December 2, 2013 – CLEANING UP THE MESSES:
You drive home and pull up the driveway. You open the garage door with full intention to park your car in the garage. When the door opens you realize that the garage is full of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff that you have collected over the years is piled up and leaving no room for a car. So, you park your car in the driveway. The next day you pull up into the driveway and open the garage once again only to find the same mess. Rather than trying to tackle the clutter, you close the garage door and park in the driveway. For the next 12 months, the thought of cleaning up the garage consumes you. Every day you pull into the driveway you are stressed out about not being able to pull into the garage. You think about it incessantly. In fact, it almost speaks to you each day, “I need to handle the mess in the garage!” Ugh. Day after day, week after week, you are not able to pull your car into the garage because of the mess you have created. A simple solution would be to clean out the garage and that would give you the FREEDOM to pull into it. Until it gets cleaned up, you will not be able to experience that freedom.
For the past 9 years, I have been carrying around something that has been bothering me. I’ve been lying to myself that it really didn’t matter much. I’ve swept it under the rug. To tell the truth, it has consumed me and made me bitter and angry. (I’m baring my soul here.) In November of 2004, my best friend, Russell Johnson and I decided to go our separate ways. Well actually, I chose to go my separate way. He chose one path and I chose another. We used to work the business together. He got mad at me and I was really mad at him for not excepting my decision. We had a blowout and exchanged some nasty emails. We used to talk daily and from then on out, I pretended that his friendship didn’t matter that much. I would think about him all the time and ask about him whenever I ran into someone that knew him. He has since moved to the East Coast and had a child. We have not been in each other’s lives for 9 years.
I didn’t realize how much stress this was causing me and how much my pride was costing me. In all honesty, it was devastating. I would pretend that it really didn’t matter that much. I would tell myself that I was numb to it all. But in reality, it was eating away at my soul.
As I continued to look deeper I began to realize that I had other messes I had created that were costing me peace of mind and freedom. Not accepting my dad’s girlfriend, holding on to anger about people that had left our company, etc. In fact, everywhere I looked I was expressing dissatisfaction with things that had gone wrong. I could blame them for doing something that I didn’t agree with and completely avoid responsibility for the situation OR I could choose to clean up the messes that were keeping me from being free of the constraints of the past. I could take full responsibility and once and for all make them whole.
All the messes we create in our lives affect ALL areas of our lives. Personal conflicts we carry around with us affect our relationships and our business.
I’m committed to you experiencing a new sense of power and freedom around your relationships and your business. In a minute I’m going to ask you to reflect on the people in your life. For some of you this will be easy. For others, it may be difficult and represent a blind spot (an area that may be invisible or challenging for you to see). It takes courage to admit when we have messed some things up. I had to dig deep to begin to see where I had screwed up. This is not about who’s right and who’s wrong. Everyone has a reason for their story. We always think that we are right and they are wrong. In fact, they feel the same way as you do! As long as these messes are in your life don’t expect things to work too well.
I’m no expert when it comes to the dynamics of the human condition. I’m just asking you to consider this conversation as an opportunity to clear out some of the clutter that may be keeping you from experiencing your life to the fullest without the constraints of the past.
In a program that I recently attended, the leader said, “It’s like we are born and begin to grow up and we are moving through this beautiful warm clear liquid as we go through life. And then we poop in the water. No big deal. A little while later we poop in the water again. The water becomes a little murky. Then we poop in it again, and again and again, you get the idea. After a while we just kind of live with it all cloudy, smelly and murky. We begin to say to ourselves that’s just the way it is.”
Actually it’s not the way it is and it’s not the way it’s meant to be! The water is murky because we pooped in it!!
It takes some real courage to see the messes we have created in our lives. So the garage is a mess and it talks to you every day (well IT really doesn’t talk to you, YOU talk to you). And then you go into the kitchen and notice a huge stack of stuff that has been piling up. You say to yourself, “Oh man, I really need to get to that. It’s been driving me crazy!!” Again YOU are talking to YOU! You open your emails and notice you have 250 unread emails and again you beat yourself up. This goes on and on, day after day. Beating yourself up for unfinished business.
These all represent messes that we have created keeping us from being fully present and free. Do you think that if you felt free and unrestrained that things might work a little better?
I made a list last week of people that I had made messes with over the years and began to clean them up. I’m not done but I can tell you that I have a renewed sense of freedom. The neck and shoulder pain that I thought was physical and has persisted for years has completely dissipated. I haven’t been pre-occupied with all the self-chatter that has been keeping me from being present with the people important to me in my life.
THE HEALING BEGINS WHEN YOU HIT THE SEND BUTTON:
Grab a notepad and a pen. I’m going to begin asking some questions and I would like you to write the names of the people who come to mind. Try not to filter this list. Please write the names as they come to you. Again, it may take some courage to be 100% honest with yourself here. It doesn’t matter if you think you are right or wrong here. The question is, where do you see that you are experiencing a loss of power or freedom over a person or a situation. So here we go:
Who has wronged you?
Who have you wronged?
Who hurt you?
Who have you hurt?
Who are you out of communication with?
Who have you lied to?
Who have you lied to over and over again?
Who bugs you?
Who are you constantly in disagreement with?
Who are you pissed at?
Who do you obsess about because of a messed up situation?
Now here is where the rubber hits the road. Are you ready to have a cathartic experience that will set you free and allow you to move forward removing the restraints from your life and from your business? Are you ready to zap the negative energy from your life? It’s time to clean out the garage so you can park there again. It’s time to remove the poop from the water.
I’m going to ask you to send a card to the people on this list of people. You’ll feel a feeling of freedom the moment you hit the send button. I want to hear your stories. We’re going to end this call early so you can take the next 10 minutes and send 2 cards to people on your list. This will take courage for some of you. It will be freeing in a way that you may have never experienced before. I want to hear your stories after the people you send to receive your cards. Be bold with this exercise. I did this last week and have experienced a sense of freedom like I haven’t felt in years. This is your chance to really say you are sorry and to clean up messes that have been around for years.
Here are some people to think about sending cards to:
One or both of your parents?
A former or current close relative?
A former or current close friend?
An estranged brother or sister?
A former or current co-worker?
A former or current boss?
Who are you mad at?
Who are you carrying a grudge for?
Who used to be in your life that is no longer in your life?
So circle the names of 2 people you are going to send your cards to.
You may want to start by saying:
“I’m really, really sorry. . . ”
“I owe you an apology. . . ”
“I’ve been lying to you . . . ”
“I’ve been an idiot . . . ”
“I’ve been holding you accountable for my being upset with you . . . ”
“I’ve been pretending that your friendship is not important to me . . . ”
There is probably no better gift that you can give yourself, your friends and your family than healing some of those troubled relationships. It’s as simple as an apology. This is your chance to clean up something that may have been haunting you for years.
Let’s hear your stories. You can send them to www.emailjordan.com.