I’m having a really rough head day. The cluster in my head is fuzzy at best, enemy territory at worst. When I’m in this type of funk, I tend to spend way too much time in my head, analyzing everything, which tends not to be a really great mood elevator with my life being as stressful as it is. Every last part of my life gets put under the microscope, evaluated, and judgement is then passed. Try as I might, the loop continues despite my best efforts.
This, of course, makes it really hard to focus on the positive and I have had some trouble picking out a focus that I can follow. That said, I’ve chosen two positive words today. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am needing the extra positive this morning to help me push through the mind muck.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courageous this way:
Having or characterized by courage: brave
This doesn’t really get to the meat of it, in my opinion, so here is the definition of courage:
* mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
*the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous
This morning, I am feeling courageous in writing this post. Sounds silly, I know, but facing up to the funk, challenging it when it wants to shut me down is not always easy. Many times, the difficulty rating for battling the funk, on a scale of 1-10, is a 10, and I feel like my strength against it is a 1. But I keep moving, to the best of my ability, knowing the funk is temporary.
Finding the things in life that one does despite the fear, difficulty, challenges can be hard to identify sometimes. The little courageous battles fought every day tend to get pushed into the category of just what needs to be done, just part of life. Does this make these actions any less courageous? I don’t think so.
In my opinion, every little courageous act – i.e. standing up for yourself, driving through rush hour traffic, balancing a budget, forgiving someone for wrongs, believing in yourself, going to work even though you’re over-stressed – is like a workout routine. Every courageous act one makes, whether large or small, creates a stronger ability to apply courage in the future.
Merriam-Webster defines compassionate as:
* feeling or showing concern for someone who is sick,hurt, poor, etc. : having or showing compassion
* granted because of unusual distressing circumstances affecting an individual – used of some military privileges (as leave)
Feeling or showing concern for someone who is in distress. Some days, it feels as if this is a quality being removed from the general population. The world seems to be becoming more and more self-centered without a care for who gets trampled along the way. It is a concept I often times find I cannot relate to. One of the main things that tends to trip me up when making decisions on how to move forward is contemplating how it will affect everyone else (as in, those in my immediate family/day-to-day life). I am always striving for the best possible outcome for everyone. Does this mean I’m a compassionate person?
Sometimes, yes. Other times, not so much. When I hinder improvement in my life and the life of those around me, I am not being compassionate but avoiding making a decision where I may have to deal with negative consequences as a result of or deal with someone’s hurt feelings. It becomes something more along the lines of protecting myself than having compassion for someone else. It’s not a quality I am proud of or like.
Sometimes, it is really hard to find compassion within myself. I see the individuals standing at the end of the freeway exit with their sign and there are times when I find judgement instead of compassion. As there are many different reasons someone may choose this option to try to put a little money together (we have been there a couple of times), there are times when I step firmly into judgement, immediately, and compassion is nowhere to be found. The pregnant woman with a child at her feet – why is she having another child if she can’t afford taking care of the one she already has? I get it. Things/life happens. There could be a million different scenarios that came into her life that brought her to this point in desperation. That tends not to be where my head goes first in this situation though. I don’t know why, but it isn’t. I’m working on that. Not so I can be suckered into every plea but so that I can stay in touch with my compassion.
I think being compassionate extends to ourselves, as well. We need to be compassionate with ourselves, and I believe that starts with being able to acknowledge, if even to ourself alone, when we are emotionally not well, mentally overwhelmed, or when we are just not at our best for any reason. Showing compassion to one’s self when a mistake is made instead of judging is important for a healthy self relationship. If you are beating yourself down, judging yourself for being human, for making that mistake, then I believe we are creating our own dysfunctions. Love yourself so that others may find the love in you.