Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Be a good friend to yourself before you expect others to be a good friend to you

It's not easy being green.

It was of course Kermit The Frog who sang those sad little lyrics lamenting the unfortunate ways being green can make you feel invisible. He sang of how ordinary you are being green by blending in with things that are common, like leaves. Most telling of all, he sang of how people tend to pass you by as ordinary. He sings of how maybe it would be better being red, yellow or gold, flashy, stand out colors that pop! He sang of being twinkly like a star or flashy sparks in the water.

Just like Kermit, most of us tend to believe we have an image not worthy of facing the world. Most of us tend to think that adequate is our limit. The ones who are motivated tend to be that way because they are surrounded by family or friends that root them on. After all, it's much easier to storm the castle if you have a squadron of guys with bows and arrows behind you. You can attempt it alone, but your chances of survival are seriously reduced!

But what if you don't have a tribe backing you up? What if you grew up in a house where your parents found you to be 'green' and didn't offer the kind of cushion and support it takes to be red, yellow or gold?

I want to mention Dr. Phil for a moment... I watched Dr. Phil once. (Okay, maybe twice!) The thing about Dr. Phil is that you have to sort of take what he says and put it through a strainer. For example. I hate celery. Celery is one of those foods people don't notice in their salads. I notice. I just don't like the taste. When I got to Souper Salad or Sweet Tomatoes and I want one of their potato or pasta salads, I eventually end up picking out the celery with my fork when I get back to the table. I mean, I love their potato and pasta salads, but I can do without the celery. Some of what Dr. Phil says is like the celery. The dish is good, but parts of it have to be filtered out.

Anyway, Dr. Phil said that it takes a bunch of 'Atta Girls!' to fix one negative comment. In other words, the positive stuff we hear about ourselves has to be pretty much tripled, quadrupled to fix the one negative comment someone tosses at us. I believe the reason behind this is because when you are happy, you don't notice how good it feels. Well, you may notice, but you take it for granted. When something negative happens, you remember it, because you notice how it feels. We also 'feel' like the happy stuff ends too fast, whereas the negative drags on. (A good example is when you are waiting for the weekend to come. Then BOOM it's Sunday! Time really didn't actually fly. It's just that if you enjoyed yourself it 'felt' shortened. The same goes for Monday mornings. You look up at the wall clock to find that it's only 10 AM, yet you could have sworn it was 12.)

Positive affirmations are like happy 'moments'. If you don't remember them or if you put them way in the back of your mind, the negative will come charging forward. Negative is very assertive.

The way you begin or retain the process of feeling good about you, is to make sure you are surrounded by people who give you reason to LOVE yourself. Of course, be realistic about your abilities! If I didn't go to school to be a brain surgeon, then chances are no matter how much I psyche myself up into believing I can be a brilliant surgeon, I will kill someone attempting to operate!

Finding supportive, realistic friends isn't easy! You have to know who you are and what you want so that you don't draw people who are subconsciously non supportive. (All of us have had a friend who we thought was supportive when it turns out that they really weren't that impressed with us...) To do that you first have to LOVE yourself. It's confusing how it works, because the process is almost simultaneous.

The simplest way to figure out if someone finds you a joy and a privilege to know, is they seriously listen to what they say. If every comment you make seems to be backed up with a negative comment, then you know that maybe this person isn't the best person to go to when you need support. You have to use your intuition. Tune into how you 'feel' when you are talking to your friends. Friends make time for you and you make time for them. If you find yourself dragging and dreading whenever you need to see someone, maybe it's time to seek out new companions. You don't need to befriend everyone you meet! Believe me, tha can do more harm than good!

Now, back to Kermit... He doesn't just leave us thinking that being green sucks! Half way through the song he let's us know that green is the color of spring, which happens to be most people's favorite season. He compares green to a mountain (big) and to a river (important). He reminds us that trees are green and tall.

He ends the song letting us know that he isn't going to wonder why he is green. He realized long ago that green may be ordinary, but it's also beautiful and versatile. Find that versatility inside yourself and choose friends who seem to have that same internal signature.

It's a lot easier being green when you stop wondering why and just accept it as beautiful.

(Reference: IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN - Sung by Kermit from the MUPPETS)

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