Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Commitment-Make your words matter!

CommitmentImage by eschipul via Flickr

Have you ever heard the saying "Your word is everything"?  While it may seem like another old cliche, there is a lot of truth to that saying!  Today I am encouraging you to take a look at how often you commit to or say you are going to do something or be somewhere (and yes just "saying" you will be there is a commitment) and then end up canceling or not showing up.  While you may have 1,000 good excuses of why you couldn't make it- I'm telling you right now that if this is a trend for you, people will begin to feel like they can't depend on you.

For a lot of people many of the excuses are work related- in fact this scenario is often played out in many movies where the child is eagerly waiting for their parent to spend time with them, take them somewhere or show up for a game or recital and the parent doesn't show up because they got caught up at work. In each of these movies you can see the great heartache in the child.   While it is true that you have to put food on the table and a roof over your head, what will it all be worth if your kids and family harbor great sadness, anger or resentment towards you?

This message isn't just for parents though! It is for everyone because if you have a tendency to flake off on your commitments- no matter how small- it will begin to affect your relationships.  If you are in a romantic relationship and you promise to make changes to better the relationship, but continually break that promise because you forget or it's too much work- I guarantee that you are going to feel the effects of this from your partner.

Today I heard someone say "under promise and over deliver".  When I first hear this I thought to myself: "why would someone under promise"?  It makes a lot of sense to me as I write this now.  I realize that people may have a lot of really good intentions when they make some of the promises that they do but the important thing to realize is that it causes great pain and disappointment when you let someone down because you overestimated your ability to follow through.

Growing up I had a very strained relationship with my father because although he was well intended when he made a commitment to me, he wasn't always able to follow through with it.  Given the fact that my parents split when I was young and my father moved far away I felt like all I had was his word.  If he ever had to go back on his word- no matter how small or seemingly insignificant- I was crushed.  I began to feel like I couldn't count on or depend on him in anyway because if I did I was setting my self up for a huge amount of pain.  I know that my dad really did mean well but that didn't take away from the pain I felt as a child and young adult.  It taught me a very great lesson about the words that I speak and the promises I make.  It is my goal to teach others this very thing too.

commitmentImage by glsims99 via Flickr

You know that in your work if you make a commitment you need to follow through with it, otherwise you will be out of a job or client.  I encourage you to look at all of your commitments and promises in the same way- because your word matters!  Your word matters with your friends, family and loved ones.  In fact I think it matters most with your loved ones.  So really take a look at the promises and
commitments you are making and how it truly affects those around you when you don't follow through.  Get out of your head and be present with those around you because I truly feel that if you are really present and connected with those around you, you will easily pick up on the impact that your word- or lack there of- has on others.

I wish you much peace and joy and may you start to make your words really matter!
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Overcoming Life's Obstacles

Life can be difficult- there is no doubt about that!  It hits each of us at different times.  Sometimes we seem to be flooded and bombarded with it and other times we seem to get hit by it out of nowhere.  I was recently speaking with someone who felt like her whole world was falling apart and was quite upset because this seemed to be the trend for most of her life.  She stated that perhaps this was "karma" from her previous lives.  I stated to her that sometimes when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade.  She chuckled and stated that she likes the other version of this advice: "When life gives you lemons you squeeze the lemon juice into the persons eye who wronged you and then make lemonade".  I must say that I was taken aback by this and stated to her that as Gandhi so wisely stated: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".  I also told her that perhaps this is where her "karma" is coming into play and nipping her in the butt.

With this particular individual I have seen her make poor choice after poor choice constantly blaming everyone around her for it.  It's so sad because she is stuck in this vicious cycle of anger, resentment and retaliation.  I share this story with you because I think it's important to examine your own life to see how you have been living.  Are you always pointing the finger at everyone else?  Do you refuse to take a look at yourself and your actions?  I realize this is very difficult to do but if you take the time to do this and really look within a lot of change may start to come your way (for the better).

                    Cover of The Lion's Paw                                  (Little Golden Book)I remember reading this story about a lion who had a thorn in his foot. (Bare with me as this is an adapted version from my memory- but the gist of it is as follows).  The lion was hurting terribly but his paws were too big to pull the thorn out.  When a tiny mouse appeared asking if he needed help the lion was angry, irritable and distrustful.  Out if this anger he threatened to eat the poor mouse.  If this mouse wasn't able to see the thorn in the lions foot- the real reason for his fierce reaction- the mouse would have ran off leaving the lion to suffer greatly.  The mouse quietly snuck under the lion's paw and removed the thorn.  The lion roared as the thorn was removed from him and he slammed his paw down on the mouse out of anger and suspicion that the mouse was trying to harm him. After a few seconds the mouse crawled out from under his paw with the thorn in hand.  The lion was taken aback by this and thanked the mouse as well as apologized for his frightening and hurtful behavior.  The unexpected duo became great friends!

If you are anything like that lion you may think that everyone is out to get you!  In fact you may strike first in anticipation that they no doubt are intending to hurt you.  It becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because that individual may be very upset for how you treated them, especially since they were not ill intended. Out of this anger and hurt they may then treat you in the way you were expecting!  Once again I encourage you to take a look at how you are viewing, interacting and treating others.  Maybe it's not always about them needing to change first!

I have made it my life's purpose to help others and anyone who truly knows me will agree.  If there is one person in the world that is like this then there must be more!  It is true that everyone you meet will not be like this and that there are some people who have been so hurt and wronged that they make it their mission to hurt others.  But the truth is, not everyone is like that.  There are a lot of really beautiful and amazing people out there- you just need to open your eyes and your heart to see what is really before you.

P.S.  If you have enjoyed this blog please leave me a comment or send me an email.  I never know who is reading this and I am always pleasantly surprised and honored when people share with me that they have been and it has helped them in some way.  It keeps me going and keeps me inspired- so thanks for reading and I hope that my blog can help inspire you in one way or another!

I wish you a beautiful and blessed life,

Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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