As I stood looking at the sign, with disgust, I said, “There you go, Jennifer – This reminder is for YOU!”
I spent the last four weeks engulfed in self-imposed stress because of appointments, deadlines, computer classes, obligations, and projects, all of which I had control. I write this weekly column including the subjects of setting limits, learning to say NO, prioritizing, delegating, boundaries, balance, wise choices, and having a voice.
There is no A+ for ME this past month.
Examples of others not following advice they might give to others: doctors who smoke, nurses with high-fat diets, athletes abusing alcohol, Christians doing what would not please Jesus, or mechanics with inoperable vehicles. You get the point. We want people to believe what we say, not what we do. We are human, and we do, at times, fail to live up to what we ask of others.
On the flip side, people with no children can advise parents on how to raise kids, those who don’t travel can tell the horrors of airports and the dangers of various destinations, lawmakers can carry on about the needs of farmers, and men and women with contributing partners or parents can criticize financial struggles of a single mom.
I used to think knowledge was the key to healthy choices. An example: Knowing sugar is not good for me would stop me from eating the chocolate chip cookie or maple nut bonbon. Truth, most people, once in a while, will choose an unhealthy option.
I also used to think I could not be helpful if I had not experienced what my clients presented in therapy. An example: I’m not a veteran, so I can’t understand the trauma of war. Truth, people who see situations from a distance, can often offer helpful perspectives to those recovering from horrible life events.
As we succumb to the pressures of our holiday traditions, remember we will likely fail ourselves at times. My advice to you and me is, be honest with yourself, regroup, forgive yourself, and begin again with a new day.
Last night I finished my final neurotic (unbalanced – maladjusted) Christmas project and cleaned up the mess. Hallelujah! Maybe now I can revert to manageable goals, balanced days, where I can feel authentic about sharing advice.
Do YOU follow YOUR advice?
Today, imagine your cross-stitch (and mine) reading, “Take MY ADVICE, I’m Using It TOO.”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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