Just Different

July 27th, 2012   •   Comments Off on Just Different   

Life has seasons:  great, good, not so good, or really suck. Some seasons of life are not easily defined.

Since going into private practice, it’s a new season of life for both Jeff and me. It’s different.

Different can be unsettling.

The practice is going tremendously well. My office location is working perfectly, and the appointment load has been full with referrals coming steadily from unexpected sources.

Sidenote: when someone comes to me saying that they were referred by you, it is confidential that I was contacted by them, so I can’t directly call to thank you. Although I don’t thank you specifically, I do appreciate your confidence.

There are some obvious changes to explain the feelings. I don’t have to ask for time off or to leave early, but I’ve always been pretty autonomous on my schedule anyhow. I have plenty of relational time with others, so I’m not lonely.

The only thing I’ve identified is that I’ve always had someone who couldn’t do their job until I did mine. That’s no longer the case.

Maybe it’s about feeling needed, but that doesn’t explain it either. I know what I do is helpful to people and valued.

Maybe it’s being a part of a team. Maybe it’s what people in business for themselves experience. Maybe it’s what people experience in retirement.

I don’t know. I just know it’s different. It’s change. It’s not  familiar. It’s new.

Good stuff often develops when we move out of what’s familiar. Since it’s not causing me any harm, I’m just gonna sit with feeling unsettled. I know it’s all good.

Intentional Change

July 16th, 2012   •   Comments Off on Intentional Change   

Changing our own behavior requires intentionality.

We gravitate toward what’s familiar. It’s human nature. Even when it’s miserable, it’s what we know. It explains why we stay with crappy habits, relationships, and patterns of living.

We know better, and yet, we keep doing it.

People ask me, “How do I change?” Lately, I’ve found myself answering the question through the image of a rubber band.

A rubber band looks a certain way when it’s just laying  there. To change how it looks, you have to be intentional about it. Whenever you stop stretching it in a new direction, it snaps right back to what it knows.

When you stretch it so far that it gets close to breaking, there is a hesitancy that it’s going to snap and hurt you. We release the pressure and the rubber band returns to what it knows. If you just keep holding it without really stretching, you’ll eventually tire and quit.

Keep pulling until the pattern breaks.

Move in the direction of where you want to go. You will break the old pattern of living and create a new one. It’s going to feel uncomfortable even when it’s better for you.

Fear may cause you to retreat to what’s familiar. Don’t do it. Keep going.

When it snaps, there may be a little sting, but the freedom is amazing!

Confusing Love

July 3rd, 2012   •   Comments Off on Confusing Love   

“No one will ever love you as much as I do.”

The explanation given for this phrase, “I want them to know how much I love them!”

Here are the reasons it isn’t effective:

  • It doesn’t say, “You’re special.” It says, “I’m special.” It’s about ME!
  • It suggests, “You are unlovable if it weren’t for my unique ability to love you.”
  • It communicates, “I need to keep you dependent on me. Unless you need me, I don’t think you’d stay with me.”

Unfortunately, many victims of abuse in childhood have these words spoken to them. Many adults hear it from their significant other. It’s especially confusing because the speaker often has deeper insecurities than the person they are trying to make dependent on them.

The person may really love you; their confusion doesn’t make them bad. They are more likely worried about your love for them.

See it for what it is.