Processing A Day

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I really should be in bed, but I’m processing my day.  Spent over 14hrs with a group of people in this program, and the journey of today was, well, good, overwhelming, and needing to be processed.

A speaker today led us through an exercising talking about our personal values.  These are bigger things than just “trustworthy” or “accountable” or “integrity”.  No, he took it further.  He gave situational examples that showed that these simple words were not truly who we are – or what we value in real situations.  They are merely buzzwords.

He gave us a list of things that were his personal values.  And I got it.

“Know your cheerleaders and take care of them.”

Oh fuck, I feel this one. I know them – and I try…..but I don’t think they know why that is so important to me.  This is important to me because I value having them support me – want me to be and do better – they feel invested in me enough to care, on whatever level they care.  Of course, I want to treat all of that well – I want to take care of them.  I want them to know and feel how much I care – and how much their caring means.

“Love is the key to happiness and productivity” was another of his.

We read a book that made me feel this one in many different ways.  The quote from that book that took me there was:

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Yeah, I felt that one too.

Before he reached all of that in his talk, he had us do an exercise.  Pick people we admire – and write in prose about why we admired them.  What we valued with them.

The first one was easy – my dad.

A man who demonstrated through all of his actions his sacrifice for his family.  There was not ever too much work if it put his wife and kids in a position that allowed them to reach beyond what they could have done.  Even if that meant he dealt with bad jeans and shoes, he was going to make sure he took care of us first.  He worked hard.  His work ethic was such that all we could do was hope to measure up to it.  And his belief that failure wasn’t the end of the world – it was something to be learned from – well, that was evident every time he reminded us that despite the loss and the pain of it – that the sun would come up tomorrow.  The birds would sing.  The world would keep spinning.  Life would go one – and we would get another chance.

The second was harder.

I thought about G and all he brings to my life, but hell – he and I approach things so differently that he is my balance, not something I can be.  While I rationalize and make sure all is good before the leap, he leaps and figures it out on the way down.  He cares but in different ways.  We make a good team, yes – but, well, I will admire him for all of the things I cannot be – and yet,  I simply cannot be.

SB – I admire because of his desire to never be a victim.  That resonates with me.  He will always be the “bad surprise” – much to his delight.  He is well read – and caring – and his actions will always reflect who he is.  But he will never compromise who he is.  It is one of the things I have always admired about him.  He is incredibly smart – a continual learner in life.  He has been able to go about life on his terms – rarely compromising. I admire that.

My mom is someone who, in early life, I strove to never be like – but in later life admire.  She went from someone who accepted all that happened to say “no fucking way” and taking control.  I’ll never forget her firing the respected oncologist because the oncologist refused to acknowledge how the cancer treatments were affecting her Crohn’s disease.  My mom 10 years ago would never have done that.  Mom now? She takes the bull by the horns.  My only wish for her is the ability to pick battles.  Right now – because of her health issues – all are battles.

These are the things I thought about – I wrote about – while he was talking.

They all lead me to believe things that were my personal values.  I’ll continue to sort them out as time goes one – but it definitely made me think in ways I did not expect.

The last thing the speaker said in terms of his personal values?

“Leave your comfort zone – often. Most times it is about the journey, not the destination.”

How fitting.

So much is and has been outside of my comfort zone. The journey has and continues to each me much.

What do you think?