February 19, 2013

What I Didn't Realize

What I Didn't Realize 10 Year Ago

My greatest gifts stem from my most difficult experiences.

It feels better to have the hard conversations; it feels worse to avoid them.

I require alone time and silence to restore.

When I feel unworthy or not enough, there's no external approval that can take it away; the only balm is self-love.

It's better to be happy than right (righteous).

There's no need to try so hard to be liked; I can simply be me.

Small actions can have big effects.

Gardening and cooking feed my soul; experimentation (and screwing up) are essential to the process.

I'm happier when I don't take myself so seriously.

When my first reaction is strong and rigid, that's an important bell of mindfulness: What's going on inside me? What's hurt? What do I need? What choices am I not seeing?

I'm more connected with other people when I'm more connected with myself.


  1. Thank you for this lovely post with so many points I can second :)
    Birches are among my favourite trees as they speak to my imagination because of the different colour of their trunk and because of the way artists depict them in their creations. And we had one in the garden of the house where I grew up as a child.

  2. Thank you both! My heart is warmed anytime you stop by.

  3. I hear you on things learned. Not that it's an option, but there's no way I'd go back to 20 or 30, when I didn't yet understand myself the way I do now. Recognising that need for quiet, restorative down time has saved me many times in recent years.

  4. "I'ts betterto be happy than right."

    While I can see all the other statements in myself, I am having trouble with this one. Maybe you can help. First, what is the conflict between happiness and rightness? Or are you thinking mainly of being "right" with other people? I guess I just don't get this one.

    1. The "rightness" has to do with clinging to a particular view. Let's say I remember a situation from last week, but Mark remembers it differently. I'm sure I'm right (I have a good memory), but it's not helpful to me or to him if we argue over that point. If I cling to the black & white of "rightness" then I miss the grey-ness and the understanding of people different from me. I've just noticed that if I give up arguing a particular point (when it seem unfruitful or unhelpful) then I'm happier (less rumination).

    2. Dad, here's another crack at my explanation: "it's better to be happy than righteous." (This gets at the spirit of my statement.)

    3. O.K. I get it. I think the last statement conveys the message more clearly, but to apply your principle, I won't argue about it. :-)