Showing Up is a Choice; Choose Wisely
As the busy summer comes to a close and the routine of school begins I ‘ve been reflecting on the whirlwind of activity over the past few months and how fast the summer has passed by. With a family and work, there are many commitments, celebrations, invitations and events to consider attending or declining. In all actuality, this is a year-round consideration for me, but recently my wounded, inner-child was activated, hence the deeper reflection into said topic 🙂 I was hurt, annoyed and let down by someone because they didn’t show up for me. They made a choice to show up for another cause, perhaps more noble in nature, but still a let down to me.
I allowed myself to feel the frustration and judgment I was passing, but I am glad to say that I am far enough along on my spiritual journey to recognize a trigger as a gift of awareness. Awareness in regards to an area that needs to be healed, or maybe an area that I need to work on myself.
After allowing my negative emotions to run their course, I realized the message in it for me (not to be confused with a message for anybody else, unless it resonates of course 🙂 was that in my life I face choices all the time that require me to determine for whom I show up. Will it be the noble cause that serves many, or the singular event that means the world to one? Will I show up for the person who is really good at pressuring me to show up over the understanding, compassionate person who trusts that I know where I need to be. Will I cave to the pressure of the wrath I will suffer from a strong personality if I don’t show up over attending to my own personal needs? Will I choose the event for the person for whom I am desperately seeking approval over the invitation of the the one who gives me unconditional love? Or will I flake out and not attend, because I just don’t feel like going, or ‘something better’ came along? I may not have always made the right choice, but I am more aware now. I can’t be everywhere and show up for everyone all the time, but I vow to make a conscious choice, will you?
As I allowed the awareness of the need for healing and the message of conscious choice to flow, this phrase popped into my mind, “Make sure your own house is in order before setting out to save the world.” This message for me was two-fold in the way that it pointed to both healing and future choices. For me, there is a hierarchy when making a choice. My family and self (yes, I said self! Self-care is important. Not to be confused with selfishness. After all if you aren’t good to yourself how can you really be good for anyone else?) come first, and even then, there are choices to be made when individual needs and schedules conflict. All the rest fills in beyond that. But, not everybody navigates this way and I cannot expect that just because I have a hierarchy for making choices doesn’t mean that everybody else should operate in the same manner. I am not the center of anybody else’s universe except my own. Sometimes though, my ego would like to think otherwise! But honestly, if you can grasp that message (that you are only the center of your own universe, not anybody elses’) it is easier not to take things too personally.
On the flip side, this past summer I missed events, attended functions and had ample opportunities to exercise my conscious choice making for whom to show up. There were times when I went to events that I would have preferred to do something more fun that came along at the last minute, or just stay home and chillax, but I knew that it was more important to show up for this person, or that event… keep my word, that I would be there. Relationships are strengthened for showing up, and fractured for flaking out.
We can learn through challenges, suffering and/or painful experiences. I believe it is through these types of experiences that we can gain exponential growth. We can grow from positive experiences too, no doubt, but I think doses of suffering helps to keep everything in perspective. I mean, if everything were always all hearts and flowers, would we have as much appreciation for how far we have come or grown? I often tell my children when they experience or witness a painful event to remember that suffering, so as not to repeat it towards another; to let the experience guide them toward right action. This includes remembering how good or special someone makes you feel as well.
What I realized after all of this reflection, is that the person who triggered that wounded inner-child was playing their part beautifully in assisting me to become aware of myself and the lessons I need to learn while I am here. And the lesson for me, simply put is: Showing up is a choice; choose wisely. For that, I am grateful. I am glad to report that the hurt and judgment I felt toward that person for not showing up for me that day has blossomed into appreciation and gratitude for the lesson learned.