Thursday, March 27, 2014

Life Lessons Learned from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

You may remember me presenting this old formula: run 32 km. Instantly feel better about yourself and life in general

While I only did about a third of that distance today, it sure went a long way to restoring some balance in my life at a time that feels very unbalanced. After running four marathons and nearly finishing a graduate degree as a 'mature' student, the thing in my life that remains the most challenging is dealing with a difficult family member.

I know mine is not an isolated issue. Everyone has a mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc. they don't get along with. And the degree to which relationships are strained varies; it may be a minor annoyance, ranging to outright estrangement.  

Having to deal with difficult family is exhausting, but it's also an opportunity to learn, or perhaps, re-learn, lessons about one's self. Do I think this particular family member is a terrible person? Absolutely. No question. But there's no changing her. The only person I can control is myself.  

Today's run helped me remember what I feel is important, and how I want to aspire to live my life - specifically, one that is filled with gratitude, kindness, and humility. 

I want to be more accepting of others' situations, and understand that not everyone may believe or feel the same as I do; this doesn't mean they're wrong, but that they have a different perspective and outlook on the world. 

I want to remember, always, that everyone is dealing with their own challenges in life and that, sometimes, they may not have the capacity or ability to be the best version of themselves. When that happens, they might need time or space to just be

If I've hurt someone for any reason, I want to be able to say, "I'm sorry." And not only do I want to be able to say it, but I also want to really, truly mean it.

Most importantly, I never want anyone to feel that they owe me anything, just because I've done something nice for them. Gestures of kindness should be unconditional - done because one wants to, not because they expect anything in return.

As Amanda Fucking Palmer said on her epic multimedia blog post about TED 2014, BIL 2014 and #NINJAvan which all took place in Vancouver last week: "BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER."

All I can say to that is: WORD.

© 2014 Matthew Lowe and Squelch Design

Today's run: 10 km. Weather: cloudy, cool, light showers. Feeling prior to run: exhausted, emotionally drained and devoid of energy. Feeling post-run: better. That's all I could have asked for.

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