I am still reeling from some information I received today. It just occurred to me to look and see if today’s Daily Prompt would fit for this situation. Revelation is perfect!
For the last month, I’ve been looking forward to taking a Plant Identification course that was offered to Forest Stewards and other volunteers who work in Seattle’s reforestation projects. When I arrived at the class today, I discovered most of the students had been Forest Stewards for a long time and the others had at least some experience in plant identification. I, on the other hand, only know a few of these native plants.
Last month, Ananya and I had to choose the trees, shrubs and ground covers that we will be planting in our group’s Greenbelt site the end of October. We ordered nearly 400 plants. In the course of today’s class, I learned that those plants will be delivered to us unmarked. Not only that, most will be in their winter state so we may have only a twig to use for identification.
The need for me to learn to identify our plants has certainly taken on a new intensity. As I sat down to write this post, though, a couple of other thoughts came to my mind. When we ordered the plants, we had to order in quantities of 10. We ordered 10 for some varieties and 20 for others. So even though we will have to identify 400 plants, there will only be 26 different types. That seems doable. Also, sometime prior to October we will have the opportunity to take a Winter Twig class. I will make taking that class a priority.
I am sure glad that I learned this information today, rather than discovering it when the plants are delivered. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can. And I don’t have to do it alone! Ananya and I will do it together and if we need help we will get it.
Suffering is created or enhanced by critical self-talk. An important step in ending suffering is to replace the negative critical messages with positive nurturing and/or structuring messages.
Creating nurturing and structuring messages is a skill that takes practice. This lesson will focus on helping you to learn that skill by walking you through a multi-step process. At the end of the lesson you find a worksheet you can copy for future use.
State the problem in one sentence:
I forgot to bring my children’s sack lunches when I drove them to the bus that would take them to summer camp.
What critical messages are you telling yourself?
1) Stupid! There were 300 children there and you were the ONLY parent who forgot her children’s lunches.
2) You are a terrible parent.
3) Why are you making such a big deal out of nothing? They won’t be allowed to go hungry.
Identify nurturing messages you can use to counteract the critical messages (messages that are gentle, caring, supportive, and unconditional).
1) You do care for your children and they know it.
2) You are a good parent even though you make mistakes.
3) It is highly unlikely that you were the only parent who forgot their child’s lunch.
4) It is important for your children to know that you make mistakes. When they see you make a mistake, they learn that it is okay for them to make mistakes.
5) You were feeling very sad because your friend Jean was leaving today and you won’t see her for a very long time. It is understandable that you didn’t remember everything.
Identify structuring messages you can use to counteract the critical messages (messages that set limits, show how and give options.
Another behavior that often leads to suffering is failure. Failure is “to disappoint expectations or trust; to fall short; to be or become absent or inadequate; to be unsuccessful.” (Webster’s Ninth New College Dictionary, Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1988, p. 445)
The reality is that any time we choose to act, we take the risk of failure. In order to succeed, we must be willing to risk failing. There is much that can be gained from acting, even if the result is failure. As with mistakes, it is important to see that failure is a necessary part of living and that something can be learned from every failure. Continue reading “Letting Go of Suffering- Week Ten: Failure”→
Making a mistake is one of those life situations that often leads to suffering. A mistake is “a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge or inattention.” (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1988 p. 760.)
An important step in letting go of the suffering is to adopt the mind-set that mistakes are an important and necessary part of living, and that something can be learned from every mistake. In time, you may even come to see making a mistake as a positive event rather than a negative one.
This week, record every mistake you make. Write down the tiny mistakes as well as the big ones. Next to the mistake, write what you learned from making it and what you will do differently in the future. Add more paper if you need to.
You are lovable even when you make mistakes.
Making mistakes is important for your growth.
You can learn from every mistake.
See you next Monday for the tenth lesson.
To find the lessons in this series that have already been published click here.