We each do some very careful negotiating for what we get.
I have heard it said that in life, we do not always get what we deserve; we do get what we have negotiated. When I first heard this I decided that I didn’t agree with it. I couldn’t reckon that I have carefully negotiated for some of the things in my life. I certainly didn’t carefully negotiate my over-booked schedule in the fall. Did I? My satisfaction with my fitness level? I surely did not negotiate this. What about my long list of things I ‘have’ to do? Did I negotiate these too?
Sure enough, I have to admit that I, like everyone else, have negotiated the terms for my life. I have negotiated how I am treated by others, what jobs I do around home, my financial situation, my education, how I spend my time and on and on. In most things, I have made some really good deals. I like my life and I am grateful for it. But for some other things, I know that I am simply pretending that a different solution is not possible because it is hard to make a change. It’s even harder to take responsibility for change.
A couple of weeks ago after my blog on grief, my brother-in-law, Greg commented:
“As I get older and allow myself to get closer to people, I am very aware of how much it's gonna hurt someday. It's still a deal I'll gladly accept.”
And there it is. A deal. A negotiation. Even with our emotions we negotiate deals. Greg recognizes that when he chooses to open himself up, he is making the deal that there could be some hurt. The important part is that he has come to a place where he understands that it is a negotiation and he consciously chooses this deal for himself.
I am wondering what deals you have been making in life. This week as you go about your routine, take notice of what things you are enjoying and what things you are not enjoying so much. Try to notice how you have negotiated the outcome you have. And recognize that a different negotiation is always possible. It is not always easy. But it is always possible. We are always in choice.
An inquiry for this week could be: What deal am I making right now?