Broken Records

Sometimes I know that I sound like a broken record, but then I guess there are some things that are worth repeating. My dad was a broken record.

Remember who you are and what you stand for.

If I heard that once, I heard it several thousand times. And so did everyone else who knew and loved him, and some who didn’t know him and if they did, they probably wouldn’t have loved him. I got tired of hearing it, and there were times I wanted to throw the nearest sharp object at him for saying it. But you know what? It stuck, and those words spoken to me, over me, and around me, have gone a long way toward helping me to become a better version of myself. There are things for which I’ve thrown my dad under the bus, but these words are not one of them. I will alway be on board the bus with him on this one. 

Recently I’ve begun to hear my own broken record. Like my dad’s words, mine are short, not-so-sweet, and to the point.

Do the work.

Simply stated, it means choosing over and over and over again, to do the hard work of becoming your best, most authentic and wholehearted self.

Do the work. 

It means uncovering our wounds (we all have them) and doing what it takes to heal them, and turn them into scars. It means sitting with our pain, anger, grief, and all of the other shadow emotions, and learning from them rather than running from them. It means asking ourselves what we are currently carrying with us that needs to be dealt with and left behind, so as to move into whatever is next with more love, compassion, freedom, and peace. It means admitting when we are wrong, and making amends. It means learning how to apologize and mean it not justify it. It means having the hard conversations and doing the deep listening. Again, and again, and again.

Do the work. 

It means figuring out what makes us tick, and what triggers us. It means taking ownership for everything in our lives. Every. Single. Thing. Not that we are responsible for everything that has happened to us, or for the wrongs committed to us by others, but that we are responsible for what we do with what we’ve got.  

Do the work.

It means finding the professional help to support our efforts. At the risk of sounding like another broken record, we all need professional help to become our best selves. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Depending on the circumstances, that might mean a therapist, psychiatrist, coach or spiritual director, or some combination thereof.  

I’ve been heartened recently by examples of those doing their work, and heartbroken by examples of others who are not. When we do the work every one around us benefits, and when we don’t, everyone around us pays. Which is why, later today, I am grateful to be meeting with my spiritual director. I know I’m better when I do, and it’s better for everyone around me too. 

Some things are worth repeating. 

Let’s do the work.