MINI-SERIES: Dream Snatchers

Bitter Pills

 

I talk a lot on this blog about reaching for your dreams, and believing  in your purpose. I also try to encourage you to not be so hard on yourself, and give yourself a break from time to time. Changing our perspective and moving forward in life can be challenging on its own.  But what do you do when you’re trying to have a positive outlook on life and there’s a negative person (I call them dream busters), hangin’ around?

I’m not talking about the occasional run in with a short-tempered driver sitting behind you at a stop light or the cashier at your favorite grocery store who seems to be in a perpetual bad mood.  I’m referring to  those negative people that for whatever reason share a more personal space with you. Take your pick, but it’s usually someone that you’re obligated to be around (family member, coworker, old friend). Most are cut from the same cloth. They are generally happy when you fail. Miserable when you succeed and would rather throw a bone than a sincere compliment if they knew it could help you. They’re usually the ones that have an uncanny ability to take you to the edge while simultaneously sucking all the good air out of a room. If you don’t have anyone in your life like this, you usually know a friend of a friend who does.

It’s easy to walk away from an annoying person on the street, but not so easy when you’re attached to them by those invisible obligatory strings. Growing up my mother use to always say, “Never let anyone steal your joy”, but the funny thing is, often negative people don’t have to steal anything from us because we give it to them freely. We don’t even put up a fight for what rightfully belongs to us, our peace. I have experienced this  in my own life on more than one occasion, and I want you to be able to recognize it for what it is and not give it more emotional space than it deserves.

Listen, I’ve been called idealistic, too positive, blah, blah, blah, but don’t let anyone fool you. That’s just a cop out. Life is tough, and it’s easier to swallow that bitter pill and act just like “them” than it is to stand your ground and demand your right to be  happy, to dream, to go against the grain and make a difference. We only have one life, our life. Only those who honor it as such have a right to share in it.

Life’s pills (obstacles) come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors,  including bitter human. Just remember that even the worst ones can make you stronger.

Enjoy your week, my friend!

Keep doin’ what you love,

Shannon

 

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s so nice to be back! I missed you guys! :-) So how was your week? I got a lot of  stuff done (Yay!). I also had a chance to think about my blog and some new things I’d like to try going forward (I hope you like them),  but those will come later after I have a chance to brainstorm a bit more.

I spent a good bit of my away time thinking about challenges and opposition. Ha! Ha! I know. What a way to spend a week, right? I’m really glad I did though. This has been a strange year for me and my family (lots of challenges). A week of introspection gave me a chance to step back and  look at everything from a fresh perspective. Lately, I’ve found myself in the “can’t see the forest for the trees” kind of place which is never fun, but taking time to search for the big picture when things get a little “crazy” always seems to help me get my equilibrium back so I can  put one foot in front of the other and keep marching forward. I’ve talked about perspective on my blog here and here. I truly believe that the way we look at things in life makes the biggest impact on how we live it.

How do you handle challenges? Do you embrace them, or do you run for cover,  lying low until the storm passes over? I’ve learned over the years that the best way to handle opposition is to just face it, head on.  How we handle obstacles in our lives at any given moment affects our posture in our future. Our backbones are only strengthened when we press against those things determined to make us fall.

I know that this is pretty serious talk for a Monday, but you should know by now that I’m not big on sugar coating the realities of life. They are what they are, but just as one day can carry the  stench of  failures, hard knocks, and broken dreams (how’s that for a visual?),  the very next day can  waft in the aroma of fresh starts and new beginnings.

Yesterday evening, I met an elderly gentleman in the grocery store named Mr. Dudley. He was the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man you’d ever want to meet. He asked me to read a price on a pack of strawberries for him to which I obliged. One thing led to another and before I knew it, we’d spent 45 minutes in the produce section talking about everything from his vegetable garden to Bible history. If I didn’t have to get home to cook dinner, he and I would have probably pulled up some of those grocery store lawn chairs, kicked our feet up next to the rutabegas, and chatted some more about his time in Egypt, the Hebrew alphabet, or the importance of education and our children. Before our conversation concluded, he quizzed me about all we’d discussed, made me promise to take it back home to teach my kids and then joked about giving me a college course in the produce section. Mr. Dudley is 90. Talk about perspective! He made me smile.

Conversations like this one remind me that life is truly what we make of it. My new grocery store pal has fought in wars, seen death first hand including that of his friends. He has experienced more “craziness” in just a decade of his life than I have in all of my 42 years, yet, he had the biggest grin on his face, laughed as easily as he took a breath and treated me like he’d known me all his life. Who knew that a quick milk run could have such a lasting impact.

Our life is more than just this week’s challenges or triumphs. It’s about seeing the forest before the trees get in the way or taking in the big picture before the little stuff has a chance to throw us off track.

Count your blessings, my friends, for there are many!

Happy Day.

Keep doin’ what you love!

Shannon

[yellow_box]Motivation Mondays is a series that I started to share encouragement with moms. I use my past struggles as well as triumphs as a backdrop for my writing in the hope that just as others have helped me along the way, my readers will find something beneficial to carry along with them throughout their week. I believe that community is important as well as honesty and transparency.Want to chat? Send me an email: littlekidsgrow (a) gmail (dot) com. My welcome mat is always at the door.[/yellow_box]

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