Thursday, April 25, 2019

FOREVERGRATEFUL





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Not that long ago I received a text from a friend that baffled me.  After identifying many of the the good things I have in my life, it essentially stated: “I am sorry if I sound sarcastic it is just sometimes I do let jealousy and I let envy get the best of me.”

I didn’t know how to respond to the text. My first impulse was to defend myself, to insist that I have worked very hard to achieve a certain lifestyle.  But then I wondered how some of my social media posts might be perceived by others.  My social media presence does depict me as quite fortunate, because I am.  And those thoughts began to make me feel ashamed.   Being envious of others is an emotion which is foreign to me.  Truthfully, I never dreamt that someone would feel envy towards me. I am not a boaster because I never want others comparing their life to me if it makes them feel sorry about their life. At the same time, I am cognizant of my blessings, but I don’t believe I flaunt them.  

Years ago, I bought myself a beautiful sports car, an Alfa Romeo, with cash.  But I was very self-conscious when I drove it.  I felt the same thing when I traded it on a Mercedes, even though it was an older and rather sedate model.  I am very mindful that not everyone can afford these luxuries, and I appreciate my good fortune.  
my mom, who taught me to be independent 

My posts are certainly not meant to upset anyone or to make them feel less fortunate. The truth is that more often than not I focus on the brighter side of life, choosing to report the good in my life by not focusing on the negative.  It is my intention to inspire and encourage readers to also reflect on their own blessings.  I do this not to boast about what I have but rather to express appreciation and gratitude for what I have. 

As far back as I can remember my attitude to life has not been concentrating on what I don't have but instead celebrating the good fortune that I have in my life.  I do recognize that I am blessed, and I invite good fortune into my life, but not by being passive, or waiting for someone to give it to me, but by actively making it happen for me.

I bought my first condo when I was 27 and my first detached home when I was 33.  I’ve traveled to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Peru, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Mexico, Colombia, Fiji, Scotland, England, Poland, New York, Hawaii and all over Canada, all in spite of being terrified of flying.  I did this by saving and planning. Some of the traveling was done after I got married and were paid for by a third party for delivering a presentation internationally, but I did a lot of it on my own and with my own money.     

The reality is that no one should envy my life.  In fact I don’t think anyone should envy anyone else.  In spite of the many good things in my life, and my achievements, most of my life I have struggled with some challenges that may not be obvious to the casual observer. I don’t broadcast my difficulties.  That said, I am fortunate to have special people in my life that make my challenges easier for me to endure. I am especially grateful for hubby for editing my blog posts. 

And it is important for me to continue to count my blessings on social media and not to be apologetic for my good fortune.  I am most thankful for my compassion and intelligence. If I could offer any advice it is this: always celebrate your good fortune without apology.  Be careful not to compare what you don’t have with others who have more than you do, because you may not be aware of their struggles and how hard they have had to work to achieve what they have.  Be happy in their good fortune, and wish them more good fortune.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

LESSON LEARNED




LESSON LEARNED
bathroom flowers 

This week's blog is on relationships, and +specifically when there is a communication breakdown in a relationship. Have you ever had problems in a friendship because of communication?   Well, I just experienced a series of emotions after I did something which resulted in damaging a long-standing friendship as the result of decisions made in the interests of an organization.  After careful consideration, going back and forth and accepting my part in the breakdown of the friendship, the question I should have asked myself is: what would I have changed if I could turn back the clock?  

I finally accepted I would change nothing. In the end what happened was what should happen. If our relationship had to be damaged or even sacrificed, I accept it. I have nothing to apologize for, I acted in accordance to my obligation to my organization.  

I knew that my loyalties were being tested by the situation we were in.   One of my colleagues had actually asked me if I could act for the good of the organization even if it harmed my friendship?  Of course, I could say it was only business, and not personal, but I hate when people say that because it is always personal, indeed it is difficult to separate business from friendship.

For sure, my first impulse is to justify my action.   Honestly, I do feel bad about my part in this drama, and I feel terrible that I let my friend down, there is no denying that. I am truly sorry.  My friend gave so much over the years, and must have felt left betrayed in our friendship, and dishonoured in her great contributions. We've shared so much over the years had such good times together I knowledge her contributions to the organization, her dedication and commitment mean a lot. I know I hurt her. And for that I am sorry. 

Of course, according to the demands of friendship, I should have showed up for my friend, when I realized how events were unfolding. But I remained silent.  The truth is that I was scared -- scared of being seen as not having the right intention and commitment.  I was scared that my motivation would be put into question and my loyalty would be perceived as putting a friendship ahead of the organization.  Yes, I admit this is beginning to sound a lot like rationalization.

Over the years I have done a lot of self-realization work to improve myself and become a better human.  I think any apology would fall on deaf ears, especially since my email is blocked.   Perhaps after some time and with a little perspective my friend will be open to hearing my perspective and my acceptance of responsibility for my role in this story. 

It is inevitable as humans we will encounter conflict and crisis. And it is inevitable in relationships that there will be miscommunications.  At the end of the day, how we respond in a situation will either elevate us or prove we are not as evolved as we believe. For me, acknowledging that we have a story, and it is our bias and perspective that creates a translation of the events that either validates our story, it will either make us right or wrong.

In this case, my two loyalties were put to the test.  My friendship did not prevent me from acting as my duty and conscience required.  I can regret that I caused pain to a friend, but having spent a few days reflecting on the situation, I don’t regret my actions.

In end, although I do feel bad, and for the time being I must accept that the only communication to express my regret through is this blog post.  One my friend may never read. Technology has created and opened communications like never before, however it has also made it more difficult to communicate. I accept that my friend does not want to hear from me.   





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