Dear Why Team member,
I hope this weeks message finds you well and encouraged. It is my goal every week to provide to you helpful and encouraging insight. I have received so much from this life I’ve been privileged to live: experiences, coaches, authors, mentors.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you what I have received. Thank you for being a Why Team member.
A few weeks ago we considered some habits that may seem extreme to some around us. A fellow Why Team member and good friend of mine shared an awakening he had when he asked himself if he has OCA and why he gets so frustrated, and sometimes a little unkind to his children, when they leave their dirty clothes inside out.
Because their behavior adds additional work for him when pulling their clothes from the dryer, having to turn them right-side out before he can fold them, therefore causing him to be less efficient and effective than he wants to be. Hmm. Haven't we all been here? Albeit with our own unique examples?
Why does our life design sometimes do more harm than good? The faster we move, the more blurry things can become. Our best efforts to be effective can often lead us to harm the very people we love and seek to serve the most.
Our pursuit to "DO more" can keep us from "BEING more".
It is so easy to become more of a human-doing than a human-being. And that all comes from conformity and comfort; conformity– since everyone around us is acting in a similar way it must be good and it feels comfortable out of habit- it feels good to have a system down, a routine. But occasionally, it’s good to check in and make sure we’re still true to our values and the ones we’re desiring to serve.
My personal journey has revealed time and again that the best thing I can do, at times, is to slow down enough to ask the question "why?" Each of us have only so much capacity, our fuel tanks can hold only so much fuel and while I am all about testing the limits, I have also found it's unwise to run too long on fumes. Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, and when it does, if our tanks are running on empty, we may not have the fuel necessary to be our best selves in the heat of the moment.
Putting personal systems and rules above the very people those systems and rules are developed to support can lead to exhaustion both ours and theirs. To catch myself in these moments, I'll simply ask what is more important, my rules or the person the rule was built to serve.
While the rules we establish are important, they are never more important than the people we are seeking to serve with them. And equally as important is the way we present and enforce the rules we established. Take brushing your teeth every night before bed as an example. If you were like me, I disliked my mother’s rule of brushing my teeth until I had my first dentist appointment where I had to have a cavity filled. I then understood that the rule was set for my own good. How have you presented the rules you set out? You are the designer of your life, you largely make the rules that fuel your effectiveness, you can adjust those rules, you can change them and/or present them in a more favorable light to the ones they were created to serve. It is important to look at children, not as one day they’ll grow up to be somebody, but as they are somebody now.
Plus, the quality of our doing is largely born from the quality of our being. When you find yourself getting upset, for any reason, ask "Why?". And does your why align with your best version of yourself?
Next time you're doing laundry, and find a shirt inside-out, smile and turn it right-side out while feeling the love you have for the person that wears that shirt, above and beyond any rule that may inconvenience you. There is always another time to review house rules to be more effective as a family, but know our identity is not found in our doing, but rather in our being. After all, you could be in worse places doing far more annoying things than folding laundry.
Especially during this time of Thanksgiving, consider being all the more patient and loving toward yourself- and no doubt you will be more patient and loving toward others.
Tis the season to be all the more conscious of our blessings - to connect less with our doing - and connect all the more with our being.
Make it a great week and
“Who you are being is far more important than what you are doing.”
– Lou Cassara