When we think about the work we want to do and the way we want to live, it’s important, on occasion, to take inventory of our progress.
And, because our community is VITAL to our emotional, spiritual, and financial health, we also need to reflect on who we attract into our lives and why we’ve put them there.
I’m working through a series of client relationship questions developed by Michael Port to help guide my thinking.
This morning, I answered this question, “. . . consider which characteristics (of others) you refuse to tolerate. What turns you off or shuts you down?”
And, I wrote,
• victim and martyr behavior
• manipulative people
• controlling behavior
My list kept getting longer and longer until I said to myself, “Geez, Jennifer Ann, there sure are a lot of things about other people you don’t like!”
And I have to add my wisdom to Michael’s which looks like this — I now know that whatever faults I see in you, I also possess. If I didn’t, I couldn’t be flummoxed by your behavior. I can’t recognize in you what I haven’t seen in me.
If you are working this exercise through with me, at this point I want to give you an EXTREME cautionary warning – we DO NOT engage in spiritual inventory so that we can hate on ourselves or any way stoke the debilitating dis-ease known as “shame.”
Nope. So CUT THAT SH*T OUT if you’re doing it!
The reason we take an occasional unflinching look at our own behavior, strengths, and short-comings, is because doing so – when followed by a program of rigorous right action – transforms and FREES us.
The only way out is through. And the only way through is truth. (click to tweet)
But we temper truth with perspective, humor, and wisdom.
Okay, now for the GOOD STUFF.
I once had a great spiritual teacher named Carlton. Carlton taught me a whole LOT about living right. And one of the secrets he shared with me is the transformational power of longcomings.
What you saw above was a list of shortcomings – those I see in others and myself.
The miracle of longcomings is this: Once you identify your own shortcomings, you take a moment to reflect on their opposites. These opposites are the LONG-comings that are associated with each flaw.
When I see myself acting out on one of my shortcomings, MY JOB is to quickly acknowledge my wrong and then IMMEDIATELY switch my behavior from shortcoming to longcoming.
Thus, when I look at my list above (the one that lists the trouble with “other” people) I see that when I’m tempted to get off track, I need to behave in the following ways:
• When I feel victimized and martyred, I practice empowerment.
• When I see myself trying to manipulative others, I try being direct instead.
• When I am using controlling behavior, I practice letting go.
• When I become closed-minded, I open my thinking and my beautiful heart.
• When I feel intolerant, I reach for compassion and understanding.
• When I feel entitled, I practice generosity and self-responsibility.
• When I am tardy (which almost NEVER happens), I show up on time and prepared.
• When I am thoughtless (which, alas, happens more than I’d like), I turn my attention to thoughtfulness and a commitment to service.
This morning, I’m reminded that the things I don’t like in you are the things that still live in me. And with all humility for my rightful place as an equal to all people everywhere, I quietly put my attention on right choices and practice my longcomings.
These are the qualities I want to see in others – those I live with, those I work with, those I love, those I serve.
I aspire to be all that I hope to attract today.
Blessed be . . . and with deep love and appreciation, Jennifer.
This is where you commit to yourself and your One Beautiful Life. It’s free. And our updates will keep you in the flow!!
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