Do you have a cranky mate? I was in a very unhappy marriage for 15 years. I was a disorganized mess, the kids were a mess and the house was a mess. I lost my joy until a minister gave me the most remarkable exercise to practice that allowed me to avoid being affected by this cranky man’s emotional issues! But the exercise did way more than that.
In our session together (I really only needed one to get me on track), I wept and shared how miserable I was because of HIM. I spewed my well-rehearsed criticism of HIS faults all over her office. Her response, “You are so lucky!” How could she say something so absurd? LUCKY? Give me a break! Well actually, she did give me a break.
She went on to tell me to imagine I had secured my spot in an elite training course that I could take full advantage of. “Every time HE does something to upset you, it’s the perfect time for YOU to practice letting it roll right off your back and work on your problem of being so disorganized. If you’ll set the intention of being happy no matter what HE does and get to work on your own issues you’ll acquire one of the most valuable lessons there is to learn in life.”
What’s interesting about setting an intention of being happy all the time and working on your own issues, is when something tries to pull you from that place, you can kick in and put yourself back. Abraham Lincoln said: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” He didn’t say much about being organized because rumor has it he was quite a messy fellow.
It can sound selfish to consider your happiness as a priority when there are people in your life who think they need you to consider theirs first. I like to call it enlightened selfishness, because when you take care of your emotions first then you’re in a position to serve others in joy. If you don’t keep yourself healthy and happy you can’t be of the best service to others.
When was the last time you smiled at yourself in the mirror? In Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise one of our rules when Peggy and I got organized was to shower, dress all the way to shoes and put on makeup first thing in the morning.
Excerpt from the book: One woman returned to class with this story: “I got up like you said we have to do, and I showered, shampooed my hair, and put my makeup on. I felt wonderful! I went to wake up my teenage son, and he said, ‘Aw, Mom, you slept in your clothes!’”
I remember it was even a bit of a shock to us to pass ourselves in a mirror and catch a glimpse of a stranger in our house. We began complimenting ourselves for looking so nice. “Oh, now don’t you look pretty!” We felt a little strange at first, giving complements to our image in the mirror, but we decided we needed some positive strokes. Was it egotistical to tell ourselves how well we were doing? NO! We decided that if egotistical people would take some time to tell themselves they were “all right,” maybe they wouldn’t’ have to tell everybody else. To quote Lincoln again, “Everybody likes a compliment.”
Now go look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love YOU and how nice you look, smile and go make your bed.
For more from Pam Young, visit to www.cluborganized.com.