I’ve been a psychiatrist for a long time, which means I have “touched many lives,” as my dear friend and colleague VT used to say. I’ve listened to many stories. What happens when you do that, if you’re a pondering sort of person such as myself, is that certain things get distilled into a kind of shorthand that turns into a private language of sorts over the years. Maybe only one person and I know the real meaning of certain phrases, the feelings behind the words and the cost of whatever lesson that person learned in the process. Recently, some of my pondering took the form of looking back at the long, furrowed rows of this life I’ve lived. Today, meandering through some old scribblings, I came across a list of do’s and don’ts I created years ago and thought I’d share–today the list, next time maybe more about some of them.
I want to hear your stories, too! Perhaps you have your own list of do’s and don’ts? Life is short, but it’s also long sometimes so let’s take care of ourselves and each other.
The Don’ts: Stuff That Doesn’t Work, So You Might As Well Quit It…
Don’t try to change other people. It upsets both of you and wrecks the relationship.
Don’t insist on perfection or you’ll never finish anything.
Don’t be mean, especially to yourself.
Don’t sing somebody else’s song. You have your own. Learn it. Sing it.
Don’t wait for someone to read your mind.
Don’t attempt brain surgery on yourself.
Don’t. Ever. Give. Up.
The Do’s: Stuff That Works If You Work It… So Work It!
Focus on yourself sometimes. It’s all you’re in charge of any time.
See and say: Learn your truth and speak it.
Be reasonable. It takes however long it takes.
Use the power of NO.
Learn to receive. Say YES to what you need.
Go gently with yourself.