I have a love/hate relationship with my inbox.
This morning, as I analyzed its contents (which sits around 500 or so messages, even with twice daily purging), about half (more than half?) of what’s in there are useless distractions – of what’s left, about half are the things of obligation – stuff that needs my attention because I am a human living in this world.
Among the rest are a few nuggets of gold mixed in with reminders of some things that are going my way – as well as some things that are not. Some of the messages are encouraging, others confrontational. In there today, is a note from an old friend that brought a smile to my face. But I have also had moments where that inbox has grown arms and punched me right in the gut. Funny, how a simple message can elicit such emotion.
In my inbox, I see a snapshot of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Sometimes my inbox scares me – at other times it brings me joy. But my inbox is just a reminder, it is not my truth.
When I’m scared, when there is confrontation, when things aren’t going my way – it’s so easy to step into fear. To react instead of respond. To hurt someone before they can hurt me.
My kids have me hooked on Panic! At the Disco….
‘if you want to start a fight – you better throw the first punch, make it a good one…’ is a great line from their song, The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty. It’s not original, I know, but it resonates – I like to win, and sometimes I like to fight.
Reacting, fighting – they have worked in the past, but they don’t work any longer -because that’s not where the grace is – it’s not where the love is. And, it’s not where the win is.
The win is where I walk away emotionally intact – where I can focus my energy, time, and resources on the things that add value to my life. The win should also leave the other party feeling intact too and not brutally bruised or beaten.
The point is this…in any given day, in any given situation there are things you perceive as good, there are things you perceive as bad – there will be aspects that are easy, and aspects that are difficult. Things will go your way, and sometimes it will seem like they’re not.
But in all things, you have power:
The power not to lash out even when you’re hurt and scared.
The power not to allow unacceptable behavior from others.
The power to stand up for yourself, even if it means risking a relationship or business deal.
(hint: it always feels like it means this)
The power to say no when you need to.
The power to say yes when you need to.
The power to wait if that’s what’s needed.
The power to choose to be ok in the times when you don’t have the answers.
Because the truth is you are – you are ok and things will be ok.
Everything works itself out in the end.
To sit in peace and love and hope when my inbox is filled with duty and obligation and opinions of others who vary in degree from my own as well as (at times) personal attacks. That’s where the sweet spot is, I think.
If I can master this, I will become unshakable.
I think I can do it. I think you can too…