Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seeing Your Rainbow

We're kind of moody. We're perfectionists. Easily irritated. Easily exhausted. We notice the good in everything but get weighed down by the everyday disconnect between what we actually see and what we think we should see. Yes "World," we're the ones who are telling you how it should be done and raising hell either in front of or behind your backs when you tell us you don't want to do it. My nickname at one of my former jobs was "Super B," and they weren't kidding. I'm sure if I could've gotten away with bringing a whip to the office each day, I would have.

Seeing the rainbow in life isn't something that comes naturally. If a car cuts us off on the Interstate, we're likely to get upset, maybe even flip the bird a few times. If someone doesn't reply back to us or call back right away, we worry that we did something to upset them or that they no longer like us. If someone is short in conversation, we automatically think we're not interesting. And if someone gives us the slightest little suggestion on how to do something better, we may become suicidal. Ok, maybe not to that extreme, but we'll beat ourselves up over and over again in our minds.

In order to see the rainbow in life you have to start within yourself. This means finding out why you're putting so much pressure on your shoulders. Yes, it's mostly you. Take a look at your expectations. Are they realistic? Are they more than what anyone would reasonably ask of you? What's the gap between who you currently are and who you want to be, and why is it so important? When I was twenty-three, fresh out of undergrad and working as an assistant for a commercial property management company, I was so focused on getting a job with a "real" title that I missed the opportunity to really dig in and learn a new side of the real estate business. I was worried enough about losing the other half of my budding relationship and our "status" that I forgot to truly enjoy the moments we spent together. And of course, I was worried about how all the ways living in Florida were so different from those in Colorado that I didn't truly explore all the Sunshine State had to offer until I moved away and returned there on vacations.

The Universe knew I was in need of a good lesson or two. Someone upstairs had a lot of fun and is probably still laughing everyday when they drew me into my current everyday life. I even laughed about it myself today. Over the course of the past four years, I've learned to (almost) let go of the "Super B" complex. My best is going to have to be good enough, because it's all I've got to give. It doesn't really matter whether or not I have "Manager" or "Leader" or some other fancy, important sounding title behind my name. The stress and politics involved in those types of positions doesn't suit me anyway. Besides, regardless of your role in an organization, you have the opportunity to make a difference, lead and develop yourself. And those titles aren't following you to the other side. Mistakes are bound to happen whether you're learning or a pro. Mistakes are often how you learn in the first place and discover a better process. Laugh at them. Laugh at yourself. The world isn't going to fall apart because you've shown that you're human. Finally, learn to have compassion and understanding for the mistakes and misgivings of others. Learn to help them do it better, guide them, show them. Dig deeper to see it from their perspective rather than assuming that they're incompetent.

Everyday life isn't a picture perfect postcard. Nor should we expect it to be. There's something beautiful and moving about a thunderstorm. The sound of the rain can calm and soothe your soul, bringing a much needed spiritual cleanse. Flashes of lightning, while sometimes scary, can be more thrilling than a Fourth of July fireworks show. If you listen hard enough, you can almost decipher a code in the boom of the thunder. You have to remember that the dark clouds are really just an illusion. Within them is what brings life to what exists below. Within them is the possibility of a rainbow or two.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so much the Virgo and I know I have expectations that are too high for any human. My husband has helped me get grounded in real life and I'm happier now...but I still struggle. Thanks for sharing this. I will keep an eye out for my rainbow.