LYHL/BT ~ How Are Rules Working For You?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Blog, Feed Your Soul, The Keys | 0 comments

KEY ~ Feed Your Soul
“..what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray..”
Bruce Springsteen from his song Blood Brothers

As a child, one of my clearest memories of my mother was her sitting at the kitchen table playing solitaire. It was something she did often and it gave me a sense that all was well in my world.

At some point I asked her to teach me how to play. She showed me several different versions and shared the rules for each one. I practiced until I felt comfortable but I didn’t like it that much because I seldom won – at least if I followed the rules. Solitaire seemed like a waste of time and I didn’t play again for a long, long time.

Then a few years ago I got some game apps for my iPad and Solitaire was one of them. I thought I’d give it another try. I played using the rules I had been taught and again I was disappointed because I lost so often that there didn’t seem any point in playing.

After losing several games I noticed there was a hint button on the screen, so when I got stuck in the next game, I pressed it. Cards started moving all over the screen. As I watched the suggested moves, I kept thinking, “They’re breaking all the rules, this just isn’t right!”

I tried some of the hints and found that a hand of solitaire that would have been lost playing by the rules I knew, could actually be won. Again and again, hand after hand. Not every time but most of the time. Solitaire became enjoyable and I really liked playing.

It got me thinking that maybe this didn’t just apply to a game of iPad solitaire but to how I was living my life.

I knew that before this happened, if I didn’t win a hand, I would quit and start a whole new game. I did no exploration, no looking to see if maybe there was another way. I just followed the rules to the letter. I realized that at some point I had made the decision to be a rules follower and I wondered what impact it had on my life.

Had following the rules made my life easier and clearer – which is what I thought they’d do, or had they really kept me from deciding what was right for me?

When I looked, my life was full of examples of being a rules follower. One glaring one was when I would go on a diet (which was often), I would be 100% perfect and do everything exactly according to that diet’s plan. On one I dieted for 6 months and NEVER cheated. I would either be totally on or totally off the latest fad. The extreme weight swings contributed to my developing an eating disorder. It was a high price to pay for enforcing very rigid rules on myself.

Having this ah-ha helped me realize that I get to decide what is best for me. Take some time to think about the rules that are in your life and ask how they’re working for you.

Check in with yourself. Work the rules, don’t let them rule you!

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