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Hamlet with Yorick's skull

Hamlet with Yorick’s skull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.


 — Joseph Campbell


Do you ever find yourself stuck in your illusions – the stories that you create around events, people or issues that live in your head but not necessarily in reality?


I found myself in that place just this afternoon, but instead of reacting the way I normally would, I sought guidance first.  From the inside.  And it worked!  Thrilling me enough to race to the computer to blog and share, in the hopes that you might be inspired to step out of your stories too.


I was upset about a family situation and a potential conflict with my brother. I dreaded calling him, but felt that I had to share some pertinent information that would not make him happy.  We had been down this road before, and I anticipated the ugly scene in my head, down to the last snippet of anger and stab of hurt feelings.


To shorten what could be a lengthy story, I chose to behave differently this time. I made sure that I was calm and collected before I called him, centered and peaceful in my role. I also asked God to lead me to say the words that would convey the information, but not antagonize or upset him. And finally, I prayed for peace on the family and a viable resolution to the issue.


After visualizing the healing I wanted to take place from this conversation and feeling its truth, I made the call.


There were a few rough spots, but I was very purposeful in choosing not to react with my usual defensiveness. And guess what?  It worked! We had a great conversation, came up with a reasonable plan and moved on to other topics.


My take -away from this brief but significant encounter include the following:


  • Everyone is invested in their perspective and opinions; Respect that and do not attack or criticize;
  • It is so much more productive to change your own perception around an issue than to try to change the other person’s perspective. If you focus your energy on the other person instead of yourself, you will only get frustrated and run into a brick wall, which is not healing for any relationship. To grasp why this is universally true, see take-away #1.
  • I gave up the need to be right. Instead, my goal was to find a reasonable solution to a problem that concerned both of us. When he sensed that I was not trying to convince him of my position, he relaxed and also became willing to compromise.
  • When I turned the matter over to God and let him lead the way, I did not have to worry about what to say, because it came from my heart.  And God knows my heart better than I do!


Try this technique yourself and then let me know how it made a difference.  Change your perspective and change your life!



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