What are you worthy of?

7 Dec

words-chinese hopeI know several folks going through difficult times. I’ve been thinking about them and praying for them a lot lately. Some of the situations are medical, some emotional, some financial. I also know several folks who are doing very well. They are healthy, emotionally sound and happy and financially comfortable. I wonder sometimes why some people seem so blessed and others seem to struggle. Sometimes, the ones who struggle the most seem to work harder than the ones who succeed. What makes them different? Is it just luck of the draw? Is it education? Or is it something else? I’ve been asking that question a lot lately, and I’m not sure if I have the answers, but I have had some interesting thoughts, flashes of intuition and ideas to share, so here goes.

I don’t know about you, but I think there is much more good in this world than there is bad. I think that bad news currently sells better than good news and that our society has come to believe that facts and reality are negative and that we just have to deal with it. My answer to that is bull****.

Let’s start with the financial, because I think that’s really the easiest. Anyone can live above their means, and most can live within them, if they are willing to take a good look at themselves and what they spend. Poor people work hard, but so do most of the rich people I know. Some of the wealthiest people I know work many more hours than the poor folks I know and they give more to charity. The difference isn’t always in the amount of money that people make; it’s how they spend it. Also, I know several people who make very little money in terms of today’s income levels that have no debt and pay cash for everything they buy, including cars and houses. Yes, there are those who have huge debt and would be bankrupt in less than six months if they lost their income, and sadly, in our country, that has become more the norm, but those are decision made by individuals to put themselves in those situations with no thought of what tomorrow might bring. This is coming from someone who watched a 401k disappear in 2001 when my husband was unemployed for over a year and we had a newborn with special needs. Been there; done that; burned the t-shirt.

Then there are the skinny people. It took me a long time to realize that skinny doesn’t always mean healthy. I know a few skinny people that have a bowl full of medication that they take. I know some who are overweight who take no medication. I know women who look beautiful on the outside that are also beautiful on the inside, but the stories of beautiful women with eating disorders, and drug and alcohol problems are everywhere.

Finally, there is the land of the emotions. I don’t think anyone would disagree that there is a whole lot of crazy out there, but there is also so much good. We hear about the disturbed college students who buy guns and use them. We don’t hear about the hundreds and maybe thousands of college students that are making a positive difference every day around the world. We hear about the drug addled mothers that do unspeakable things to their babies but not about the parents that adopt drug dependent and other special needs babies and raise them to be productive members of society.

So how do we help the pendulum swing toward the good? How do we create a wave of goodness that overwhelms the bad? We become part of the good and share it every chance we get. We all have priorities. Sometimes we tell people what our priorities are, but our actions tell a much different story. Want to know what your true priorities are? Write down everything you do for a week or better yet, a month. You’ll know what your priorities are and what you see may surprise you. If you’re struggling, I would almost guarantee that your priorities don’t match up with your actions, but you can change if you want to. If you’re struggling in any area, begin to work on mastering yourself because it’s the only thing you can master. There are so many people out there trying to save the world and that is a noble cause, but how many are trying to save themselves first? Saving yourself and developing self-mastery is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it will give you a depth of strength, love and courage you can only imagine, until you do the work.

If your health is your area of struggle, find a healthy lifestyle you can live with. If it all seems overwhelming, do what health and wellness expert Kathy Freston suggests and “lean” into better health. Pick and choose from different experts. Create your own health plan. Record what you eat and your exercise. Find an exercise you enjoy, whether it’s walking or running or kick boxing or yoga or a combination of something else entirely. You might even want to keep track of how much you sleep and how much water you drink. Changing or improving just one habit per month can change your life in the most positive ways.

If you struggle financially, write down every penny you spend. In the first month, I guarantee you’ll spend less because you don’t want to write down the dumb things you normally spend your money on, and when you add up what you spend, you’ll change your ways. As you begin to pay attention, you’ll make changes. As you make changes, new ideas and materials and maybe even mentors will show up in your life. If you ask successful people, you’ll find out that they didn’t do it themselves. They had help, sometimes in the most unusual ways, but you’ll also find out that they got to where they are by daily actions.

I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be; it’s amazing how action, no matter how small, seems to bring blessings. I’ve been amazed at the information, mentors and help that have flooded our lives as we make positive decisions and then act on them on a daily basis. In the worst economy in my lifetime, according to the news, we’ve learned to thrive financially. We’ve nearly paid off $25,000+ in credit card debt in about three years, just because we made financial health a priority. In the midst of type 1 diabetes, of having a child with a compromised immune system and two with food sensitivities, we’ve learned how to be healthy. From mental abuse in my younger years, I’ve grown to be more emotionally sound than I ever imagined I could be. I’m not bragging, because, as I said, I have a long way to go, but I hope that for those who are struggling, you can understand that there is hope. There is a way out. There is a way up, and the best news is that it doesn’t depend on anyone else because it all starts with you. For those who are struggling, you can make it better. Take that first positive step and then take another and another. Before you know it, you’ll be in a place that is so much better than where you are today. It is possible and you are worth it. Not sure which step should be your first? Try turning off the news for thirty days. Instead of watching someone else’s bad news, create some good news of your own. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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