Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November 11--Stretch A Bit

You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery.  --Cheryl Strayed

    I begin with a huge "Thank you!" to all our veterans. Each one has stretched in the directions mentioned above, in myriad ways those of us non-veterans can't begin to imagine. I am grateful for your service. 
    I like the use of the word "stretch" in today's quote. That implies a gentle reaching into those areas listed, rather than a leap or dive. "Stretch" feels more like "dip your toe in the water, try it." 
    Stretch into goodness... try seeing good in every other human, no matter how challenging that may be. Believe people are good. Know that Something Bigger has your back. Know that life is meant to be enjoyed, not suffered through. Bring positive vibes to every situation. 
    Stretch into bigness... Think bigger. Imagine greater potentials. Here's a goofy example. My husband wants brighter lighting in the garage, where he is often working on projects. I'm thinking an obnoxiously bright, ugly fluorescent fixture. He's thinking LED, programmable, multi-color, dimmable--a fixture that makes both of us happy. I'm stretching into bigness when I find myself thinking, "Wow, you mean I could have that, TOO?!?!?"
    Stretch into kindness... This is our November theme. Start with kindness to yourself, and let that radiate from you. Remember that we don't know what someone is going through. While you wouldn't know by just looking at me, I had major surgery less than a month ago. I've asked for kindness in helping me carry heavy things over the past couple of weeks. Folks have lost loved ones. Folks are stressed. Life is changing faster than we can cope sometimes. A little stretch of kindness can go a very long way.
    Stretch into forgiveness... We remember that forgiveness is for us, not the other person, and it does not forget or condone the item forgiven. We can get much too accustomed to dragging around resentments. My favorite inspiration relative to forgiving quickly is that I don't want someone I resent living in my head rent-free. 
    Stretch into emotional bravery... This does NOT mean "suck it up and get over it!" This means feeling each and every emotion, one of the glorious benefits of human life. Emotional bravery is a direct connection to the heart rather than the head. It's using one's voice to say what needs to be said. It's grieving in a society that doesn't appreciate the necessity of grief. It's crying without apologizing. Emotional bravery is stating one's needs without people-pleasing. It's a recognition that each one of us is here at this time for a good reason. 
    Gentle stretching--it's good for us!

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