THOUGHT OF THE DAY: "Have the courage to do what you need to do before you are FORCED to do it."

Dear Ones –

Iyanla Vanzant was incredible yesterday at Oprah's The Life You Want Tour. Like: ON FIRE. She's a speaker of the truth, and I love it. So much of what she has to teach is about ultimate self-accountablity, and as she spoke I had more than a few moments of electric self-recognition about things I have done in the past (or am still doing!) that invite mess and dysfunction into my life.

Let me quote one particularly resonant passage of her speech:

"Have the courage to do what you need to do before you are FORCED to do it. And when you are forced to do it, don't get mad at the people who forced you to do it."

Does this make as much sense to anyone else out there as it does to me? Does it remind you of yourself as much as it reminded me of me?

I don't like conflict. I aim for appeasement. I often dodge the chance to directly address problems early on, because I hope the problems will go away. I deny and I duck and I put my hands over my ears and say, "La-la-la-la-la." And then, guess what? Sometimes those problems don't away. In fact, they blow up in my face — often through another person's reflexive or angry action. And then I think, "God, what a mess that person has made in my life!" When in fact that person was just acting out in a dysfunctional manner because of a completely screwed up scenario that I had allowed to continue for far too long — because I didn't have the courage to address it earlier. It is not their fault that things got messy; it is my fault that I didn't clean up my own house sooner.

I started to learn a long time ago that if we don't take action in our lives, action will be foisted upon us — and you might not like how it plays out. You may stay passive as much as you like, but destiny will not rest. If you sit there long enough and do nothing, shit will go down, anyhow. So you can either change bad situations yourself, or you can wait for them to detonate upon you (on someone else's terms)…but it's probably better if you take it in your own hands sooner.

I am still learning this. I can see messy things that happened in my life this very year, because I didn't want to cope with problems sooner. I'm not beating myself up here about it. (Nor should you.) It's over. (As Iyanla says: "If it's in the past…you passed.") But I took note of this idea yesterday, and told myself, "Liz, stay alert. Heads up. Start speaking your truth sooner. You've been put on watch."

And this is how we learn and grow.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall