Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful Tuesdays: A Lesson on Weathering the Storm

Update: In honor of Thanksgiving, I have added a few of my personal recipes to the Creatively Lu Printer-Friendly Recipe Page. Here are the links to my Popover Rolls, Mini, Baked Sweet Potato Latkes , and Turkey Sausage, Apple Challah Stuffing

Its Part 3 of the Thankful Tuesday series and today I want to expand on last week's post involving the 'upper limit problem' (ULP). As I have discussed in Part 2, we all have at some point in our lives experienced a version of the ULP, in which we control a thermostat for how much love and success we are willing to allow into our life. Therefore, if something really great happens and shifts the dial to a higher setting then we are used to, we subconsciously find ways to turn the dial back down. We put the temperature back to a place that is more in our comfort zone by inviting in all of our "worry thoughts.".

"Worry thoughts” are similar to that feeling you get in the pit of the stomach just before the drop-off on a roller coaster. As you reach closer to the top of the hill, you feel the butterflies start to set in. But as you know, when you choose to push past those limiting fears and continue on with the ride, you can certainly get through that scary experience. Today I want to help you to begin to view that feeling of butterflies as a reminder that good things are ahead. 

A time in my life in which the “worry thoughts” really tend to creep  is when I look back at old pictures of myself. I see the photos and begin to feel a sense of sadness waft over me. I wanted to try and expand past those limiting fears in order to reach a higher dial setting.

Recently, I stumbled across an AIM group conversation from my middle school days. In the conversation, my 5 friends who I had eaten lunch with daily invited me into a chat room. They wanted to tell me that I was no longer able to sit with them at the lunch table and reading the chat more than 11 years later, still made me feel a sense of sadness.

In the AIM chat, the “ring leader” began by saying; “Alright on behalf of our table I would like to say that you can no longer sit with us at lunch. You can show that all now by saying ‘I do.’” And so one by one... each girl typed “I do.” These girls who had "voted" me out of the lunch table had been my friends since first grade.  I responded simply by saying; “I had no idea anyone felt this way.”

 When I read my response to those girls in the chat, I instantly felt that I was back in that very moment, sitting back in the computer chair in my childhood home and feeling that same shocked, raw emotion all over again. I began thinking; “How had I not known they didn't like me? What was wrong with me?” That’s when it hit me, I associated past photos as a time in which I did not feel worthy.

After reading the AIM chat, I went and got out my middle school yearbook, where I found that my school picture had been crossed out with sharpie. I had felt bad about myself during this time and knew that I wouldn’t want my future self to have to view the photo. Suddenly, my mind flashed back to going to my grandmother’s house in Indiana. Growing up, I stayed in the guest room which had a shelf in the headboard adorned with a plethora of photos featuring the 7 grandchildren. I remember placing all of the frames containing my picture face down. Suddenly, I realized that there was a pattern of “worry thoughts” tied with having to look at old photos.

Last Monday, I went through my old, family photo albums looking for a photo that felt paralyzing. A photo in which if I walked into my grandmother’s house, I would surely turn the frame over. I knew that it would be very therapeutic to share the picture and so I posted it on the blog for last week's Thankful Tuesday. However, after I posted the photo, I realized that I did not feel completely like I had conquered the "worry thoughts" connected to it. 

Writing the blog feels a lot like writing in a personal journal and its easy to feel like I am simply sharing a lesson with a few close friends. And so I knew that if I wanted to work on pushing past those limiting fears, I’d have to take it a step further. That night, I decided to post the photo on my personal Facebook page.

As each person began to “like” my photo, I felt as though  each “like” was an alert that said; “this person from your life viewed the photo, and this person, and oh yeah, remember him...he saw it too.” I felt those butterflies fill up in my stomach, and I simply wanted to hit the delete button on the photo before the next “alert” could occur. But I knew that the fear was something I could and should push past.

That photo above no longer holds power over me. The very next day, my best friend came over, looked at the photo, and simply said "Do you remember the movie we watched that night?" I paused and thought to myself, this photo happened more than 5 years ago, yet I still have the same inner circle of friends, who are some of the most kind-hearted and supportive people that I know. I was worthy of their friendship then and I am worthy now...and you better believe we have lunch together often.

Have you ever listened to a storm on a warm summer night and heard the alarming sound of thunder grow closer and sound louder? Just as you think it couldn't possibly get any worse, there is one more terrifyingly loud, BOOM! sound. Shortly after, however, the clouds begin to part, the sun comes out from its hiding, and things go back to usual. This is exactly what occurs in life.

 I really hope that no matter what type of storm you are currently weathering, you truly believe in yourself and know that it will become a lot less hazy soon. Today I am incredibly grateful to get to share this lesson with you and I hope that you all know how beautiful and special you all are! I hope this post can be your friend at the lunch table, when you need it most. 

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