December 29, 2010

Reflecting on 2010 – Identify The Thorns (Part 3 of a Series)


yin yang
photo credit: macrophile

On Monday, for Part 1, I wrote about identifying all the roles you have. In reflecting on 2010, were you able to come up with a list of all the roles and responsibilities pertaining to you and your life? Was it a long list? Longer than you expected to create?

Tuesday brought lots of Roses, I hope. Part 2 was to take each of these roles you have and identify all the beautiful, wonderful, positive things you experience because you have that role. I called these your roses. Were you amazed at all the good things in your life? I sure hope so!

Today I want us to look at the roles we have, the hats we wear, and identify the things that didn’t go so well. The thorns.

Thorns aren’t necessarily bad. As with roses, they serve a vital purpose. Sometimes thorns are there to protect us. To keep people away, to harm predators. OK, so we probably don’t have predators in the scary vulture-ish kind of way. But, these thorns that often we see as negative may bring out lessons for us to learn.

Sometimes we’re the one hurt because of the thorns. We get pricked, injured, scraped, and hurt by these thorns. Roses are so beautiful, but we can’t forget that many times beautiful things come with hidden obstacles. But these thorns, these hidden obstacles, these negative aspects are not given enough attention. We gloss over them hoping they won’t injure or hurt us again. Rather, if only we identified them, recognized them and took time to give them their due then, and only then, will we recognize them should they happen again.

For me, as a blogger, there are plenty of roses, but often I didn’t anticipate the thorns. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to leave a negative or hurtful comment on my blog. When that happend, though, it was devastating. I was so hurt. After talking to others though, I quickly found out that there are some people that just like to do that. To see if they can get a rise out of you. That there are people who like to tear other people down because they think it builds them up. That huge thorn no longer hurts me. I don’t let it. I recognized that it’s part of being  blogger, but that I have the control in determining if it hurts me.

One of the hats I wear, that of mom, has what seems like a briar patch full of thorns. Of course I can’t just write that role off. Motherhood has a myriad of negative experiences. Sure, we may jokingly refer to ourselves as ‘Mother of the Year’ when one of these thorns presents itself. Truthfully, though, it’s no laughing matter. Those thorns hurt! They hurt a lot!  And many times they keep poking at us time and again, as if we’re blink to the hurt they cause. For each of us they are different. But we’ve all said or done something that we wish we could take back.  This is one of those roles we have that we can’t walk away from so the more we can identify the thorns, the negative things, the better we can be as a parent. Sometimes recognizing our own selfishness is an important part of this.

Yesterday, identifying the Roses, was it easy? Maybe yes for some things, no for others. It’s not easy to find the good things or give ourselves the recognition we deserve, is it? We discount the beautiful things sometimes, because we don’t think we deserve it. Maybe that’s just me?

Yesterday, CycleGuy and BabyGirl will be dropped off at Disneyland. We all went yesterday and while it was crowded beyond your wildest imagination, I tried really hard to focus on the roses. Both literally and figuratively. I tried to find the beauty in being with my family in a place that makes all of us so happy. I tried to acknowledge the kind and polite people and tune out the others. What could have been a day full of thorns was, instead, a fun experience. No, it wasn’t perfect. But I learned a lot. And I know that because I was actively focusing on finding the good in things that my experience was more positive. Even though it was hard.

Today, though, may be equally as challenging. We don’t want to admit to failure or hurt or difficulties. This step, identify the thorns, is probably even more essential. By knowing those things that exist to make our lives, our experiences, our days, ourselves, less than optimal we can take the steps to either correct them or find ways to avoid or lessen their impact upon us.

What are your thorns? How will you use this knowledge to improve these roles in 2011?  Will knowing what these negative things are help you to make better or different choices in the coming year?


{ 1 comment }

Kelly@Childhood December 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

Thorns: Jealousy and hurtful criticism… I’ve decided not to let others steal my joy. Growing something meaningful will always come with some criticisms.
Allison’s Diabetes… As devastating as her diagnosis has been, it’s also been a chance to teach her life lessons about strength and courage. I’ve learned some things myself too.
Job loss and financial difficulties: As a family, we’ve learned to persevere. It’s not easy when your spouse is out of work. Bills get behind and going out becomes less frequent. He is working again and we are catching up. Next year can only bring bigger and better things.
Thanks for this series Sara!

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