Drop it

July 28th, 2014

Has someone ever hurt your feelings? Of course they have. It’s as common as nightfall. There are three steps to keeping yourself poised, balanced and strong in the face of such pain. These three steps are also the key to your peace of mind.

If someone came up to you and said “1953 Studebakers suck” would your feelings be hurt? Of course not. Now if they came up to you and said “Those shoes you are wearing look like thrift store rejects” would your feelings be hurt? Of course they would. Why? Because this time it’s personal!

When someone hurts your feelings it is if they had just thrown a hot coal at you. If it’s not personal, you step out of the way but if it is personal, you catch it. If you are feeling particularly testy you may even go out of your way to catch it and when you catch it the hurt begins. And then you respond to the hurt that you just accepted.

Step one is “Acknowledge that you have been hurt” . Don’t try to put on a stoic face to yourself or to anyone else. If it hurt, admit to yourself and to the hot coal thrower that it hurt. That is not weakness or being too sensitive. That is honesty. There is tremendous strength in honesty.

Step two is “Don’t take it personal!” My wonderful grandmother, God rest her soul, was never upset for more than a minute or two when someone hurt her feelings. When I questioned her about it she always said “Consider the source!” In other words, it’s always about them not you! They are the ones that are out of balance. They are the ones that are not caring about the impact of their words. They are the ones being cruel, spiteful or just downright mean. They have the problem.

Step three is “Let it go”. Notice I didn’t say forget about it. Forgetting is impossible. We cannot forget anything that has deeply affected us. When a hot coal is thrown and we catch it, the longer we hold on to it, the more it hurts. Drop it! Let it go! You will remember the incident and that’s a good thing. By remembering you will adjust your interaction with that person and if it continues you will and should dismiss that person from your life.

You have acknowledged that it happened, you have made it their problem and not yours and now any further ruminating on the subject just adds more pain TO YOU AND NOT THEM. Let it go as quickly as you can every single time it surfaces in your thoughts. Otherwise, you are helping someone to continue to hurt you. And that’s just wrong.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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Human Race

July 21st, 2014

We are all humans and this is the human race. There are no winners or losers. It is a race with a separate finish line for each individual and we will all make it to our individual finish lines. So, if there are no winners or losers, what is the purpose of this race? The purpose of this race is the sheer excitement and joy of participating. It’s not about putting your blinders on and your head down and going as fast as you can. It’s about looking around. It’s about meeting others. It’s about helping others. It’s about being helped. It’s about love.

We’ve been sold a story that the only true fulfillment comes from excelling. More, more, more. More money, more fabulous vacations, more stuff, even our health has to border on immortality. Odds are that very few people beyond your social and family circle are even going to know that you lived. Odds are that you are going to have your share of hard times and disappointments. Thrillingly though, odds are that you are going to know love. Odds are that people will come to you for advice and help.

When people come to you for help you are going to feel something inside of you rejoicing at the opportunity. You will suddenly realize that you really, really, really want to help. It makes you feel alive. It makes you feel like there is a reason for your being. All of the hard times and disappointments suddenly make sense. You couldn’t possibly help without experiencing them.

Your purpose, my purpose, everyone’s purpose is to experience all that we can in order to help others. When you do that, all of your experiences become part of their learning and in turn becomes part of their teaching when the time comes for them to help.

Life is not about winning or success. It is about harvesting the seeds of your experiences and planting them everywhere you go. Your name will be forgotten in a few generations but you will live on in the seeds you gathered and planted.

The question is not how will you excel. The question is how much will you love? Set your mind to making life better for those around you especially the children. Forget about what others expect of you and tune in to what your heart expects of you and where your heart is leading you. Look around. There is a lot of loving to be done between here and the finish line.


Think better

July 14th, 2014

Do you secretly wish that the whole world could be, well.. more like you?

Well the fact of the matter is that the whole world already is very much like you. Everything you see out there is also inside of you. The only difference is that you don’t act on the same thoughts that some other people do.

I could never understand how a parent could get to the point where they would throw their crying infant against a wall. I use to think that they were demented and that we had absolutely, positively nothing in common with each other. We were from different worlds.

And then I had my own children. I remember one night. It was early in the A.M. I had the flu and had been up for two straight days with my crying daughter. I desperately wanted to go to bed, to sleep. Nothing I could do would stop her crying and then it happened. The thought of just throwing her against the wall to stop her crying flashed across my mind.

It was the briefest of thoughts and quickly dismissed but it was there. It was a part of me. I felt somehow evil, bad, crazy, for even having that thought. Surely, a good, decent parent would never have a thought like that. And then I thought of how I had condemned others as so very different from myself.

You and I and seven billion others have our thoughts in common. What thoughts we act upon is what makes us uniquely us. Don’t spend another minute trying to understand why you think the thoughts that you do. Start consciously thinking the thoughts that elevate you mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Everything about us is a direct result of which thoughts we entertain and the thoughts we entertain are exactly the ones we act upon and those are the ones that define us. Think better to be better.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride
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July 7th, 2014

You know exactly how it feels to drive a car. Now imagine for a moment that you were physically hard wired into your car. Imagine that you could completely experience everything the car did. You could actually feel the tires gripping the road. You could feel the road surface as if you were feeling it with your hand. You could feel the wind flowing over your aerodynamic curves. You could actually feel the power and performance of the engine. You were at one with the diagnostics of the car, constantly sensing and monitoring every function.

If this imagining could be true, how much would you like to experience? Would you rush to find out how different roads felt? How about feeling what it would be like to push everything to the maximum? Would you want to experience different temperatures, different weather and different obstacles? How about fast lanes or off road? Would you like to see what different fuels did to your performance?

OR would you like to park in the garage and just idle for years? Maybe when you got bored you could make the garage better or bigger. The car wouldn’t get dirty and you wouldn’t get lost and you wouldn’t need to take any detours but is that a good reason to have a car? Of course not.

You and I are spirits who inhabit physical bodies very much like a driver hard wired into an automobile. We feel and experience everything our bodies do. Our bodies, like our cars won’t last forever but while we have them there is this great desire to feel and experience everything we can. When we settle into a rut or negate some opportunity to experience life, we lock ourselves into a garage.

Cars were meant to be driven and people were meant to be alive. No one knows the exact time and day that our car or our body will stop running but while we have the ability to drive, to live, let’s make the most of it. Plan a road trip. Plan a life trip. Drive! Live! Stay out of the garage.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride
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