in life-whether it’s in a job or an experience or a person…or even in ourselves. But how we handle those disappointments really determines the outcome.
Bitterness brings on a ton of unhealthy emotions and feelings that are hard to let go of, especially after a lot of time has passed. What if we took that same energy and applied to being BETTER instead of BITTER!?
I’m not perfect… never have been and never will be. So don’t misunderstand. I’ve been known to hold grudges sometimes or fail to overlook or even refuse to forgive. But when I focus on being better instead of being bitter, there are so many reasons to celebrate.
Here are my Top 3 favorite ways to be better rather than bitter…
1-Service Above Self: yes, it’s the well-known mantra of Rotary International, of which I am proud to be part of, but it’s also much like a phrase you’ve most likely heard your entire life… the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Remember the popular definition of character? Doing the right thing even when no one is looking?
That’s what Service Above Self means to me. Like getting up on a rainy Saturday to serve lunch at the local Rescue Mission or volunteering in the hot sun for a Special Needs Baseball game. No matter how depressed or exhausted or angry I felt when I walked in, I felt so much better about life when I walked out.
2-Choose Your Relationships Wisely: The people you associate with on a daily basis speak volumes about your character as a person. Remember your parents telling you nothing good ever happens if you’re out and about at 3am? Or maybe your mom was like mine – “if your friends jumped off a bridge does that mean you would too?” It’s still true today. If you’re seen having lunch every day with those who gossip about your friends or co-workers, you’ll be associated with them and people will assume you’re gossiping too. Maybe that’s a lame example, but you know what I mean…
3-Smile It Off: As in…that Taylor Swift song “shake it off,” except just SMILE it off! A nice, relaxing, pleasant smile can go a long way in diffusing a situation or putting someone at ease. (And to be honest, it can help you “bite your tongue” when you need to also!) For me, it also helps me to “think before I speak” sometimes-and that is a huge help in trying to be better rather than bitter.
What about you? What advice do you have to be better each day and let go of bitterness and resentment?
I’ve seen lots of posts & articles criticizing folks for their sentiments today – things like “Happy Memorial Day” or “Enjoy your long weekend!” Obviously we need to be more thoughtful and respectful of today’s holiday. It isn’t just a “day off” or even just the “unofficial kickoff to summer” as so many of us celebrate.
Most of us do actually know this is a day to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country – those fallen soldiers who served in the US military, either at home or abroad. Yes, we know it. But yes, we fail to honor it as much as we should. At least most of us do.
So today I’m asking you to do something simple, yet so important…REMEMBER those who have given us these freedoms and liberties that we take advantage of all so often as citizens of the United States. REMEMBER those who laid down life and limb on behalf of people they aren’t related to and never even met.
After that, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy the time you get to spend with your family and friends. To RELAX with those you still have in your circle and REJUVENATE so you can go out and spread happiness or make your mark on the world. If all we do is shoot fireworks and grill hotdogs, are we really honoring and REMEMBERing these important servicemen and servicewomen?
In Rotary, we are #PeopleOfAction who want to create lasting change around the globe and here at home. Isn’t that an ideal way to REMEMBER these heroes, by continuing their legacy of making the world a better place to live and work?
I’m not from a military family (y’all know… I’m a preacher’s kid!) so I don’t always know the appropriate things to say or do. But here’s what I do know… how to say REMEMBER the countless soldiers who have given their lives on behalf of our country, how to say “thank you” in a prayer of thanksgiving in their memory, and most importantly, how to pray on behalf of those still serving our nation that their families will not be REMEMBERing them next Memorial Day.
Here in the US, we recognize the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day.” It’s celebrated in hundreds of different ways, and of course last year differently than ever before. Hopefully many of you were able to spend time with your mother in person this year. And if you don’t have your mom (like my brother and me), or if you aren’t yet able to see her in person, I hope you were able to recall fond memories of time spent together.
For me, I spent the day on the road, but not to Spartanburg as I had in years past. This makes my third Mother’s Day without my mom. But it’s just one day out of the year that I miss our our adventures together, our friendship, and mostly, her unconditional love. I was blessed, as many of you are or were, to have a remarkable mother that maybe never knew just how incredible she was. I’m sure I told her every once in a while, but definitely not every day or nearly as much as she deserved.
Interesting that last week we also celebrated Nurses Week & Teacher Appreciation Week. Talk about a grand slam of folks who understand what it means to be a nurturer and positive influence… WOW!
I never had children of my own, but I dearly love all my nieces and nephews (and great nieces and great nephews!) and would like to think I’ve had a small part in raising them (still do….the oldest is 40 but the youngest is 3!). Whether or not we are mothers or parents or teachers or nurses…I still believe we are all of the same race-the human one. And we can all have influence over those who may not seek it but definitely need it.
To all my many “adopted mothers” out there – and you know who you are – thank you for your influence on me still today. I’m grateful for the love and friendship of so many positive women of action.
I’ve struggled to find the words… She loved to sleep under my feet while I worked. She loved to “go for a ride” & “check the mail.” She loved to play with her friends Hokie, Cocoa, Bo & Kahlua, & all her two-legged friends & family too. She loved to “shake” & “high five.”
She was never simply a “d-o-g” in this house & she knew it. She was more popular on social media than me. She loved to sit at the front door & watch the traffic go by. She even became quite popular in Rotary meetings since I’ve attended so many online this last year. And let’s be honest….wasn’t she just the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen in your entire life??
She was more than just #AbbyGirl – she was my faithful companion & she was loved so very much. My heart is broken tonight as I returned home to a quiet house and no one to greet me at the door. That will take some getting used to..
In the end, her age & her deteriorating health were just more than she could withstand. I am grateful for the many years I got to be her “mommy” & I hope she knows that in reality, SHE saved ME…
She was almost 13 years old (you can do the math in “doggy years” to figure out she was a “senior citizen”) but had so many wonderful adventures, several of which were part of my #50for50 this past year. I’ll share more about those soon, but here’s just one that you can watch for yourself!
I love you #AbbyGirl & we will never forget the happiness you brought into so many lives…
What would you accomplish if you had no fear? Would you be able to live without limits? We all have fears – for some of us it may be snakes or spiders, while for others it’s a little more complicated – like the fear of not being accepted or failing in love or business.
Unfortunately many times we never even face our fears. Maybe you haven’t had to (especially if you’ve never come across a snake inside your house like I did!! Yep…that guy was right in the middle of my kitchen floor last summer!) or maybe you just haven’t wanted to face them.
I’d like to believe I’ve faced a few of my fears. After all, I’ve gone zip lining, eaten Chinese food in China, and even quit a well-paying job to start my own business.
But those aren’t my only fears. I’m lucky that I don’t have a fear of flying or public speaking or being in front of a camera. And I recognize those are very real fears for a lot of folks. But I do have fears. Just because I may come across as confident and well-spoken doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. Hear me my friends…I am.
I’m afraid of roller coasters, water sports and fire. I’m afraid of not being good enough. I’m afraid of not having “happily ever after.” And I struggle every day with my fears. Someone called me out on this just recently & asked what I was afraid of….well I didn’t even know where to begin my list!
But just because we have fears doesn’t mean we should allow ourselves to have limitations. When we live without facing our fears, then we live with limits. And that’s unhealthy. So think about what YOU are afraid of, and how you can face it head-on. Maybe you can take a class, seek professional help, or as Nike says “Just Do It.”