When we wait for people to arrive, leave, maybe come back to us we’re the ones waiting for them. When we wait for a package to be delivered, for the results to arrive, for the next chance to do something we are waiting for opportunities to drop into our lap. We spend a lot of time waiting for what’s coming round the bend next and a lot of us have gotten very good at it, and consequently good at sniffing out chances at many and varied challenging and pleasing things to add to our lives. So waiting, though sometimes tedious, is not always a bad thing. Most of us think of ourselves as the one who waits, but, given the nature of the activity/pastime, there must be more than a few people waiting for us a lot of the time. When we do think of those waiting for us we generally either brush it off and show up late or not at all, or we worry and worry and put ourselves in the path of danger trying to hurry. If we as waiter stopped to think of we as waitee, we might not hurry or worry quite so much; not allow ourselves to fall into a mood too negative to be worthwhile when you arrive or your late one arrives. Besides, it’s easier just to let someone know you’re running late, isn’t it?
In many cases when one appears striding forward with strength and purpose at least half of what they accomplish has been achieved by their presentation, and the long, strong striding pace has a lot to do with that. Even if you’re not a tall person, if you take very long steps and come down relatively hard on your feet while keeping your torso upright and tall, you will command attention. A strong stride and upright carriage can be useful in a very personal way as well; When you maintain such a posture and stride, with your eyes directed straight ahead (but your peripheral vision working overtime) you are much less likely to accosted on night-time city street, or any other time and place that may feel dangerous or threatening to you. A proud stride can bolster your feelings when you’ve lost an internal battle, with yourself, a self-given challenge, or real, but non-violent opponent; you can retain dignity and commit to another try or your own challenge. The very nature of striding promotes better posture and makes walking big something to live up to for yourself. Walking big shows your pride in yourself and your confidence in your worth. Doesn’t’ striding toward goals feel much better than mere walking?
When we look into, watch others looking into, or observe anything placed in front of a mirror, or any other reflective surface, we assume that that mirror is showing us an exact representation of ourselves, others, or anything else found in front of it. While we know intellectually that there can never really be a completely faithful mirror image portrayed due to imperfections in the reflective surface, the light source, and other outside factors, what we usually fail to take into account is that our halves don’t match and that we don’t generally perform a complete inspection of our selves or our apparel so that when we look in a mirror we are often taken a little aback by what we see. We also tend not to scrutinize objects or other people closely enough that a mirror image will be close enough to identify them.
We stumble over the matter of perception almost every time we look at and make judgements about a mirror image. We may think we know what we look like, but there have been many times that we’ve glanced in a mirror and wondered who that stranger was standing there; or have looked in a rearview mirror and not been able to judge the distance from or make out what kind of car we see there; or reached for a vegetable in the market and bump our hand against the glass. Unlike looking in a pond or a puddle that we know has ripples and other distortions, we make assumptions about man-made reflections when should look at all reflections with a grain of salt or with admiration for the artistic license taken by these inanimate objects. Wouldn’t honing observational skills help us modify our assumptions?
At just about this point in the holiday season many of us begin to think we will never make it through, we feel somewhat, or very much, out of control and have no idea what to do to make things better, not only for us, but for those around us. After all, this season is supposed to be about joy and celebration, of beliefs, families, loved ones; but it can get so frantic and frightful, with wounded feelings and smashed sensibilities looming all around us. And we still haven’t gotten all of “it” done. At the first sight or sense of these kinds of feelings it is wise to take a step back and ask ourselves why we’re doing whatever it is that is causing stress and contention; if we find that it isn’t crucial to our happiness or well-being, or of that of those we truly care about, then we should stop in our tracks and turn our attentions elsewhere. The point of the holidays is not to see that everyone except yourself is happy, well-fed, and overindulged, the point is that everyone feel merry and joyful, and you, too, are part of everyone. It is a time to allow yourself to float down the river, past the rapids, and to the calm, smooth water of enjoyment. I wish everyone the very best, myself included. Don’t you wish the same?
When we are ready to act and have our goal firmly in mind, when we are poised for action, but haven’t yet leapt, then is the time to make a final examination of our true readiness and motivation for these particular actions. If there are any niggling doubts, any unknowns we haven’t taken into account, this is the point to voice a final yea or nay to ourselves. We can always pull back when we’re poised for action, generally we cannot pull back once we’ve begun to move; generally once we’ve moved we’ve committed ourselves fully and it would frequently impossible, or next to impossible, to back out of the situation we’ve created or to stop it in its tracks. There may be times that we want to act immediately and irrevocably: to try to ensure that we will carry out a plan or to just get something over and done with. However, most of the time the wisest course is to allow yourself time before you completely commit yourself to be sure that you’re ready and to be sure this is what you really want to do before plunging blindly into who knows what. We all can appreciate pleasant surprises: but should we allow ourselves to be open to unpleasant ones?
During a lot much of our growing up years, and even afterward, we are told, and we hear, that the straight and narrow path is the easiest and the quickest way to take to get where we should want to; where everyone’s ambitions should take them. We will have all our decisions made for us, we will follow other peoples’ rules, we will have the same feelings that everyone else does; consequently we fear that we will become less and less able to take real joy in something, anything; or to be able to feel strongly enough about something that we might actually want to do something about it. There can be no problem associated with an offering of guidelines or suggestions, but to put someone between narrow lines and expect them to color their lives within those lines is unrealistic at best, but also cruel and limiting to them and disastrous for you, your perceptions of yourself and of them. Without being given, or taking, the leeway to glance to either side and the ability to take an alternate path when that course is desired or warranted we could lose all the characteristics that makes us human. Wouldn’t you rather swerve from the straight and narrow than turn yourself into an automaton?
Sometimes we must be reminded of the big picture: we focus so entirely on the minutiae of our daily lives that we tend to forget that there is a bigger picture and that we have a part in it. To become so insular that you lose sight of everything but the microcosm that is you, your family and work and leisure friends is to deny that anything can affect you but those relatively few people. Whether you like it or not everyone is affected to activities of their larger community: city, region, and country among others. These entities can have an influence on even the food you eat. But we cannot forget that the little picture matters fully as much as the big one. Without keeping some focus on our little pictures we run the risk of alienating and losing the support of family and friends, or losing sight of the fact that we actually do need food and shelter, or miss out on the small pleasures that keep us going day-to-day. The key is maintain a sense of balance and to take a regular look at how we are responding to all of our environment, not just a part of it. Don’t you feel more completely aware when you are seeing both the big and little pictures of your life?