July 5     

Today's quotation:

Frustration is the first step toward improvement.  I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance, and form as a runner.  It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forward.

John Bingham

Today's Meditation:

There really is little incentive for change in our lives-- even positive change-- if we're completely satisfied with the status quo.  It really is when we get frustrated with things that we start to think about changing them, and those are the points in our lives when we're able to take positive steps forward and make progress in various areas.  I always see frustration as a sign that something is amiss, and that something can be my attitude.  Perhaps that's what needs to change, and not any outside factors.

Of course, I'm not talking about the petty kinds of frustration that can affect us so often.  This isn't the frustration of not finding a parking space or not being able to twist the cap off a bottle.  I get frustrated if I spill some milk, but that's trivial.  The important frustrations in our lives have to do with not being able to make a positive difference in other people's lives, not having a say in what's happening in our community, not being able to communicate effectively with a spouse or a child, not being able to afford groceries or medical care.  These are the important frustrations that may be indicating that change is necessary somewhere, somehow.

It's also important to remember that there's nothing wrong with being content.  I may wish I could run faster, but realize that I don't have the time to do the training necessary to build my speed, and that's okay-- the other things that take my time may be much more important than running faster.  Sometimes frustrations like that come from comparing ourselves with others rather than from an innate need that isn't being fulfilled.

When I find myself to be frustrated, I always try to take the advice below.  I try to disconnect a bit from whatever is frustrating me to gain a sense of perspective so that I can come back and approach it in a fresh way, without the frustration.  Because one thing that I'm sure of is that if I keep trying to do something when I'm very frustrated, it can end in disaster-- I'm going to break something or mess something up, and there's really no need for that at all.

Questions to consider:

Do you always pay attention to the messages that frustration sends to you when it shows up?

What are some of the major causes of frustration in your life?

Does frustration come from something we're having problems with, or from inside ourselves?

For further thought:

Frustration can be a sign that you've been doing too much, giving too much, working too hard, and lost your center.  Take some time to be alone, to be in nature, and walk or sit quietly for a while and remember to care for yourself, pace yourself, and regain your inner peace.

unattributed

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