They Say, “You teach what you need”

October 7, 2011

Does it matter what we do? Really! How many authors get a book published and are asked right away if they have another book in the works? Or a new mother, barely getting the hang of breast-feeding, asked if there will be baby number 2? Can we be content to navigate the lives we lead…as ordinary as they are at times? Yes, there are extraordinary moments, there are.  We are capable of great things, but they only come out of hours, days, weeks, years of ordinary. Should the ordinary be overlooked, or devalued in hopes that extraordinary will ultimately define us? I don’t think so, because the biggest part of each one of us is ordinary. Just Ordinary!

Compare our ordinary lives to women living in the Congo. Wouldn’t every second of our ordinary become their extraordinary? Isn’t managing to run a household, grocery shop, fight with loved ones and make up; go to church or temple or synagogue  extraordinary? Isn’t is extraordinary that we can call a friend, lift their spirits, console and support? Isn’t it extraordinary that we have just enough money to pay MOST of our bills, put food in our mouths and still be generous with others?

If we can be content with the ordinary, then aren’t we living extraordinary lives? Because I think CONTENT is really the most significant of accomplishments.

 

RE-POST (“you teach what you need”…today I needed this).

My Own Private Tony Award 

July, 2011

Who among us doesn’t have a story…one we tell others and one we tell ourselves. There isn’t a person, given enough time, that can’t teach us a thing or two about overcoming adversity, fear and insurmountable challenge. It always makes me feel like a small part of something so powerful when someone confides in me what they have had to do to wake up and face yet another new and often impossible day. The experiences each of us goes through contributes to the depth and richness of our lives. It is the things we face, the heartaches we bear that do in fact make us stronger and our lives richer…eventually.  If we manage to survive what often times feels like un-survivable, we have stories to tell that prove the notion that we are each stronger than we think we are.

Then there are the secret…dirty little secret…stories we tell ourselves. The theater is dark, the stage is empty and yet we execute an entire drama inside our heads; stories of self loathing, stories of inadequacies, stories of worthlessness. I have one…over and over again I see it and hear it and it tells me that I have never been, nor will I ever be successful at anything. depending on my circumstances, levels of depression, lack of self-confidence the story can render me helpless. My story of inadequacy, as ridiculous as it may seem to others, makes perfect sense to me. I know it, I have cultivated it and shaped it for years and years…It is my story and I am sticking with it (no matter how much therapy there is).

Yet the “stories” that others live by, listen to and believe are so completely ridiculous to me. how many amazing writers among us, wake up each day and feel that today is the day they will be discovered for the fraud they know themselves to be. How many gorgeous young women spend day in and day out comparing themselves to any number of photo-shopped images and find that they are disgusting by comparison. How many young devoted mothers tell themselves every minute of every day that they are doomed to be the same kind of distant, unfeeling parent who raised them. How many men live day in and day out with feelings of inadequacy around what they can provide and how they can compete; young teens who beat themselves up on a regular basis because they are different from the norm.

What is it about the negative thoughts that claim the lion’s share of our thinking brain cells? Why does one or two or even ten disparaging remarks/thoughts carry so much more weight than the thousands of uplifting ones we are likely to hear in a life time.

I am voting that the new mantra be… I AM ENOUGH. How about that for story…how about that replacing the countless hours of self doubt; the wasted comparisons to those who look like they have it all…because I know those people. The stories they tell themselves are the same ones you tell yourself and I tell myself. The secret dark theater thoughts where the story comes alive and is real enough and vivid enough that the Tony Awards should have a category for performances such as these. Those people, the ones who must be so very confident,  are looking at you and thinking that you’re the one who must have it all together.

Each of us deserves a break from self-imposed suffering. We do.

I know you. I read your brilliant thoughts; I am humbled by your beauty; in awe of your unlimited capacity for love, creativity and stunning accomplishments. You are more than enough. And the deal is if you don’t know and live as if you are, you confirm the shameful story I tell myself. Because I watch you, am inspired by you and follow the examples I trust you to create.

You are enough, and I hope to be just like you someday.

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3 Responses to “They Say, “You teach what you need””

  1. Molly Says:

    Honored to be by your side in the midst of our ordinary, extraordinary lives. Thank you.


  2. I loved this all over again…thanks for the reminder.
    Better go pick up my Tony!!!


  3. This makes so much sense. We’re never allowed to “enjoy” our triumphs – grand or small – much less those ordinary moments that mean the world to us.

    Content is huge. So are those unexpected joys – a smile, a phone call, a flower for no reason.


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