I come from a family of gun enthusiasts. My younger brother is a firearms instructor in Iraq. My older brother, who lives in Atlanta, keeps a handgun tucked in his waistband. Even my 66-year-old mother is taking up arms, having just earned her permit to carry a concealed weapon in Michigan. Recently she held up her paper target for me to see: two bull’s eyes! Her exuberance seemed to expect matching enthusiasm from me.
I want to share a pet peeve of mine: when I listen to people call in to one of my favorite radio hosts, so many of them say, “I have a question for you,” or “Here’s my question…” and then they don’t ask a question! They tell a story.
Maybe there’s something slippery about the curvy question mark. Either we put it on the end of what should be statements, or we leave it out altogether and tell ourselves we’re being clear in our requests.
A friend shared recently that he was upset about having to clear his belongings out of his basement to make room for his wife’s things.
“Did you ask her to consider a different solution?” I said.
“Well, I told her that I was upset,” he answered.
Ryan is a busy, successful guy who just turned 50. He’s had a long career that allows him to travel, drive sports cars, and have a beautiful home in a posh suburb of Atlanta.
When Ryan and I spoke, he was stressed about his job. He said he felt like a “road warrior” and that he was expected to make his boss look like a “hero.” He was tired of “soldiering on.” He spoke of his need to achieve like it was a quest, and said that he didn’t want to be “the bad guy” by failing.
Ryan’s troubles had taken on mythic proportions; he wasn’t just carrying the weight of his own world, his word choices showed that he was taking on epic roles — we’re talking the stuff of legends
Louise had been wanting to clean out her basement for months. The last couple of years were rough for her; after her divorce, she suffered from depression and couldn’t seem to complete the tasks she started. She’d gained weight and wasn’t feeling like herself.
“If I clean that basement out, I bet I’ll lose 30 pounds,” she emphatically told me. My ears perked up because I do sooo love hearing that clear voice of intuition!
If I were to walk through your home, what story would I create about you based on your things?
I worked with a woman whose home was filled with thrift store “steals.” Everything was cheap and used. Not surprisingly, she was struggling with low self-esteem. She described herself as feeling “second-best” and didn’t understand why men used her, then “threw her away.”
This woman happened to have the lovely and enviable trait of seeing the good in all people and things. She brought a joyful, childlike wonder to her relationships and belongings. But she wasn’t acknowledging this unique quality in herself.