Rules we live by- 3

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100_1190 (Photo credit: ttarasiuk)

Welcome back.  Hopefully you have discovered some of the rules that dictate your actions and worked on adapting them and making some choices with them.   Often when we face a difficult decision making time it is because of these rules and having some that completely contradict each other.  Usually, we think we abide by one rule, but there is another that is hidden that keeps asserting itself in the process.    To find the hidden one it helps to ask,

” What do I have to believe in order to feel this way”.   If it is a conflict in your rules you can usually discover them both with the answer to this question.  Sometimes just recognising the conflicting rules will help.  Usually though it takes some wrestling with them and searching “which one will bring me closer to my purpose?”

It is easier to notice these conflicts in others, but harder in ourselves.  One example would be a work at home mom who says they feel quilty for not contributing to the family more.  I of course know she means contribute to the financial bottom line, but also this comes from on one side a rule that says providing a nurturing  environment for her kids is important however, there is another rule telling her she could be working for pay might be more helpful. On the other hand we have mom’s who work full time outside the home and feel quilty about it.   Understanding this is a very complicated issue in our world today and not oversimplifying it, but really acknowledging the conflicts and learning how to look at them honsestly and knowing how to  adapt the rules for the life we are wanting is life- changing.  Getting rid of the guilt or feeling “less than” is crucial for feeling successful in our lives.

For me, I have a need for independance as well as a strong need for connection.  This often leads to some conflicting rules.  I discovered my “I want to grow by challenging myself and being all I can be”  would conflict with “I want to be loved and share experiences”.  (Actually these two came after some soul searching and adjustments.  They were something like- “I don’t want to feel lonely and left out, so I can forget my goals and go for yours”and a “I don’t need anyone and can do it myself”- Yes these do sound like rules of a youngest child LOL)    Still I can make  these a little more workable with knowing they are not mutually exclusive-  ” Sometimes I can pursue my plans and desires on my own and other times pursing a goal with another can be fun too”.

Now it is your turn.  What frustrations or conflicts are you feeling and what possible rules  are feeding them.   Can you adjust and adapt them?    Would you be willing to share them here with others?

English: The path goes on

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7 thoughts on “Rules we live by- 3

  1. Probably the biggest challenge in the past three years or so has been realizing and adjusting the rule that says I have worth through my job. For whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to find meaningful work, and, to my surprise, it sent me into a tailspin. I had not realized how much I allowed my career to define me. I am in the process of changing the rule, to say something more like, there are many facets of my life that balance me and help define who I am, and regardless of any setback or perceived failure, I am a worthy person. I wish I could say it’s a completed process, but I think that because I have tendencies to allow situations to dictate how I feel about myself, it’s going to be a work-in-progress.

    1. Wow Kathy that is great insight. I think a lot of people struggle with that topic. I like your new one, perhaps you could shorten it to “My circumstances do not determine my worth!” That might be easier to proclaim to all of those other thoughts throughout the day. And then another step- “What does determine your worth??”

      1. I like your shortened version much better! Thanks! What does determine my worth? I see my value primarily through the lenses of faith. There’s just been times when God moved on my behalf that cannot be explained away. Whether it is in a time of healing or an answered prayer, God’s action in my life speaks volumes to me about my value or worth. I also feel valued when I hear affirmation from family and friends, but if I really focused on getting that solely to affirm my worth, that would probably be as off-based as thinking I’m something special because of a job, right? It seems that you have to first find that you are valuable because of who you are inside–all the things about you that blend together to make you unique…more than situations or opinions.

  2. Sonja, I love this and your precious insights. You have such a gift for others and reading your post is as beautiful as sitting with you in conversation. Thank you so much for letting me know where I can go to get more of your beautiful writing. As one who also desires to grow and challenge all I can be, you are an affirmation of this. We will be growing together I see.

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