March 29th: Delays

March 29th-Delays

Today I found myself waiting on others.

I had a big project due and my colleagues, were all delivering their work last minute: work I had to have to complete my assignment.

Even though I had contacted each person numerous times over the last several months… many of them chose to procrastinate until the very end.

Luckily, I learned something over the years that has helped me in the midst of just this type of last minute chaos: Accept that their will be delays and plan accordingly.

Having experienced delays with many of my colleagues before…. I made sure to give them a “final” deadline that was really a week ahead of my “own” true final deadline.

In that way, I was able to protect my sanity, give myself time to finish my project and review it calmly, before finalizing it and turning it in.

When I find myself in a situation where I must depend on someone that has proven at times to be unreliable, I must expect delays and set up parameters to take care of my own emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. No matter what type of relationship, professional or romantic… I must expect delays and create boundaries that keep me from chaos.

“Dear God, help me to find patience when all patience seems to have failed me.”

March 28th: Serenity

March 28th-Serenity

For me finding serenity is about changing perspective.

It seems that whenever I get my mind dead set on a specific outcome or a specific way of doing things…. I’m suddenly flustered and in an emotional uproar.

But the moment I note that something is not going as planned, and I acknowledge the problem and move past my frustration towards a creative solution… my mind calms and my serenity returns.

By surrendering myself, by keeping an open mind, by choosing to look at multiple solutions when things go awry… I allow serenity to enter and my spirit to find relief.

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“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdow to know the difference.”

March 27th: Dedication

March 27th-Dedication

Being dedicated, or committed to a task or purpose is not always an easy thing.

It takes a lot of mental fortitude to see something through when it becomes difficult or tiring but for me…

When I do dedicate myself to a specific task, use my strong work ethic to see me through, there is a great satisfaction in my accomplishments.

If I stay in the moment, and work towards my goal one minute at a time instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed by the overall task, I can achieve great things.

I cannot think of a time in my life that I was not proud of the time I spent on work that I was truly dedicated to…

Even my dedication to my marriage, though it did not turn out as I had hoped, moved me forward through my commitment to my relationship and gave me strength, when I was ready, to try again.

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“Dear God, thank you for standing beside me during difficult tasks. Help me to be dedicated to all I do, and accept the outcome of my actions knowing that I gave my best.”

March 26th: Being There for Others

March 26th-Being There For Others

This week is a very eventful week for me.

I have a looming deadline.

I have a public speaking engagement and…

I have a work commitment where I must be present for my students and their families.

I knew that I would need to take this week “one day at a time” maybe even “one hour at a time” if necessary just to make it through so…

When one of my good friends called me today, under stress and in need of reassurance, I wasn’t sure what I would have to offer him.

He was worried about his own work…

Stressed about his job…

Going over every detail again and again and hoping that nothing would go awry.

And after listening for just a few moments to his voice, I knew that I needed to put my own worries aside and support my friend.

Why?

My difficult week… my struggles were minor, they were in no way comparable, to what his worries entailed.

At his job… a critical mistake, could cost someone their life.

I listened to my friend and offered my support freely.

I was reminded today that no matter how overwhelmed I may be in my own world, others may be dealing with a task, a problem much more difficult than my own.

Being there for others reminds me of who I want to be in a relationship:

A compassionate friend.

An anchor when someone I love feels unmoored by life’s trials.

The voice of calm reason and assurance when my loved ones are in doubt.

The one with true perspective that can see when my own troubles need to be set aside to support a friend.

“Dear God, help me to have a higher perspective. When others need me, help me to offer my support, to set aside my own troubles, for the benefit of those I love.”

March 25th: Patience

March 25th-Patience

Today I found myself losing my patience.

I had a lot going on with my work and my high school students seemed particularly needy.

Each time I spoke sternly to them I would stop myself and say, “I’m not angry. I’m just really overwhelmed right now” and then I would stop what I was doing and calmly listen to their needs.

By the end of the day, I thought about how good I had been with my students.

I had explained to them that I was stressed, under pressure, and didn’t want to take it out on them…

When I was fearful that my voice might upset them or cause them to become hurt, I stopped my action and self-corrected.

I couldn’t help but be reminded that I must observe this type of patience in all of my daily dealings.

How many times had I not been this kind with adults sure that they should know better?

I’m not the only one under pressure in my day-to-day life.

I’m not the only one struggling with an excessive work load or intense family dynamics, or working to get through a difficult day.

I must exercise patience, show compassion, when dealing with all people, young and old, on days where I feel shaky on my spiritual path.

“Dear God, help me to be patient with everyone around me. Help me to have perspective and show compassion.”

March 24th: Stamina

March 25th-Stamina

Today I was riding on a long bike ride with a close friend.

It was only my second time out on a speed bike and he kept commenting on my stamina: five miles, ten miles, soon we were at a round trip count of twenty-four.

He was proud and a bit shocked at my strength and since I was new to the sport… he assumed I would struggle from the exertion.

I smiled… pleased with myself.

After all that I have been through in my lifetime…

The pain and despair I experienced through my divorce…

The commitment I required to complete my education and receive my higher degrees…

The emotional fortitude I built up over the lose of someone I loved and held dear…

All of these things were life lessons, difficult ones, that now guided me, and carried me when I struggled in the present.

Because of these experiences, I am able to reflect on these moments, use them to drive my strength and stamina, and know that any task great or small can be accomplished if I just keep my mind focused as I move forward in my life and on my spiritual path.-

“Dear God, thank you for providing me with inner strength. Thank you for giving me the stamina to move through pain and despair and gain perspective from my past that helps me in my present.”

March 23rd: Expectations

March 23rd-Expectations

Lately I have been struggling with expectations and basically, setting myself up for disappointment.

I don’t like the person that I become when I suddenly catch myself acting as if I am entitled to someone’s time or being judgmental towards their actions.

I wouldn’t want to be around someone who made me feel that I “owed them” my time or my friendship or that I had to have a relationship with them based on “their” rules.

However… I do want to be able to count on a friend and to ask for what I want in our relationship if my request is a reasonable one.

What do I believe are reasonable expectations in a relationship?

Setting a specific time to be together… and calling or contacting in a timely manner if our plan needs to be changed…

Creating a bond of trust within our friendship… a loyalty that binds us…

Speaking to each other with respect and kindness.

These, to me, are all reasonable expectations in a relationship I choose to pursue and if I have met someone who is unwilling to work with me towards this common goal, then maybe our relationship is not meant to be.

But… I must remember… expectations should not be used as a way to control others: If I use my expectations to control, it will only push the people I love away and set the relationship up to be full of resentments.

Today, I must be clear in my needs but reasonable in my requests.

“Dear God, help me to have clear and fair expectations with those I love. Help me to accept people as they are and accept the differences between us.”