I fell right through the ceiling.

One moment I was crawling around the attic stashing things here and there, and the next, I was crashing through the ceiling onto the garage floor.

Hearing the mayhem, my daughter quickly swung open the door and yelled, “Are you ok?”

“I don’t know,” I responded, “Do I look ok?”

I was relieved there weren’t any bones protruding from my body and pleasantly surprised that I had landed on two feet.  Time would later reveal that I sustained some major bruising. But it definitely could have been worse.

Honestly, it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to breathe.  And it reminded me of situations in my life when I responded too quickly and left destruction in my wake.

Has that ever happened to you?

Did you ever respond too quickly in a given situation and neglect to assess the scene before expressing yourself?

When responding to emergencies, first responders learn to make sure the scene is safe before they attempt to rescue someone. In relationships, particularly ones experiencing stress and strain, if we don’t take the time to inhale and improve our thoughts before responding, very often a mess ensues—and often much more damaging than the ceiling hole I had to repair.

broken drywall ceiling

As promised in my last post, where I gave you a sneak peek into the acronym R.I.S.E., today I’d like to dig a little deeper into the second letter—and what it means to INHALE.

The definition of inhaling is to breathe in.

We inhale oxygen, which is needed to fuel our bodies. The heart pumps oxygen-filled blood to the brain. Our brain cannot survive without oxygen for very long. And similarly, our relationships—with ourselves and others—can not survive without affirmation.

Affirmation is like oxygen, and relationships need it to be healthy. And if we don’t receive it from others, we must learn how to encourage and believe in ourselves.

I am suggesting that you CAN improve your thoughts before responding by finding something to affirm and appreciate about the situation, other people, or yourself. Think about it as though you are inhaling affirming thoughts, regardless of the circumstance.

When I have responded too quickly, making things worse instead of better, I was either exhausted or not feeling very good about myself. If I had taken the time to INHALE and understand my thoughts and then adjust them with appreciation and affirmation, I would have produced a better feeling. When you feel good,  your actions more closely align with your feelings and produce much better results.

kids laying on grass

Has there ever been a time when you had to hold your breath for a long time?

When you finally got to inhale, you were probably gasping for air, correct? When you’re constantly put down by others, or always putting yourself down with negative thoughts, you will eventually “gasp out” for attention. It might come in the form of an overreaction or a miscommunication.

To keep things real, here are some specific examples where you may have needed to remember to inhale:

  • You stayed up late working on a project, only to face an irritated teacher the next day
  • You worked hard to clean up the house, and others were quick to mess it back up without any regard for your efforts
  • You’re taking care of a sick loved one, and they’re driving you nuts

If we neglect to inhale good thoughts and feel good about ourselves and others, a lot of hard work can go right down the drain. We have all had instances where our responses could have been better.

A healthy circulation system of affirmation and appreciation can start with you right now. You will be amazed at how calm you will be able to remain, and your life will never be the same. You can’t change anyone but yourself, so be the change you want to see, and INHALE before you respond!

Be sure to tune back in for our next post, where we’ll unpack the letter “S” in R.I.S.E.

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