Lesson of the Lamp


Lesson of the Lamp

“Twenty people could look at the same lamp and have 20 different reactions. If someone says, “That lamp is ugly,” that statement actually tells you nothing about the lamp. It does, however, say a lot about them.

Maybe they don’t like gold. Maybe they prefer modern designs. Maybe their eyes are sensitive and the light bulb is too bright. Maybe their mom had a lamp like that, and one time they were throwing a ball in the house and broke it, and that lamp reminds them of being grounded and missing the big dance. You may never discover why they think the lamp is ugly, but it sure ain’t about the lamp.

Remember the lesson of the lamp the next time someone says they didn’t like your recipe/criticized your body/belittle your accomplishments. These assessments say nothing of you and everything about them, from a place you couldn’t even imagine. And carrying their feedback (accepting it, as if you ARE a terrible cook/less attractive/unsuccessful) is choosing to pick up a burden that’s not even yours to hold.

It’s just their lamp; you feel me?”

Melissa Hartwig Urban

I reference this missive from Melissa Urban often.  So often that it needs to live on my website for quick reference.  I also wanted to talk about setting boundaries with people because we tend to give too much of ourselves to everyone in the name of kindness.  But not enough to our most precious resource - self care.

Know Thyself

Get clear on who you are.  What you want. What you are willing to tolerate.  What do YOU need to thrive and what fuels YOUR happiness?  Get together with a like minded friend and have a manifestation party.  Or do one yourself.

Having a plan is like a map.  You wouldn’t set off from NYC to LA without a map, Waze or some system of guidance.  Hence, you should have an outline of your short term (weekly), mid-term (monthly) and long term (year and more) goals.  If you are firmly set in who you are, when someone doesn’t compliment where you are going, they are easier to “detour”.

Know your Limits

You need to know how much you will tolerate before you start to get uncomfortable.  Keep aware of situations around you. Be aware of when people are taking advantage of you and your loved ones.  Know the limits of what you are willing to give and when it infringes on your good nature. Always be kind, gracious and loving - but also know when to back off and walk away.

Second Opinions

Counseling and Mental Health days with a trusted advisor are a wonderful way to brain dump.  If you aren’t sure of a situation, a second and trusted opinion is always a great idea.

Practice Self Care Regularly

The better care you take of yourself, the more obvious it will be when someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart.  If you are very kind with yourself and others, when someone isn’t - it will be glaringly obvious.

Don’t overlook your self care in the name of “busy”.  Find whatever nurtures your soul and get as much of it as you can.  You’ll be happier and the world around you will take notice.

Debbie Marlowe