the night before my family left on their cruise, i had a breakdown.
the weather had been sad and stormy all week, i'd just recovered from being sick and now everyone was going on a tropical cruise vacation- without me.
you can only imagine the boo-hooing that went on.
anyway.....i had a breakdown, because i'd missed work from being sick, and missing work had me doubting my job and my ability to successfully DO my job. suddenly i was self-sabotaging, (something i'm all too familiar with). i was thinking about how i wanted more money, wanted to be able to go out and do stuff and the long and dark winter was just beginning...and the world looked so bleak that i began to just sob.
jenn, my beautiful and completely self-aware never-boohooing sister, pulled me aside and handed me a book. "the seven habits of highly effective people."
"read this while i'm gone," she said. she flipped a few pages into it. "see look: here's the circle of concern- the things you worry about that you have no control over, and the circle of influence- the things you worry about that you DO have control over." i looked down at the book through tear-swollen eyes, saw the circles of concern and KNEW: THIS BOOK WAS SOMETHING I HAD TO READ.
"it talks about being proactive versus reactive," jenn continued. "seriously...this book has changed me." i looked at my sister, earnestly offering me this book that she said meant so much to her, and grabbed it like i was drowning and it was a little doughnut life-preserver. (cute image, i know :P) after all, i figured, jenn's so put-together and self-aware. i always look at her with such admiration, anything she recommends is a must-see, must-do, must-read, must-follow.
"we'll talk about it when i get back," she promised, and i left that night with a splitting headache from crying, but with renewed hope in the form of the book.
let me say, a couple of days later and only eighty-seven pages into it, it hasn't let me down. i've been glued to this book, trying to cram in time to read while juggling other responsibilities. as i read the first dozen or so pages talking about reactive versus proactive people, principles and paradigms, i felt liberated. that's me! i felt like shouting when i read the tendencies of a reactive, dependent person. i felt more elated than troubled by the fact that i'd become reactive and dependent over the last few years. yeah, it sucks that it's happened....but all the same, the growth that is available to me and the explanations for WHY some of the things have fallen apart in my life the last couple of years had me feeling hopeful rather than ashamed or discouraged. suddenly, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. when i read that reactive people are affected by the weather and proactive people MAKE their own weather, i knew this book was going to mean something huge to me ;)
i'm sick of blaming things: weather, people around me, not having enough money, the way i look, whatever for my happiness or lack thereof. i've made a lot of progress especially the last couple of months in these areas but lately it was as if i'd hit some sort of wall and needed a ladder to scale it to keep going, only i didn't know where to find the ladder.
well, i've found it. and i'm climbing that wall and OWNING myself again like i used to, and even more than i ever have! i am going to ACT, instead of being ACTED UPON.
yeah, i don't have money coming out of the wazoo. derek and i both have jobs and the ability to make and save money, so that is something i can master. yeah, i may be in pain 24/7 but i know i will be, it's likely that i'll be in pain the rest of my life.....i can TRANSCEND that pain. i can rise above it and say, yes i'm in pain. but i'm NOT going to let it affect me or control me anymore.
i realized when thinking about the circles of concern and influence that a huge percent of what troubles me on a day-to-day basis are things that are in my circle of influence. meaning that i can do something about them. that thought alone fills me with joy. it's going to be a process, one that i have to commit to and work hard on, but i absolutely will. i've been shackled by self-imposed limitations for the last few years and it's like someone just gave me the key: i'd be a fool not to use it.
and this is only eighty-seven pages in! i can't wait to read the rest :D
a quote from the book to sum it up: "lift off takes a tremendous effort, but once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension."
watch me fly.